The instructors at Bikram Yoga Boise have no problem welcoming beginners to the practice. After all, each of them remembers the experience of their own first lesson. Some took part in a 60-day class challenge and some simply saw it as a new adventure in fitness, but all of them fell in love almost immediately with the benefits inherent in sweating and stretching.
It helps that the style accommodates all skill levels. Because students perform the 26 poses to the best of their ability, they needn't have any experience or a life-sized rubber stand-in to begin taking classes. The postures build off each other to stretch muscles, ligaments, and other tissues throughout the body as the surrounding heat in the studio—up to 105 degrees—makes them more pliable. The warmth also boosts circulation and the release of sweat, which helps to purge the body of built up toxins. As practitioners become accustomed to the poses, they can benefit from increased strength and range of motion.
Boise Yoga Center owners Vickie and Jerry Aldridge bring to the studio a combined 45 years of experience in the Iyengar method of yoga, having studied with the Iyengars in India multiple times. The Iyengar method combines asanas (poses) with prananyama (rhythmic breathing control) and is safe for people of all ages and shapes. Boise Yoga Center's certified instructors include James Burton, winner of Boise Weekly's 2010 "Best Local Yoga Instructor" award two years in a row. He and the rest of the staff enjoy working with students of all skill levels, from lowly human clerics with no physical agility points to full-on Dungeon Masters, to improve body alignment, strength, flexibility, and confidence.
Amid the sage-green walls, dark hardwood floors, and filigree-flecked mirrors of Sage Yoga & Wellness, visitors can hear more than just the sound of yoga groups breathing as one. Though yoga classes such as Vinyasa, Prana Flow, Yin Yoga, and Power Lunch form the core of the business, the studio’s team of 22 instructors, massage therapists, and physical therapists also set physiques on the path to optimal health with nutrition consultation, massages, and private yoga therapy.
Yoga for Wellness, a community-oriented yoga studio, bends and stretches yogis of every level with an array of Hatha yoga classes taught by certified instructors. Five 75-minute sessions will help improve flexibility, strengthen body balance, and reduce anxiety associated with the monster living underneath your bed. To keep bendable bodies in fit form, Yoga for Wellness offers a variety of classes several times a day. Check the class schedule to plan your visit. Mats or blankets are provided.
Students stand squarely on hardwood floors in Sumits Yoga's heated studio. Instructors lead them through 75-minute classes, fusing inspiration from Bikram and Ashtanga power-flow styles of yoga to create a dynamic and fluid practice. Sumits' two styles of hot yoga cover a sequence of balancing and energizing physical postures, called asanas, set to motivating music. The practice room's hot and humid atmosphere warms and relaxes muscles more effectively than a bear hug from an actual bear, helping yogis to reach deeper stretches.
The expansive interiors of Axiom's three fitness centers are packed in endless rows of weight and cardio machines, group workout studios, pools, and basketball and racquet courts to help its diverse client base whip into shape. The knowledgeable trainers lead patrons in pumping their bodies on the fitness floor, and instructors helm more than 100 Zumba, yoga, water aerobics, and Les Mills classes each week. In their performance center, the trainers customize one-on-one or small-group programs, such as Ax-Fit, which helps firefighters, law-enforcement officers, and those in the military increase their power and endurance, and Sport Performance, which helps athletes train for their competitive physical pastime of choice. Kids aged 7 and older can hone their coordination and improve their athletic performance and growing up too fast in Kids Performance sessions that run hourly from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., and older adults can stay in shape in the Silver Sneakers program. After sweat sessions, patrons can recharge at the Fuel Center juice bar, which serves up crushed-fruit smoothies, and nutrient-infused coffee and chocolate shakes.
Shauna Brookshier wanted to help exercisers push themselves to new levels, but she also wanted to avoid leaving people out based on their fitness levels. She found indoor cycling let students set their own pace while she provided the motivation, so she opened Go Epic Indoor Cycling to help aspiring athletes of all levels, as she puts it, "find their own ‘Epic’.'" She and her two fellow trainers lead different brands of cycling classes, including endurance rides, skill-building classes, and prime cycle sessions for people looking to go all out.