"The yoga community is so different than a typical gym. It’s warm, friendly and inviting." This is just one of the many accolades shared by Akasha Yoga's happy members who revel in the sense of community the studio fosters. One of the reasons for the close-knit feel—heated classes where students commiserate as they challenge themselves and others to push through the high temperatures. Though possibly overwhelming at first, the raised Fahrenheit helps students sweat out harmful toxins and loosens their muscles so that they can achieve deeper stretches and poses that resemble the flexible animals they're named after. Students can also opt for non-heated classes such as Yin Yoga in which a series of floor postures are held for several minutes making it one of the more challenging classes. Another reason for the close-knit feel—teachers who have discovered the power of yoga after injuries, unwanted weight gain, or career stress and who patiently lead students toward their goals, whether the goals be weight loss, relaxation, or working as the body double for a pretzel.
Recycled, earth-friendly materials lay the groundwork for Tierra Yoga’s studio. Reclaimed wood turned art adorns the jade-green walls, and natural, biodegradable rubber yoga mats rest on the recycled flooring. Tierra Yoga’s instructors lead Hatha-based classes within the serene, open, thoughtfully designed space, breathing in time with their students as they practice self-awareness and connectivity to nature. Their classes, like phone calls to various ex-spouses, range in difficulty. This range provides a space for students of all fitness levels, from gentle yoga that focuses on perfecting foundational steps to athletic, vigorous classes in power-yoga sessions.
Bikram Yoga Petaluma is the last in a long line of yoga studios opened by Lynn Whitlow. When this yoga championship judge isn't teaching on her home turf, she travels to other studios to lead Bikram yoga seminars and workshops. She and her team of instructors guide students of all levels through a series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises during each 90-minute class.
These intense workouts take place inside a heated studio that has whimsical touches. On the beige walls, there are posters of cartoon characters striking yoga poses, which serve as an amusing guide. The boutique has apparel from the Yoga Hell clothing line, which has a cartoon devil—an playful allusion to all the high temperatures, challenging poses, and tridents you must dodge in a typical hot yoga class.
BodyWorks' classes help relieve the physical and mental stresses of the modern world, connecting body and mind through yoga disciplines. A variety of techniques, such as restorative yoga, gentle yoga, beginners' yoga, and Vinyasa flow sessions help would-be bendies to stretch their way toward fitness and tranquility. Check out the schedule to learn more about the offerings, or speak with a dedicated instructor to help decide which technique is right for you. Mats and water are included, ensuring that both hands are free to flex when attending the calming and tranquil studio.
Across its two locations, Yoga One offers up as more than 300 classes per month. That's 300 opportunities to get up and move, with options covering everything from Vinyasa yoga and mat Pilates to belly dancing and modern jazz dance. Even those with mobility issues will find themselves catered to––Yoga One specializes in yoga therapy, where trainers guide students through customized poses designed to help relieve stiffness, chronic pain and fatigue, and a whole host of other ailments.
A love for the outdoors fuels Rebecca Pennington, Bikram Yoga of Santa Rosa’s owner, who spent eight years as a wilderness adventure guide and backpacked 1,700 miles of the Pacific Coast Trail. When her knee gave out from overuse, she was devastated, turning to Bikram yoga in hopes of healing her injury. Eight years later, the pain in her knee is gone, and she has continued playing sports. Inspired by her experience, she’s taken over Bikram Yoga of Santa Rosa with a goal of extending the practice’s healing benefits to others. Her troupe of certified instructors leads students through 90-minute classes, flowing through 26 postures and two breathing exercises, each building on the previous pose to build strength and flexibility. The studio is heated to a balmy 105 degrees, which helps loosen up muscles, flush out bodily toxins, and identify any students concealing snowballs in their backpacks.
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