Jenny Sanchez believes that yoga really can heal, and she’s pretty persuasive. Originally a personal trainer, Sanchez suffered from bad knees that couldn’t be made right by her standard gym regimen. When a friend recommended hot yoga, she jumped in and unwittingly started the ball rolling for an eventual career change. “She told me I had to do four classes a week and break my butt every time I went in there for a month. The more you do it, the better it becomes.” And it worked—Sanchez’ knees don’t bother her anymore, and on top of that, she found she had gained the upper-body definition she had always wanted, but hadn't achieved in the gym. She was so “all about” hot yoga that she opened her own studio.
But Sanchez isn’t the only one that has noticed the restorative benefits of hot yoga. “People who come to yoga want the total mind-body experience. And they work through stuff. You feel like you’re enhancing someone’s life just by giving them space to do this.” During her classes at Bikram Yoga North Miami Beach, practitioners endure 105-degree temps as they run through a series of 26 postures, holding them long enough to promote flexibility, strength, and appreciation for the Statue of Liberty’s discipline. And though the routine doesn’t change, the results keeps coming Sanchez says, “because your body keeps changing, it challenges you every single day.”
Borba Yoga doesn't look like your typical run-of-the-mill yoga studio. To get to the studio, you walk through ornate gates and down a path surrounded by palm trees before reaching a building that happens to be an ancient monastery. Natural light falls through arches as students practice meditation, balancing poses, and breathing exercises in this sacred space. Borba Yoga's multi-level classes, which also incorporate mantras and music, are designed to be transformational?both on and off the mat.
Christine Sanon-Jules, a choreographer who has worked with celebrities such as Paula Abdul and the Pussycat Dolls, leads hip-hop fitness classes with a club atmosphere at Club Fix Fitness. A live DJ, club lights, and hit music keep bodies moving as they master new moves and sweat away pounds.
Amid dim lighting, candles, and soothing music, Ayama Yoga and Healing Arts creates an atmosphere for healing and personal transformation. You can choose from a variety of yoga styles, including energizing flow classes and gentle therapeutic sessions that employ an assortment of props for support. Along with classes, the studio hosts events such as workshops and reiki circles. These and other offerings—including acupuncture, emotional release bodywork, and chakra readings—help clients center their energy and improve wellbeing.
Yogi Malva Bee guides students through the flowing movements of Zanshin and Vinyasa yoga in picturesque indoor or outdoor settings. Classes convene at a nearby beach or within the weathered stone walls of a 12th-century Spanish monastery that was imported to the United States with its original rec room still intact. Students stretch to the sound of lapping waves or press their bellies to cool stone floors during 90-minute sessions scheduled throughout the week. Over the course of the five classes, bodies may become more bendable, leaving guests flexible enough to limbo beneath a coffee table in search of the remote. MbeeYoga requires students to bring their own yoga mats to the sessions.