Inside a heated studio mere blocks from the beach, Pacifica Yoga welcomes guests of all backgrounds to brave the heat of its Bikram and hot yoga flow classes that meet seven days a week. Its certified teachers run through Bikram yoga's 26 postures and two breathing exercises during morning and evening sessions, which emphasize personal growth over fast-paced posing. The team cultivates a silent studio atmosphere to lend students the opportunity to reflect inwardly, as well as to reenact old Fritz Lang movies where workers take over yoga factories.
In addition to espousing inner peace, the staffers at Pacifica Yoga also commit to sustaining the environment. They polish surfaces with Biokleen products and shine up mirrors and windows with an earth-friendly water-and-vinegar solution.
Ocean Yoga sprang from organic beginnings. Devastated when the community's lone yoga studio shuttered, Ron Kino and Alison Sanders gathered their yoga friends for a discussion of where they'd plant their mats next. Hopes were shared and plans were made, and a mere month later, the group was busy installing the bamboo floors and walls that form the base of Ocean Yoga. Today, the studio serves the community that built it with classes in a variety of yoga types, while also serving as a home for belly dance and Pilates practitioners. Hands-on workshops cover topics such as meditation, mandala creation, and whittling yoga pants out of sustainable wood. In addition, Ocean Yoga is bodywork destination, with massage, Reiki, Bowen, and acupuncture lending comfort to ambitious muscles.
The instructors at Bikram Yoga Seacliff embody a commitment to wellness through the method's 26 postures. Demonstrating their dedication, the CPR-certified teachers must undergo recertification every three years, ensuring that they can lead classes in the studio's 105-degree heat.
Their 90-minute sessions bend and stretch through Bikram's poses in a progressive order, a sequence that both warms and limbers up the body's connective tissues. As the steamy temperatures flush out toxins through sweat, newly oxygenated blood refreshes every part of the physique. The staff encourages guests to cultivate a deep understanding of technique rather than a drive to quickly perfect it, reassuring them that "there is no standard of comparison except yourself."
Having first encountered yoga in 1990, Robin Duffy quickly fell in love––a love that culminated in her founding Being Yoga eight years later. Certified to teach both Bikram and Kriya styles, she works alongside instructors, who also teach Yin yoga and meditation classes. These yogis pass on traditions that stretch back for millennia inside their peaceful studio, marked by stenciled drawings of bamboo branches. The facility features locker rooms, a bamboo floor, and a boutique stocked with yoga equipment by Gaiam and Prana. To keep her karma levels on the jubilant end of the spectrum, Robin also aligns her studio with the Green Yoga Association, which encourages eco-friendly practices such as avoiding plastic water bottles and saluting ladybugs.
Where as many people prefer to chat with others during lunchtime, patrons of Yoga at Change look forward to quieting their minds. These 30-minute meditation sessions occur three times a week, and like the rest of the non-profit's curriculum, strive to inject some introspection into otherwise bustling days. Though "yoga" is in the studio's title, meditation figures heavily in many of its class and workshop offerings?Slow Flow yoga mixes it with Hatha poses, and Integral lessons combine chanting, meditation, and restful movements. Mothers can also channel meditative energy during Mom Baby Yoga and Yoga with Babysitting, specialty classes that allow them to engage in relaxing postures and meditation while staying connected to their little ones, who spend the sessions stretching out with their parent, sleeping, or playing.
The holistic philosophy of Yoga at Change is that all people have the right to spiritual insight, a healthy body, and a peaceful mind. The instructors strive to accomplish this through a blend of self-reflection, breath, and physical balance. The staff believes that there are several roads to wellness, and that all of them should be accessible, regardless of the client's skill level. They schedule several discounted or free demonstrations, and also offer a scholarship program to fund yoga practice for those in need of financial aid. Students attend classes based on their desired intensity?gentle, moderate, or vigorous. They can also register for workshops that address a slew of alternative health topics, which in the past have included treating lower back pain.
Juicy Liberty Sanchez and Steve23 traveled separate, yet intertwining paths before becoming partners in life and in yoga. Juicy was hooked on Bikram yoga after her first class in 2001, during which she fell down many times, but continued to rise to the challenge, both literally and figuratively. As time went on, she grew more interested in yoga than in her erstwhile law career. In 2005, Juicy asked Steve23?making ends meet as an artist?if he wanted to attend a Bikram teacher training with her. It was then they discovered that they had almost met on several occasions in years past. The rest, as they say, is history: the duo became the owners of Bikram Yoga in the Mission in 2006 and was married the following year in Honolulu at another Bikram teacher training. The bright turquoise and orange studio is a vibrant, funky homage to their Latino heritage and Indian culture, complete with murals and artwork painted by the teachers and students.
They and their team of certified Spanish-speaking instructors help perpetuate a yoga method developed by Bikram Choudhury. The sequence of 26 postures, performed in a heated studio, works to stimulate and strengthen every nook and cranny of the human frame. The hot surroundings are designed to loosen muscles, promote flexibility, and add authenticity to karaoke versions of "Hot Blooded." Within the 1,500-square-foot yoga room, up to 70 students become more limber beneath an electric-blue ceiling painted with white swirls that resemble clouds.