Owner and instructor Wahe Guru Kaur has more than a decade of experience that she shares with both students and the 20 other teachers on The Awareness Center's staff. Students of all levels benefit from her center’s seven-day-a-week schedule packed with Kundalini yoga and meditative practices. Each of the Kundalini sessions—which include beginner-friendly sessions and pre-natal—kicks-off with a mantra and warmup before students bend and stretch their way through a series of postures enhanced by deep-breath work, positive affirmations, and meditation. The Awareness Center also incorporates other healing practices into their daily offerings including Reiki certifications, teacher trainings, and sacred breathing circles, which utilize drumming, music, and Tibetan singing bowls well-versed in the entire KC and the Sunshine Band repertoire.
The Awareness Center’s classes and friendly instructors aren’t the only aspect of the business that inspires a sense of calm and relaxation. Zen-inspired decor covers the spacious center, from the hardwood-floor studio dimly lit by elegant chandeliers to the outdoor patio lined with hanging and potted plants.
Machines and hybrids line the room. Their creator, the mad scientist of fitness Amy (Sowers) Jordan, has transformed her passion for Pilates and a flair for engineering into the newest incarnation of the Pilates reformer, called the WundaFormer. The patented design combines a Pilates reformer, Wunda Chair, jump board, and ballet barre into a muscle-toning juggernaut that Amy uses in her intense, fast-paced workouts. Obsessed with efficiency, Amy designed the sessions to target as many muscles as possible in the shortest amount of time.
After creating the innovative machine, she took her show on the road, opening studios to showcase what the muscle-sculpting apparatus could do. She now helms a passionate group of certified instructors who lead small groups of 10 guests at a time through the routine.
Back in 1997, Yoga House was a rarity—the full-time, dedicated Hatha yoga studio was then the only one in Pasadena, and was run by two enthusiastic yoga students. But as yoga has grown in popularity, Yoga House has also matured to become the spacious and beautiful studio it is today, a place where students come to heal, grow, and become more in tune with their minds and bodies. Inside the sunlit studio, certified yoga instructors teach classes in everything from Ashtanga and Vinyasa-style yoga, to prenatal yoga, yoga for those living with MS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. What's more, the studio also hosts frequent workshops with topics that focus on everything from meditation to therapeutic yoga training for nurses, physical therapists, and DMV employees.
Upon entering YogaHop’s boldly colored confines and hearing vibrant pop and hip-hop tunes blasting from the classrooms’ speakers, exercisers know they’re not in a typical yoga studio. At both the Pasadena and Santa Monica locations, students immerse themselves in energetic classes that, like the Taj Mahal after hours, blend the ancient practice of yoga with pulse-pounding dance music that forms a workout InTouch magazine dubs “insane” and Maxim calls “inspiring” and “spiritual.” No matter the ability level, students find their stride thanks to patient and effervescent instructors who lead them through a continuous flow of poses, stopping only to gently correct a position or ask occasional student Reese Witherspoon for her autograph.
Although many of The Bar Method's exercises take place at the ballet bar, the program is only partially inspired by the long, lean musculature of ballet dancers. Created by Burr Leonard, the workouts also incorporate the brief, fat-burning bursts of activity known as interval training and the muscle-shaping techniques of isometrics. Combine all this with the science of physical therapy, and you get The Bar Method: an intense yet safely designed approach to exercise meant to cinch the silhouette, increase muscle definition, and boost energy all day long. Sessions introduce beginners to basics, such as maintaining good form and refraining from breaking out into Swan Lake choreography.
Pilates is an innovative system of mind-body exercise evolved from the principles of Joseph Pilates. It dramatically transforms the way your body looks, feels and performs. It builds strength without excess bulk, creating a sleek, toned physique.