Armed with equal parts passion, dedication to the practice, and wisdom gained through teaching certifications, Blissful Yoga Studio's instructors help students achieve lithe, flexible bodies with classes catering to all activity levels. Introductory classes help beginners pay special attention to their alignment and breathing, and hot Vinyasa-flow classes challenge the mind as well as the muscles with a continuous series of empowering postures performed in a room that's heated up to 97 degrees. Instructors also incorporate the studio's specially outfitted wall, using its system of straps to sink students into deeper supported postures during yoga wall stretch sessions, which help them better impersonate the lowercase letter q. In addition to classes, the studio hosts workshops for seniors and those recovering from injuries that cover the basics of the yoga sutras.
The instructors lead students through Bikram yoga's 26 challenging poses and two breathing exercises in a heated room, which helps purge the body of toxins and allows limbs to sink deeply into stretches. Within a studio heated to more than 100 degrees, students flow through poses that strengthen and stretch muscles, ligaments, and joints. Each posture is designed to work muscle groups needed for the next pose, building a series of interconnected movements. By temporarily decreasing blood flow to specific areas of the body, the poses send in a rush of freshly oxygenated blood to joints, organs, and limbs when yogis unfold from folds and twists, unblocking the tiny traffic jams of hemoglobin. Most yoga classes are 90 minutes long, and most studios offer flexible early morning and evening classes. Visit the individual studios' websites to see their schedules.
Named after the Sanskrit word for “community,” Sangha Yoga stays true to its title by bringing together yogis of all levels in peaceful classes six days a week. The studio’s curriculum incorporates both extremely gentle sessions and such intense rounds as the "rock my body, soothe my soul" class, which keeps sweat glands' hands full with challenging poses that strengthen the frame without overworking internal systems.
All certified at the 200 or 500 hour level, Hot Yoga Ahwatukee's band of seasoned instructors keeps their heated yoga studio ready to help bodies of all shapes and sizes begin the journey toward yoga’s healing qualities. Soft colors, the dim glow of lantern-like light fixtures, and a hypoallergenic vinyl floor conjure cool, calming notions that contrast to the room's intense weather—101 degrees with a balmy 40%–50% humidity. While the temperature may seem overwhelming, it stays lower than a standard Bikram class, giving students a reprieve while still helping muscles sink safely into varied posture sequences. Post-class, students may also wash away their hard-earned sweat in the studio’s shower and locker rooms.
Sutra Midtown Yoga’s warehouse-style space has a hip, industrial vibe, outfitted with wood floors, brick walls and an open rafter ceiling. Classes are designed for contemporary tastes, too, such as Basic Flow yoga, Skullpt Pilates and Core Flow, which is a combination of yoga with Pilates core work. Owners Rebecca and Matthew Fritz also specialize in sutra mum prenatal classes, which are perfect for a mom-to-be. Given the comfortable digs, it’s not hard to extend a workout stay, and customers can kick back in the Living Room Lounge with its couches and local art displays. The Chop Shop Cafe is another nice touch, offering locally-roasted coffees and espresso drinks, organic iced and hot teas, fresh pressed juices and smoothies and bakery snacks.
The world is full of classic sequences such as washer then dryer, joke then laughter, and cheesecake then haircut. For $40, today’s Groupon adds another twosome to that list with a drop-in yoga session ($12 value) and a one-hour, therapeutic massage ($75 value) at the appropriately named Desert Song Yoga and Massage Center, a Phoenix yoga shoppe and massagery that's got 25 years of experience under its belt made out of old tires.