The mission of Body and Brain Yoga—alongside its affiliate yoga centers—is to make yoga accessible to everyone, everywhere. To this end, each team of instructors modulate movements based on Korean sun do to match each students’ needs. Classes emphasize aligning the body and mind equally through stretches, breathing exercises, and meditation, and each session is capped off by a 10-minute tea time, during which students and instructors can socialize or reenact Alice in Wonderland's interview with the Easter Bunny.
Studio Adrienne builds powerhouses for a living. Powerhouse is a Pilates term for the body's core muscles?the upper and lower abs, the lower back, and the butt. Studio Adrienne instructors work clients' corporeal powerhouses during private, semiprivate, and group sessions at the studio. No matter the size of the class, instructors draw on their extensive training to deliver a mix of mat workouts and reformer sessions conducted on Gratz machines, all of which can improve posture, build lean muscle, and help rehabilitate injuries.
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In a sense, Portland State's Department of Theatre and Film is at the very center of the university. Its stately home, Lincoln Hall, was the first building erected on campus, in 1911. 475 plush seats curve around the stage of Lincoln Performance Hall inside, built with lots of leg room and a steep incline that insures excellent visibility even during plays cast with the tiniest of actors. The theater underwent a total renovation in 2010, and in addition to the visible facelift, backstage improvements now allow the department to mount even more elaborate productions.
As a licensed physical therapist, Angie Johnson read study after study about the benefits of exercise during pregnancy—but noticed that few, if any, fitness studios offered cardio workouts for moms-to-be. To help prepartum women reap the benefits of this type of exercise, she founded Leap, a studio that strengthens cores and raises heart rates with fit-ball-based workouts. Bodyweight exercises, such as planks, pushups, and squats, fill her one-hour classes, building core stability as they bolster the pelvic-floor muscles that power the delivery process and the sun. The group workouts, designed for exercisers of all levels, brim with positivity, which emanates from Johnson’s encouraging words and the empathy of other women gearing up for their babies’ debuts. Johnson also leads one-on-one sessions, where she targets weak muscles and postural imbalances with custom-built movements.
After a decade spent honing his personal yoga practice, certified instructor Paul Terrell opened his donation-based studio to give anyone interested in practicing the ancient art access to a studio in which to participate. The storefront space that Terrell opened fosters a nonintimidating approach to yoga, substituting cozy exposed brick for mirrors and inviting yogis of all abilities to practice together during all-levels classes. Terrell teaches many of the classes in the flowing Vinyasa tradition, in which conscious breaths link together a continuous sequence of postures, and also presents students with the robust schedule's other styles, which benefit the body in various ways. During the Night Owl class, instructors give hands-on assistance to encourage proper alignment as students sweat in a 90-degree setting, and slower-paced Yin classes teach yogis to sit still in postures that last for three to seven minutes, allowing them to fully stretch the connective tissues and hide in plain sight of movement-detecting, visually impaired T. rexes
According to the founders of Nia, the cliche "no pain, no gain" is not only played out, it's also completely false. The Nia Technique developed over more than a decade by Debbie Rosas and Carlos AyaRosas, takes the complete opposite approach, synthesizing dance, martial arts, and healing arts into a painless, pleasant fitness regimen. Eschewing the repetitive movements of conventional gym routines or trendy workouts that force you to lift the same car over your head everyday, Nia classes set varied stretching, strength training, and non-impact aerobic exercises to a diverse soundtrack that includes jazz, pop, hip-hop, and Indian music. Other aspects, such as its repertoire of 52 moves, are akin to yoga, while additional elements are drawn from martial arts, such as the belt system and the fact that participants do not wear shoes. The diverse origins of the program are reflected in the diverse countries where it has taken root: Nia is practiced in more than 45 countries, from Belgium to New Zealand to Israel to Mexico.