When Ruthann Zentner began studying yoga, she soon realized that its focused breathing, emphasis on enhancing flexibility, and core-strengthening poses could help people of any age achieve mental and physical wellness. Throughout her yoga journey, she spent time working with Shakta Khalsa, a renowned children's yoga instructor, which inspired her to educate children through engaging stories and kid-friendly yoga classes as a certified yoga storyteller. Within the teal-green walls and dark wood floors of the studio, kids limber up while having fun during yoga-centered games, working off the stresses of filing lemonade-stand taxes. Adult students learn the basics in beginner-level yoga classes, or strengthen their cores and improve their balance in PiYo, which merges elements of Pilates and yoga into high-intensity routines. For her older students and those unable to do floor work, she partners poses with four-legged props in chair yoga.
Ruthann also trained under Sadie Nardini, an empowerment speaker, yoga and anatomy expert, and Healthy Hedonism lifestyle leader, and received training in ZenBarre, which combines strength, flexibility and cardio. At Zen Zone, she strives to share the latest trends and practices in yoga and Pilates with her students.
Leah Morgan, Core Balance Yoga Center’s founder and director, helms a troop of certified instructors who each pull on their unique interests and experiences to lead a variety of yoga classes. Clara Vaughn channels her personal desire for introversion and mimicking pink lawn flamingos to lead the gentle yoga and meditation classes and Anita Bailey draws on her experience as a mother of four to lead classes infused with a playful energy. With the intention of creating a community of yogis, they lead a wide spectrum of classes.
While their toes dig into the glossy bamboo floors, students stretch their arms to the ceiling, feeling the hot air curl around their fingertips as their muscles relax into the posture. As light streams in from the windows, an instructor leads the students through one of many classes held at Radiant Yoga, which are designed to suit all fitness levels. Newcomers starting in Yoga Basics get a feel for the proper alignment and foundational asanas before graduating to the titular Radiant Hot Yoga, which covers core- and strength-building moves in a studio heated to 90–95 degrees. Yoga therapy also helps those with musculoskeletal imbalances or painful childhood memories of playing a perfectly still tree in a school play.
Mark Blanchard's Power Yoga has developed a loyal base of students who are known to the staff by name, even without name tags or name tattoos. The motivating instructors teach a form of Vinyasa yoga, a style defined by flowing, powerful movements in combination with strategic breathing patterns and techniques. Power yoga beefs up the traditional by increasing the athleticism like a post-spinach Popeye. Sessions stretch muscles and relax the mind, while providing an excellent fat-burning cardio workout—preparing participants mentally and physically for the rise of cloned dinosaurs. With an unlimited class pass, you will be able to sweat, stretch, and strengthen to your limbs' content for one entire month. Students of all skill levels are welcome to join the classes, which are conveniently scheduled at multiple times throughout each day.
Yoga students who practice at Bikram Yoga South Kansas City experience a discipline that is as closely related to founder Bikram Choudhury's as possible, as each class is taught by an instructor who studied directly under the yogi and returns to study with him every three years. With that wealth of knowledge, each teacher approaches classes with a deeper understanding of the physiological and mental benefits of practicing yoga in a heated environment. As the studio's heat increases heart rates, practitioners benefit from an added cardiovascular element during their core strengthening and joint stretching, which also helps the body eliminate toxins through sweating. During classes, instructors also encourage students to look inward while forming each pose. By focusing on the internal state of the body, practitioners become more cognizant of the external influences that affect their well-being, such as negativity and the pieces of sky that have started falling.
Barbara Anderson is an expert in many forms of exercise, but she only has one goal. In her own words, that goal is to "teach you to move better." What does it mean to move better? For Barbara and her students, it means moving with ease and without pain, and in a way that both reflects and results in good health. Teaching since 1975, Barbara has long honed her instructional technique, and continues to shore up her skills as new workout styles and schools of thought emerge.
She's assembled a team of talented teachers at Body and Soul of Kansas City, where the team offers classes in yoga, Feldenkrais, and Pilates. Curricula also include gentle exercise options. The Feldenkrais Method, for example, uses slow repetition to instill awareness of one's body, while a class called NIA offers low-impact cardio dance. Yoga classes, meanwhile, include three different levels in addition to a pre- and post-natal option.