Before heeding the call to a life as a certified yoga instructor, Diana Roehl helped companies to cultivate corporate talent as a human-resources specialist. Now she helps individuals to discover the strengths that lie within. Roehl steers students toward these revelations with Hatha yoga, whose deep breaths and focused poses center the mind as they fortify the muscles. Natural light and calming blue walls envelop group classes at her studio, casting a soothing glow on shiny wooden floorboards where students practice shoulder stands and bridges. Roehl also brings her yoga teachings to local offices, showing employees how to dislodge stress and impossibly jammed printer paper with graceful movements and powerful exhalations. Between classes, she leads Thai bodywork sessions, which combine acupressure and ayurvedic medicine through assisted yoga poses.
While many workouts involve a coach barking “Faster!” at you, Super Yoga Palace’s supportive instructors encourage their students to work at their own pace. In the studio, constructed from environmentally friendly materials, students link breathing with poses in classes tailored to multiple experience levels. The Super Flow class strengthens frames with a blend of Vinyasa flow and posture-enhancing exercises more effective than sleeping in a straight-backed chair. Students can also opt for introductory classes that emphasize yoga basics, or sessions focused on sun salutations and other deep stretches. At the studio’s monthly community events, yoga enthusiasts mingle during group workouts with live music from local and touring bands.
Chrystal Rae and Andres Illera became best friends practicing yoga together, so it's no surprise that love is a fundamental tenet of Gaia Flow Yoga, their shared studio and registered yoga school. When describing the tenets of love-based yoga, Chrystal says that the practice hinges on the opening of the heart, which allows the spirituality of ancient yogic practices to blend with modern Western mindsets. So far, Chrystal and Andres have coaxed open the cardiovascular doors of more than 100 yoga teachers through their school, reaching exponentially more students and students’ imaginary friends along the way. With 29 active instructors and two locations, they teach an endless stream of classes that combine the ideas of Hatha, Raja, and Bhakti yoga.
In a toasty 85-degree studio, Padma Yoga's band of passionate yoga instructors lead Vinyasa-based classes designed to accommodate practitioners of all experience levels. The studio’s schedule includes indoor TreeYoga, which lets beginners and intermediate yogis practice poses using a special sling, relaxing the spine and opening the body, making room for the more pleasurable toxins that accompany the weekend. Expectant mothers can warm-up minds and bodies during prenatal yoga classes with poses designed to exercise and relax muscles and babies. Aerial silks classes use suspended silks to help students contort into strengthening shapes, building the muscle coordination, flexibility, and muscle of a titanium balloon animal.
When owner Jen Chitwood entered her first yoga class in 2002, she was amazed by the mental, physical, and emotional exertion she experienced in just a single hour. The positive benefits of yoga, including stress relief and a positive attitude adjustment, spilled into the rest of her life and relationships almost immediately, leading her to eventually realize that yoga was her life’s passion.This realization led her to study and, in time, come to own her own studio. Now, she leads a team of experienced instructors who dedicate their yogic pedagogy to students of any skill level, leading them through Vinyasa-style yoga and guiding them with individualized adjustments. They also hold prenatal yoga classes, private lessons, workshops with national teachers, and teacher trainings for those wanting to dive deeper on the yogic path. Additionally, the studio’s knowledgeable nutritionist works with individuals or groups to help them exercise good decision making and portion control when they’re lounging at home, working at the office, or vacationing at their timeshares in Candy Land.
Uptown Yoga is dedicated to creating a positive change in the world at large. Jen Chitwood cofounded One Love Dallas, a local branch of the charity Off the Mat, Into the World, which inspires conscious, sustainable activism and grassroots social change within communities around the world.