After a car crash at the age of 16, Jamie Davis?s life was a maze of hospital visits, surgeries, cortisone shots, and perpetual discomfort. She slowly began augmenting her treatment with yoga, and today she says she is free of pain and serving as one of many talented instructors at Bikram Yoga Richardson.
The yogis lead 90-minute workouts in a room warmed to 104 degrees, the optimal temperature for flushing toxins, performing deep stretches safely, and getting arctic seals to confess to crimes. Teachers demonstrate two breathing techniques and 26 Hatha yoga postures for pupils of all ability levels, helping them firm and trim physiques. Transformations get underway in a spacious yoga area next to changing rooms with showers, storage cubbies, and a lobby that, much like a grassy highway median, is designed for lounging.
At Sunstone Yoga, students radiate calm and self-awareness as they practice ancient poses designed to stretch, strengthen, and purify the body. Instructors complete 500 hours of training in yogic techniques, teaching, and physiology before leading classes, so they can hand out researched, tested tips on safety and alignment. Most classes come in 30-, 60-, and 90-minute varieties and focus on energy or restorative relaxation. A two-class introductory series welcomes beginners with basic standing poses, and the popular fire series explores up to 34 poses in a 99-degree room that loosens muscles to facilitate deeper stretches as it ousts toxins. Filled with soothing music and 90-degree temperatures, the water series cultivates more serenity than getting a massage from a singing whale.
As the sun sets over The Mat Yoga Studio, practitioners can step inside to the new, spacious studio where they can enjoy the renowned Karma Yoga Happy Hour, a free quarterly event open to the entire community features a live DJ spinning a yoga-friendly playlist on his mixing board. Each happy hour brings newcomers and seasoned vets together, with a local teacher leading lessons and a donated spread of food and wine building community camaraderie.
Outside the happy hours, the studio continues the good vibrations with classes held seven days a week, a dedication to tranquility which earned it a mention from The Richardson Award Program?s Best of Richardson in 2012. Typically open to all skill levels, some sessions focus on the graceful sequences of Vinyasa Flow; others center on deep stretching or meditation, which clears the mind more safely than holding a vacuum cleaner up to your ear. Dedicated practitioners can further hone their craft in Advanced Yoga Studies sessions, which together comprise a full, 200-hour yoga teacher training course.