A licensed chiropractor and experienced martial artist, Dr. John Surie started practicing hot yoga when he met his future wife, Natalie. Charmed by her Australian accent and passion for the practice, he soon became an avid Bikram student himself, and in 2002, the husband-and-wife duo opened their first studio with Natalie helming her own curriculum of Bikram-inspired classes. Today, their hot-yoga empire has expanded to five studios sprinkled across the United States and Australia, each teeming with certified instructors who lead students through nine class styles. Designed to make hot yoga accessible to everyone, classes range from the studio?s signature Ignite series, which introduces newcomers to the foundations of hot yoga, to intense Shape classes that see stretchers melding hot-yoga and Pilates moves while solving Pythagorean equations.
Each studio comes equipped with special flooring tailored to the humid environment of hot yoga, as well as air-circulation and advanced heating systems to keep fresh, hot air blowing.
During Shiva Shanti Yoga School's Vinyasa-style yoga classes, founder and advanced-certified jiva mukti teacher Felise Berman guides students toward inner peace with outward expressions of love, joy, and gratitude. Known as Shivadasi to her pupils, she draws upon studies at India's Bihar Yoga Bharati Institute for Advanced Studies to fill multilevel routines with ancient poses and meditation exercises. Most sessions begin with Shivadasi's signature sun salutation, which unites 24 asanas that warm the muscles and focus the brain. As the class progresses, deep breaths weave movements into a graceful flow. In addition to hosting Vinyasa classes, Shivadasi and her teaching team lead yoga nidra sessions, which relax the body as the mind explores lucid dreams.
At Movement Journeys, the experienced staff teach a wide variety of classes, including belly dance, Pilates, and Ashtanga yoga. The outfit balances out its workout fare with jazz, Zumba, and ballroom-dance classes designed to help students stimulate their creativity and move in different ways. They offer most classes in levels that range from beginner to virtuoso and age groups that range from 13 years of age to seniors, ensuring every student learns at a comfortable pace.