The instructors at Mosaic Yoga know firsthand that every yoga practitioner's journey is unique. Melissa Love, for instance, found yoga as a way to overcome depression after being diagnosed with cancer. Her husband Ryan Glidden, on the other hand, took his first class to impress Melissa.
Now, the pair heads Mosaic's team as they lead students of all backgrounds and skill levels through classes held daily. Heated and non-heated classes range from slow-moving courses designed for first-timers to more intensive, candlelit sessions that combine yoga with reiki and crystal healing. In addition to reaping yoga's benefits ? from weight loss to increased strength ? during classes, visitors can attend workshops or one of Mosaic's retreats, which head to exotic locales such as Hawaii as opposed to an old cabin with "Fiji" painted on it.
Equilibrium is important in yoga, which relies on both mental and physical exercise. The instructors help balance strength and finesse, aided by the fact that they come from such varied backgrounds. The diverse group discovered yoga after playing traditional team sports, travelling in India, and practicing medicine. They recognize that no matter how often someone might meditate or practice postures in candlelight, which clients can do in hatha yoga or candlelit flow classes, occasionally, that same person wants to punch something. In that case, the studio’s kickboxing classes, which combine authentic fighting techniques with body-weight exercises and stretching, are an ideal option.
When the founders first envisioned what would become the Hale Holistic fitness studio, they already had balance on the brain and hoped to integrate agricultural self-sufficiency. To do this, they created an urban rooftop garden in the middle of the city, where they harvest organic veggies to create antioxidant-packed smoothies or make travelling cornucopia salesmen feel better about their job. Any produce that’s not straight from their rooftop, they’ve sourced from local, sustainable farmers. Because they’re so confident in the power of smoothies to improve health and pair with yoga, they give one to every client who attends a class.
If you’ve ever seen a woman balancing in a yogic headstand at an unlikely location—in front of a local flower stand or at a bus stop—it may have been Kai, the namesake of Kai Yoga. Wherever she may be, Kai finds her happy place when she practices Ashtanga yoga. At her studio, she and her team of instructors guide groups through poses that strengthen and focus the body and the mind. They also help students bridge the gap between physical and spiritual wellness during personal-training sessions.
A newly opened private fitness center in downtown San Diego, Urban Athletica is wholly dedicated to functional movement. In other words, you won’t find free weights here, nor treadmills or other cardio machines. Instead, clients use their own body weight as resistance, as well as props such as sandbag weights, jumping boxes, tires, resistance bands, and Core Stix (a ski-pole-like equipment designed to work the arms, core, and legs). Members can take personal training sessions with certified master trainer and Urban Athletic owner Nicholas Marion, or work up a sweat in the studio’s intense small group classes.
Pura vida roughly translates to ?full of life?, something Xenia Guido, founder of Pura Vida Yoga, aims to create for her students in her studio. Rooted in the flow-based vinyasa style of yoga, classes blend physical, mental, and spiritual pursuits, building flexibility, breath-work to stay the mind, and peaceful centeredness. The series of alignment-based movements can inspire deep concentration and self-awareness, but they also provide a vigorous workout.
Xenia also founded Pura Vida on the principle of community. She encourages students to talk to each other and designed her classes to be as inclusive as possible. Whether novice or advanced yogi, students can attend most sessions since they can be scaled to fit any experience level. New students who feel more comfortable with other beginners also have the option of taking level 1 classes to learn basic poses and how to swaddle a newborn yoga mat.
The heated studio itself also feels ?full of life? as if it sprung fully formed from the soil thanks to Xenia?s eco-conscious mindset. The floor uses natural cork to cushion feet and prevent jolts to the joints during vigorous sets. Cork blocks and yoga mats made from natural materials are also available in the boutique.
In 1997, Amy Caldwell discovered yoga. As she backpacked through Asia, Australia, and parts of Europe, she stopped to train with yogis she met along the way, exploring the styles of Vinyasa flow, Sivananda, Iyengar, and Ashtanga. As she learned, she blended these styles into her own dynamic flow. Since this nomadic journey, Amy's rapidly developing skills have earned her a spot on two Yoga Journal covers. Today, as owners of Yoga One studio, she and her husband Michael incorporate their own unique yoga and meditation styles into their teachings.
The flexible duo leads a team of experienced instructors, who foster a positive, non-competitive environment and also specialized in different styles of yoga, such as sunrise flow, Vinyasa flow, and gentle flow. Inside the main studio, where natural light from skylights casts a glow onto hardwood floors and saffron curtains, instructors lead groups through classes that cover optimal alignment, breath, and present-moment awareness. They also guide students outside the studio to stretch and align on a sunny rooftop in Little Italy. Inside softly lit massage rooms, therapists help visitors release tension from aching muscles.