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.
The Little Yoga Studio is an intimate studio that aims to help its students achieve and maintain physical, mental, and emotional health through yoga. The certified instructors are passionate about yoga and want to share their belief that yoga can transform lives. Walking in, clients feel as if they’ve entered a sacred space—big windows let the sun stream in on honey-colored wood floors and wall paneling, and calming Buddha shrines add to the feeling of openness and serenity. Students can unwind in a Yoga for Deep Rest class, an alignment-focused class that works with breath, or get an intense workout in the challenging Power Vinyasa class, where emphasis on creative, gymnastic vinyasas build lean muscles and increase flexibility.
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.
At Namaste Pacific Yoga, seasoned instructors dissolve stress and its symptoms with a relaxing blend of stretches, exhalations, and meditation. The studio specializes in Ashtanga Vinyasa instruction, which weaves ancient poses and deep breaths into a flowing sequence that cultivates strength, flexibility, and stress relief. Some routines also feature focusing exercises, which clear the mind of panic-inducing thoughts, such as a giraffe nabbing your diary from your second-story window. In addition to sharing personalized tips during group classes, teachers lead one-on-one yoga sessions to customize students' practices as they perfect their technique and alignment. After class, students may steam away any lingering tension in the studio's showers.
In addition to bolstering bodies with holistic exercise, studio owner Chris van der Merwe fortifies them with a stockade of vitamins, probiotics, and other nutritional supplements. His nutrition boot camps teach attendees how to boost energy by eating healthy meals that eschew pizza-wrapped candy bars stuffed with pizza-wrapped candy bars.
Owner Jodi Ketchum has spent a decade helping clients unwind with Tuina bodywork and therapeutic massage. At Lotus's Los Angeles location, she exclusively practices Tuina, an ancient form of Chinese massage that has helped restore wellness reportedly since 2300 BCE. At her San Diego location, Ketchum joins with other wellness and Oriental medicine practitioners to guide guests through yoga classes, Tuina bodywork, massage, and acupuncture. Both locations are airy and bright, a concept that runs throughout the facilities and is evoked by plants, large windows, and light hardwood floors. Customers can schedule appointments online or, after studying yoga at the center, shape their bodies into letters that spell out appointment requests.
Despite its name, Pilates 4 Women Only is a multidisciplinary women’s fitness studio. While they do host Pilates classes, which build core strength and flexibility, they also teach their clientele the basics of TRX suspension training, yoga, and kettlebell lifting. Their instructors have especially savvy tips for safe prenatal workouts, and postdelivery workouts that burn baby weight.