Owner and instructor Wahe Guru Kaur has more than a decade of experience that she shares with both students and the 20 other teachers on The Awareness Center's staff. Students of all levels benefit from her center?s seven-day-a-week schedule packed with Kundalini yoga and meditative practices. Each of the Kundalini sessions?which include beginner-friendly sessions and pre-natal?kicks-off with a mantra and warmup before students bend and stretch their way through a series of postures enhanced by deep-breath work, positive affirmations, and meditation. The Awareness Center also incorporates other healing practices into their daily offerings including Reiki certifications, teacher trainings, and sacred breathing circles, which utilize drumming, music, and Tibetan singing bowls well-versed in the entire KC and the Sunshine Band repertoire.
The Awareness Center?s classes and friendly instructors aren?t the only aspect of the business that inspires a sense of calm and relaxation. Zen-inspired decor covers the spacious center, from the hardwood-floor studio dimly lit by elegant chandeliers to the outdoor patio lined with hanging and potted plants.
The staff at Rock It Workouts strive to fight the perception that getting fit has to mean getting stuck in a gym routine and committing to doing the same thing over and over again. So they invited live DJs to spin high-energy music for their classes, then filled the schedule with innovative workouts. The airy white studio pops with graphic black stripes and red mats, keeping eyes invigorated during workouts, as well.
After workouts, exercisers can stop by the juice bar to rejuvenate, update their style at the VIP Beauty salon, or peruse the fashion boutique to find a look that ensures they have the sharpest-dressed scarecrow for the fall season. The studio's Rock It Forward program?cofounded by Laurieann Gibson, a choreographer who has worked with Michael Jackson, Beyonc?, and Lady Gaga, and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Adrienne Maloof?aims to combat childhood obesity with dance programs that bring celebrities in to help get kids excited about healthy living.
When opening back in January 2010, Blue Sol Yoga began it's courses with original instructor and now studio director, Natalie DeRosa. With over 11 years dedicated to her practice, honing her technique and teaching classes herself, Natalie brings experience and positivity to the studio. Now joined by a staff of instructors, she leads students of varying skill levels, abilities, and interests through an eclectic schedule of sessions that, like a treadmill-powered Jeopardy board, exercises minds and bodies. The versatile practice space accommodates a variety of yoga styles, including hot yoga, which takes advantage of magma-filled heating ducts to raise the studio space up to a sweat-inducing 100 degrees. Blue Sol Yoga's mirror-lined practice room also hosts occasional workshops, special events, and chakra cotillions in order to broaden students' yogic horizons.
Back in 1997, Yoga House was a rarity?the full-time, dedicated Hatha yoga studio was then the only one in Pasadena, and was run by two enthusiastic yoga students. But as yoga has grown in popularity, Yoga House has also matured to become the spacious and beautiful studio it is today, a place where students come to heal, grow, and become more in tune with their minds and bodies. Inside the sunlit studio, certified yoga instructors teach classes in everything from Ashtanga and Vinyasa-style yoga, to prenatal yoga, yoga for those living with MS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. What's more, the studio also hosts frequent workshops with topics that focus on everything from meditation to therapeutic yoga training for nurses, physical therapists, and DMV employees.
"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Ilchi Lee, the founder of Dahn Yoga. "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere."
To make this philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of dahn?the Korean word for "life force" or "energy"?with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program designed to unlock inner peace and reverse the lack of focus caused by daily stresses in the office, at home, or when searching for Waldo. This fusion of life force and mind focus forms the basis of the studio's classes and consultations. In every class, warm-up maneuvers awaken muscles to prepare for 30?40-minute sessions of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation, which also include the studio's signature brain-wave vibration technique?a process that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cooldown exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance.
As if reflecting yoga's universality, the teachers at Yoga Darsana come from all over the globe: Germany, Peru, Asia, and the US. Although their yoga journeys have varied, today they each embrace the form known as Iyengar. This philosophy emphasizes individual growth over universal standards, thereby making the practice accessible to people from every background. Students don't have to be ultra flexible or ultra fit to benefit from Iyengar classes; first-time practitioners can gain grounding in the fundamentals of breath control, focus, and relaxation. Even kids as young as five can participate in children's classes, which foster a fun, non-competitive environment that helps sharpen students' focus, helping them succeed in school and during stakeouts to catch Santa Claus.