Yoga instructor Hasna Atry maintains a zen-like composure as she leads her students through series of challenging poses. The once competitive swimmer and triathlete didn't attain this serene state easily. At her first yoga class, about 14 years ago, she found nothing but frustration. She would look around the room to see droves of people more fit and limber than she was. Then she asked herself, "Why am I comparing myself to others?" With that simple question, she set forth on an inner journey that she says gradually deepened her connection to the present moment.
Today, Atry leads standup-paddleboard-yoga classes to help clients navigate their own journeys. Of course, clients who just want a workout or who have already beaten the boss in the final asana level are welcome, too. Instructors meet with students at Surf Ballard before venturing into Puget Sound, where classes, generally limited to eight participants, anchor their boards. In addition to stimulating fine stability muscles, the water's constant rippling requires that each yoga pose be executed with precision. "If you place your foot out of alignment, you're going to go swimming," she says. Besides the added presence of mind demanded by the board's wobbliness, the Puget Sound's surroundings also center students in the present moment. Bald eagles and salmon make frequent appearances, and Atry once even had a baby seal try to pull her board away from class. This unique combination of exercise and the outdoors has earned WASUP plentiful local press, including coverage in the Seattle Times. Atry and her team donate a portion of their proceeds to the Noel House and Yoga Behind Bars programs.
Yogalife?s founder Michael Suzerris came to yoga after suffering a life-altering spinal injury in 1978, though he did not learn the practice in a traditional beginner class, like most. To rehabilitate himself, he developed his own routine based on linking and healing the mind and body. Years later, he discovered yoga, and realized that his intuitive, self-prescribed physical therapy that was so instrumental to his well-being was essentially the ancient art practiced by people all over the globe. Twenty-two years after his injury, he opened his yoga studio, leading classes that focus on the meditation and mind-body connection that helped him heal.
Yogalife spans across two studios, each of which accommodate 30 students on their journeys toward physical and mental health. The instructors lead a variety of classes to suit students of all fitness levels, including a four-week intro series for newcomers, and challenging classes for advanced students. Restorative yoga uses a short, gentle asana warm-up to relax and prepare the mind and body to receive the benefits of relieving stress and bringing the mind, body, and spirit into balance.
At Lila Yoga, the seasoned instructors know there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all yoga class. That's why their class schedule encompasses a wide variety of yoga styles, from six-week introductory courses that help beginners build a strong foundation for practice, to advanced classes that might incorporate handstands, headstands, and back bends. Hatha yoga classes focus on alignment and and building strength, while restorative classes are better suited to those working to recover from an injury or those that just want to release tension and quiet their mind. Inspired by world-famous dancer Lotte Berk, intermediate YogaBarre classes fuse yoga, barre work, and non-impact cardio into a cardiovascular program that helps improve posture, sculpt bodies, and lengthen and strengthen muscles. And, aside from yoga, the studio also offers on-site bodywork treatments to help alleviate the aches that often come with giving birth to new muscles.
When visitors open the door to Live Love Flow + Flow Cycle Seattle, they're greeted by the sounds of whirring wheels and pumping pedals that wouldn't be out of place on the French countryside's winding road courses. The exercisers here run through the same muscle-defining, heart-pumping motions that power the most famous European races from the comfort of their indoor cycling studio at the heart of the U District. There, Flow Cycle classes burn calories and stabilize keen and hip joints, helping cyclists stay as flexible as Gumby after his nightly bubble bath. Each session is led by one of the studio's stable of instructors, which includes current and former road racers in its ranks.
The certified instructors at Bikram Yoga Seattle lead students through a tapestry of restorative postures within heated studios that help loosen limbs, increase circulation, and incite detoxifying sweats. During each session, they'll explain and demonstrate the physical and potentially spiritual nuances of each of the 26 poses.
The brand new studio, which just had its grand opening two weeks ago, boasts antifungal and antimicrobial smooth-surface flooring that helps cultivate a clean and hygienic atmosphere in which to practice. The materials are 100% recyclable and made by Mondo, the same company that supplied the flooring for the 2012 London Olympics.
From a six-month journey across the Indian subcontinent to graduating as one of the first yogis ever to be certified by Baptiste yoga creator, Baron Baptiste, there?s seldom been a dull moment in Lisa Black?s 12-year history with yoga. She even invented her own style of yogic practice called SHAKTI Vinyasa yoga in 2003. With the help of a fleet of instructors that she personally certified, she brings her wealth of experience to each class she teaches through SHAKTI Vinyasa Yoga?s studio locations.
All locations provide a venue for renowned yogis to visit and hold workshops while passing or levitating through town. The brightly lit, hardwood-floored rooms have hosted such experts as Baron Baptiste, Shiva Rea, and Ana Forrest.