Having first encountered yoga in 1990, Robin Duffy quickly fell in love––a love that culminated in her founding Being Yoga eight years later. Certified to teach both Bikram and Kriya styles, she works alongside instructors, who also teach Yin yoga and meditation classes. These yogis pass on traditions that stretch back for millennia inside their peaceful studio, marked by stenciled drawings of bamboo branches. The facility features locker rooms, a bamboo floor, and a boutique stocked with yoga equipment by Gaiam and Prana. To keep her karma levels on the jubilant end of the spectrum, Robin also aligns her studio with the Green Yoga Association, which encourages eco-friendly practices such as avoiding plastic water bottles and saluting ladybugs.
Inside a heated studio mere blocks from the beach, Pacifica Yoga welcomes guests of all backgrounds to brave the heat of its Bikram and hot yoga flow classes that meet seven days a week. Its certified teachers run through Bikram yoga's 26 postures and two breathing exercises during morning and evening sessions, which emphasize personal growth over fast-paced posing. The team cultivates a silent studio atmosphere to lend students the opportunity to reflect inwardly, as well as to reenact old Fritz Lang movies where workers take over yoga factories.
In addition to espousing inner peace, the staffers at Pacifica Yoga also commit to sustaining the environment. They polish surfaces with Biokleen products and shine up mirrors and windows with an earth-friendly water-and-vinegar solution.
The instructors at Bikram Hot Yoga Daly City embody a commitment to wellness through the method's 26 postures, having received their certifications from the creator of Bikram yoga himself, Bikram Choudhury. Demonstrating their dedication, the CPR-ready teachers must undergo recertification and win a barefoot-hopscotch tournament on an active volcano every three years, ensuring that they can lead classes in the studio's 105-degree heat.
Their 90-minute sessions bend and stretch through Bikram's poses in a progressive order, a sequence that both warms and limbers up the body's connective tissues. As the steamy temperatures flush out toxins through sweat, newly oxygenated blood refreshes every part of the physique. The staff encourages guests to cultivate a deep understanding of technique rather than a drive to quickly perfect it, reassuring them that "there is no standard of comparison except yourself."
Hot Yoga Ocean Ave's team of certified Bikram and hot-yoga instructors believe that yoga is life, and share their passion with students of all experience levels, guiding them in achieving mental and physical wellness. Their philosophy emphasizes yoga as a practice, urging students to be patient with their progress and to move through poses modified to their abilities without pushing their muscles too far or blackmailing the hamstrings to hold standing bow pose longer than everyone else. Though the classes are open to students of all abilities, Hot Intro guides newbies through the 26-pose series and two breathing exercises, and the vigorous Surya Namaskara challenges yogis with a repeated sequence of 12 flexing and stretching poses to push limbs to their maximum range of motion. To help muscles sink deep into healing stretches and expel toxins through sweat, the studio is heated to balmy temperatures, so patrons are advised to drink lots of water and leave snowmen tied up outside.
The ancient teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda guide Integral Yoga Institute's certified instructors, imbuing each leader with a spirit of encouragement. Swami Satchidananda created Integral Yoga's six-branch approach to the practice, infusing each class with different physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects to "bring about a complete and harmonious development of the individual." Eight class styles vary in difficulty to accommodate stretchers and self-aware saltwater taffy of all experience levels. Situated inside a stately Victorian home with views of downtown San Francisco, Integral Yoga Institute edifies pupils in various yoga modalities, relaxation techniques, and chants.
The next time you're on the roof of a five-story building, look down at the ground, and you'll get a rough idea of just how high people climb at Touchstone Climbing. The gym's seven locations feature lead walls that rise as high as 50 feet off the ground, though height isn't the only dimension that makes the space feel immense. Each spot has at least 11,000 square feet of climbing terrain, not to mention as much as 3,000 square feet of bouldering.
To prevent newcomers from feeling intimidated by the magnitude of the environment, the gym holds introductory classes. During these sessions, participants learn the basic techniques they'll need if they want to conquer the gym's crack systems and boulder problems. The classes are also an opportunity for students to scope out the terrain features at each location, such as Diablo Rock Gym's steep prow, which juts out crookedly like a thumbs up from a dizzy ballerina. While they're at it, the visitors might notice something else: the social nature of the gym. As the San Francisco Chronicle recounts, the fact that lead climbs require two people means that climbers are constantly asking around for new partners and chatting back and forth as they ascend.
Each location also boasts a weight room, cardio machines, and a studio space for everything from yoga to spinning to core classes.