"Our bodies and minds are closely interconnected. Our state of mind is expressed in physical phenomena, and, conversely, physical phenomena reflect our state of mind," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee, "Nothing is impossible. Keep working on it until it's possible. There is no failure, just the gradual process of success." To make this challenging, yet hopeful philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30?40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation?including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cool-down exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance. Dahn Yoga is also taught at independently owned and operated franchises called Body & Brain Yoga.
At East Meets West Yoga Center, a group of trained yoga teachers guide both adults and kids on a path toward personal self-discovery. Working under the philosophy that all individuals are unique and yoga is not a one-size fits all activity, teachers aim to honor their students? differences and cater classes to their needs. Sessions draw on Hatha, Vinyasa, and Kundalini techniques and the schedule includes specialized sessions for seniors, moms-to-be, and children.
At Hot Yoga Bikram Tysons, instructors foster a noncompetitive environment where students can pursue their own yogic goals in either a 2,000- or a 600-square-foot practice space heated up to 105 degrees with 40% humidity. A sanitizing system continuously refreshes the air while students follow their instructors through two breathing exercises and 26 standing, seated, and reclining poses, which methodically stretch and strengthen muscle groups across the entire body. As the students sink into each pose, the instructors walk about the room, gently correcting postures by offering hands-on adjustments, verbal guidance, or Pictionary interpretations of each pose. Although the studio's Flotex antibacterial flooring helps to keep attendees microbe-free during class, onsite shower facilities allow guests to rinse off any sweaty chakras afterward.
In a newly renovated fitness center with polished hardwood floors and expansive windows, the exercise experts at Dancing Mind welcome students of all ages and fitness levels as they combine physical practice with meditation to strengthen bodies and minds. Here, students have more than 100 weekly classes to choose from, including empowering yoga, sweat-kindling cycling classes, and body-sculpting CrossFit sessions. Yoga classes practice inside a studio equipped with special athletic flooring and heated up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, which helps detoxify the body and keep sinews limber for safer stretching. Students of every age, background, and experience levels are sure to find a yoga class to suit them: from Power Yoga, to the cardio- and weight-infused yoga of PowerSculpt, to the deep stretching and meditation of Yin Yoga, to Little Pretzels, a yoga class designed for young children. While instructors lead inspiring classes, assistants offer supportive adjustments to help students gain a better understanding of their bodies and poses.
Meanwhile, CrossFit classes gather in their own dedicated gym to challenge one another to the practice's high-intensity, functional movements?each one universally scalable to any fitness level or ability?in order to build strong, chiseled bodies. Cycling instructors get students' hearts pumping in the center's fully equipped studio for 45-, 60-, and 75-minute classes filled with invigorating music and carefully choreographed workouts. After class, guests can cool down in brand new showers and locker rooms, or lounge with new friends by the fireplace.
While many yoga studios claim to nurture minds as well as bodies, few have a library to back it up. Bikram Yoga Falls Church's staff indeed stand by their holistic approach to health by lending out books from a growing library as well as offering 39 classes a week. The team of certified instructors take the Bikram hot-yoga approach for these classes, which emphasize proper alignment and stillness throughout a vigorous, fixed series of 26 postures cycled through twice over the course of 90 minutes. Instructors help students stretch a wide range of muscles while increasing strength and encouraging determination and self-control with complex stretches and balances. Their yoga studios are heated to 105 degrees to deepen each stretch and detoxify the body. Instead of exercising with you or wearing masks and exercising as you, the staff circle the room, helpfully providing corrections on proper alignment and motivational words.
To teach the Bikram yoga method, each aspiring instructor must endure nine weeks of intensive training program, along with 500 hours of practice. For Bikram Yoga Reston's instructors, the training was just another milestone on their quests for wellness. Designed to be as practical as it is aesthetically pleasing, the airy practice space is outfitted with cushioned flooring that is covered in an antimicrobial woodgrain sheet, and mirrors span the walls to help students identify which of their fellow cobras are actually basilisks. A cleaning crew wipes down the studio and shower facilities daily.
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