In February of 1999, Rose Malmberg, owner of Bikram Yoga La Cañada, woke up without back pain for the first time in years. The day before, she had taken her first Bikram-yoga class in an effort to alleviate a number of back problems, including the results of a car accident years before. From that day forward, Rose devoted herself to Bikram yoga, and experienced full relief of her painful symptoms. After years of taking classes, she achieved Bikram teacher certification, and eventually bought her own studio to share the practice that had helped her heal. Bikram Yoga La Cañada, set against a mountainous backdrop, draws students into its carpeted confines for 90-minute classes heated to 105 degrees. Bikram postures build on each other in a carefully arranged series to work muscles all over the body in addition to the cardiovascular system, allowing practitioners the lung capacity required to help a centenarian tortoise extinguish his birthday candles.
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, Beyoncé, 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.
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.
Bikram Yoga Pasadena is a certified Bikram studio that offers daily 90-minute routines designed to give the entire body a challenging workout. With a 10-class card (a $125 value), which is valid for two months from the date of redemption, yogis of all skill levels can sweat and stretch through exercises that improve flexibility, increase circulation, and reduce stress. The exercise room is heated to 100 degrees, heating the muscles to minimize the risk of injury while forcing the skin to sweat out all the toxic rain it has absorbed over the years. New students are advised to bring a towel, washcloth, and water, and should procure a mat after the first class (the studio offers $2 mat rentals, or you can purchase your own for $22).
Guided by a mission of embracing every student's quest for personal growth, the team at YogaWorks offers programs for all ages and walks of life. Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, expert instructors build lean muscles with traditional Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flow classes enhanced by inspiring music, ambient candlelight, meditation, and props. Their fitness classes further the body-shaping results of yoga, strengthening core muscles with Pilates, increasing endurance and lean muscles with TRX classes, and building stamina with resistance-based SculptWorks.
Instructors also host exotic yoga retreats, which marry the excitement of travel to far-away locales with the benefits of yoga to bestow students with the confident grace required to approach a foreign yoga mat without startling it. Those in search of further training can access online videos by subscribing to myyogaworks.com, which offers a free, 14-day trial for new users. Students can search for videos by workout duration, skill level, and the targeted area of the body.