In practice rooms with aqua-blue walls and wooden floors, Willow Yoga's passionate instructors guide students toward physical fitness and stress relief. Small groups move through a variety of Hatha yoga classes and yoga Pilates fusion classes. The atmosphere is supportive, and instructors provide modifications of routines so that students can practice within their comfort zones. At the end of each class, a guided relaxation helps participants to find peace and focus.
"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee. "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 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. This focus, shared by Body & Brain Holistic Yoga and The Life Yoga, forms the basis of the studio's classes and consultations. 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. Cooldown exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance.
Following the teachings of Swami Rama, Himalayan Yoga's limber yogis assist all levels of stretchers in adopting a balanced, mindful lifestyle through a variety of soothing classes. Vinyasa-flow and beginning Hatha courses follow a systematic progression of breathing and asanas—or postures—designed to strengthen muscles and align spines, giving bodies the brawny flexibility of a steel-coated rubber band. Himalayan courses impart the wisdom of Swami Rama through breathing techniques and meditation, and gentle beginning courses afford less-strenuous stretching avenues for students suffering from illness, injury, or long-held fears of Mr. Fantastic. In addition to offering individual and family sessions, instructors can adjust asanas for clients with certain physical limitations.
While sheltering students in a safe haven of relaxation, Sanctuary Yoga guides students through a range of yoga styles to foster strength and flexibility. The studio's team of savvy yogis schools stretchers throughout the week with classes designed for all levels of sun saluting. In a stifling, sweat-inducing room, hot yoga participants perform a series of strenuous standing poses, followed by a period focused on keeping the body aligned, the breath steady, and the mind on popsicles.
Owner Dani Petrie and her studio manager, Debbie Lofdahl, helm a staff of seasoned teachers who lead yoga and fitness classes seven days a week. Inside their peaceful, Zen-style studio, spacious wooden floors offer plenty of room for stretching and posing, and a boutique shop brims with yoga clothes and jewelry by Manduka, Beyond Yoga, and Be Present. When they aren't leading their regular classes, instructors facilitate yoga parties and provide the mats, props, water, and music. Teachers also infiltrate the workplace to lead corporate classes that help businesses and their employees stay happy and healthy. In addition to their 200-hour teacher training sessions, Reach Yoga also hosts workshops on topics such as laughter yoga, which turns self-induced chuckles into genuine guffaws by having participants laugh intentionally.