At Wake Up Yoga, practicing yoga moves far past the physical benefits. And while the physical benefits of yoga are significant?improved flexibility, strength, and endurance, to name a few?here, yoga is also meant to benefit the mind and heart. The studio hosts Vinyasa flow and yin classes, both of which help release anxiety and stress in different ways. Through the movements of yoga, students can take a break from the never-ending to-do list in their brains and instead focus on the breath and body.
Located downtown on Sansom Street, Bikram Yoga of Philadelphia is a classic Bikram yoga school, meaning that it teaches the traditional hatha yoga poses designed by yogi Bikram Choudhury. Here, in a beautiful studio heated to 105 degrees and decorated with stained glass art, certified Bikram yoga instructors lead students through 26 postures and two breathing exercises intended to help participants gain strength and flexibility. The teams uses integrated forms of the Bikram method of hatha yoga to heal, educate, refine, and explore the mind and body of their clients. Students go through the poses in order during each identical class, as they sweat and learn to open joints, minds, and hearts.
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Bikram Yoga Manayunk's classes aren't meant to be easy, but they are meant to accommodate virtually every student. The studio temperature hits 105 degrees, creating a more dynamic workout while simultaneously loosening taut muscles and helping students sink further into each stretch. Within this environment, the instructors encourage attendees to push themselves while still respecting their physical limits. The defined sequence of 26 poses and two breathing exercises never changes, although anyone can ease the difficulty of a particular asana by modifying the hold or tying helium balloons to their ankles.
As students transition from one deeply twisting stretch to the next, tissues are inundated with fresh, oxygenating blood flow, which helps revitalize the muscles and rejuvenate the mind. Instructors are always on hand to lend assistance when needed and to remind everyone to stay hydrated.
At Sankhya Solutions for Whole Body Wellness, a focus on the roots of yoga practice and a vegan lifestyle lend to a distinctly earthy atmosphere. Classes are helmed by passionate yoga instructors who include Meghan, a certified vinyasa teacher, Natalie, an ashatanga practitioner and raw foods proponent, and Angela, an educator who trained at an ashram in India. Though these teachers guide students through a range of yoga styles, their specialty is dynamic vinyasa flow. In all-ages sessions, they help students hone strength and flexibility through sun salutations, fluid breath and movement, and nine points of focus. To help clients achieve total wellness, the studio also provides pampering spa services and organic juice-cleanse packages. Additional nutrition programs highlight raw vegan foods.
Fountain of Yoga's staff focuses on motivating its clients toward complete wellness through yoga, and tension- and pain-relieving therapies. In calming, subdued lighting, the instructors lead students through Vinyasa yoga classes in which they synchronize deep breathing to a quick, flowing series of poses. In each session, students can perform more challenging or easier movements based on their abilities, and the instructors walk around the classroom to offer slight modifications to help them to perfect their technique. Furthering their relaxation services, instructors soothe clients and assuage their aches with massage and reiki services by appointment.
Raja Yoga roughly translates as "the royal path," a reference to the full eight branches of the practice sprouting from its Himalayan roots. Beyond simple stretching, yoga in its original incarnation encompassed breathing exercises and philosophical thought. Raja Yoga's yogis explore all aspects of the ancient workout through Hatha yoga and Vinyasa yoga.