One could say that 1996 was one of the worst years of Sara Alavi’s life. Within the span of months, she lost sight in her left eye, was diagnosed with MS, and developed a heart condition. Any one of those conditions could have debilitated her spirit, but Sara always lived by the mantra of “gratitude toward the gift of life and being grateful for our loved ones' lives.” That devotion to celebrating life led her toward the mind-calming and body-strengthening practice of yoga. After continued dedication to the ancient art, her eyesight returned and her health began to skyrocket.
Now a certified yoga instructor herself, Sara uses her earth-toned studio to host the bodies and minds of her students. Her yoga classes aim to improve bodily health by increasing blood flow and releasing muscle tension while stimulating the mind for sharper concentration and funnier Mad Libs. In the studio’s flower-curtain-lined healing room, Sara performs the raindrop massage: a combination of essential oils and reflexive therapy. She balances disrupted energy flows with reiki healing and assists at-home meditation with a guided relaxation CD.
Yoga takes a holistic mind-body-spirit approach to exercise, granting regular participants the ability to simultaneously restore a sagging set of muscles and a droopy joie de vivre. Cadence offers challenging vinyasa-based classes for all experience levels and has a team of encouraging instructors who will teach you how to properly position all possible postures of your person, including Downward Facing Dog, Pensive Panda, and Unreliable Narrator. Get acclimated with the essentials in a yoga basics class, which explores the exercise's traditional postures and breathing techniques at a gentle pace for beginners. For a challenging abdominal workout, stop in for a core blast class, which throws some targeted Pilates movements into the usual yoga mix, or participate in a yoga fit session that incorporates weight training. Cadence's mind-body and restorative classes explore the more meditative, soothing aspects of yoga and will help you relieve your mind of emotional tension to make way for more important things, like Star Trek: Voyager fan fiction, vice-presidential trivia, and your cubicle mate's first name. Find a class that matches you on Cadence Yoga's class schedule.
At Nothing but Class, seasoned instructors lead fitness-goers and dance enthusiasts alike during energy-packed group classes and hip-hop parties. A full schedule of 45- to 60-minute group sessions inspires coordinated calorie torching and synchronized sweating, with 5–10 students in each. Participants slide into traditional routines such as yoga and Pilates, or join a combination class such as Barre None, which increases stamina through a fast series of modified ballet moves centered around a folding chair and mat. The Booty Camp class tones each participant's derrière and the Pole Aerobics class employs a vertical pole and swinging moves to strengthen the body without dancing or cage-fighting.
A brand-new yoga studio beckons stretchers seeking more than just sweat from their exercise regime, as a Chopra Center–certified yoga instructor helps guide disciples down the path toward physical, mental, and spiritual peace. Blending Hatha yoga and primordial-sound meditation—an ancient Vedic tradition designed to silence mental distractions—classes of up to 80 stretch, meditate, and practice turning invisible in unison. Sunrise yoga practiced at 6:30 a.m. Monday and Wednesday on the rooftop (weather permitting) gives yoga bears a chance to greet the sun personally, Hatha yoga classes at 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday give limber limbs a good workout, and relaxation yoga at 6 p.m. Monday and 6:30 p.m. Thursday helps purge stress leftover from the workplace.
Lifelong yogi Katie Windom views the age-old physical art form as a remedy to life’s many ills, from stress and pelvic pain to depression. Katie’s multipronged perspective presents itself in her diverse list of classes, which includes hatha yoga, hot yoga, and sessions catered to kids and teenagers. As a master reiki instructor, Katie injects energy-based spirituality into several of her classes, which she prepares for with a complimentary meditation session every Monday morning.
Breathing and gentle stretches kick off a typical hatha-influenced yoga class at Awaken Your Senses Yoga, helping students relax and find their centers. As the class progresses, students move on to asanas—or poses—of various difficulty levels. Finally, a guided meditation and rest finishes a session.