Much like staring down a hungry lion, yoga challenges individuals to stand very still and advises against filling one's pockets with steak beforehand. Tame your spiritual carnivore with today's Groupon: for $49, you get two months of unlimited Bikram yoga classes at Bikram Yoga in the Mission (a $280 value).
Bikram Yoga in the Mission's instructors employ their training in human anatomy and yoga philosophy to mold students into a state of flexible serenity. The center schedules 41 classes a week for attendees of all skill levels, convening in an intensely heated room and ushering students through the 26 postures, two pranayama breathing exercises, and three sing-alongs that comprise Bikram yoga sessions. The 90-minute classes strive to actively engage every organ system in the body, and the heat loosens muscles to a gelatinous consistency and evicts toxins from their nearest sweat gland. Instructors recommend arriving well hydrated, clad in sweat-friendly clothing, and armed with a yoga mat and a towel from home or from the studio (a $2 rental/session, each).
Aspiring yogis can populate the studio's 1,500 square feet of space for each session, immersing themselves in the artistic union of Latino and Indian cultures as well as the gallery of student- and teacher-created murals. Bikram Yoga in the Mission welcomes new students, and lockers and showers also adorn the space to help guests to safeguard their pheromones.
Juicy Liberty Sanchez and Steve23 traveled separate, yet intertwining paths before becoming partners in life and in yoga. Juicy was hooked on Bikram yoga after her first class in 2001, during which she fell down many times, but continued to rise to the challenge, both literally and figuratively. As time went on, she grew more interested in yoga than in her erstwhile law career. In 2005, Juicy asked Steve23—making ends meet as an artist—if he wanted to attend a Bikram teacher training with her. It was then they discovered that they had almost met on several occasions in years past. The rest, as they say, is history: the duo became the owners of Mission Yoga in 2006 and was married the following year in Honolulu at another Bikram teacher training. The bright turquoise and orange studio is a vibrant, funky homage to their Latino heritage and Indian culture, complete with murals and artwork painted by the teachers and students.
They and their team of certified Spanish-speaking instructors help perpetuate a yoga method developed by Bikram Choudhury. The sequence of 26 postures, performed in a heated studio, works to stimulate and strengthen every nook and cranny of the human frame. The hot surroundings are designed to loosen muscles, promote flexibility, and add authenticity to karaoke versions of "Hot Blooded." Within the 1,500-square-foot yoga room, up to 70 students become more limber beneath an electric-blue ceiling painted with white swirls that resemble clouds.