Yoga, like sword ownership and sleeping, is an ancient practice whose benefits are just now being appreciated. Reap the rewards of ancient ways of life with today's Groupon: for $25, you get one Bikram yoga class and four other yoga classes at Breathe Studio in Waukee (a $65 value).
Breathe Studio’s talented yoga instructors strategically stretch tired, stressed-out soul sacks to toasty enlightenment through a variety of hot-yoga styles. A five-class pass unlocks the studio's generous schedule of 10 yoga styles, including the entry-level yoga sculpt, which utilizes flowing movements and occasional use of free weights to build lean muscle and sweat away a surplus of cheeseburgers.
Breathe Studio engulfs yogis in healthy heat with one of the only hot-yoga studios in the Des Moines area, where students can explore the popular Bikram yoga style for one of their five classes.
Bikram yoga consists of 26 poses and two breathing exercises that center, strengthen, and lengthen every muscle with the muscle-melting powers of a 100-plus-degree room. It's designed to cater to all skill levels, allowing practitioners to choose the rigorousity of each workout. Sweat out toxins and enjoy mind-expanding stretches while breathing deeply; afterward, you'll leave focused, with a cleansed, centered, and worry-free glow.
Kris' Hot Yoga
Kris Larrison has been teaching fitness classes for more than 20 years, in addition to being an avid runner. "After years of running, and running competitively, your body starts breaking down a little bit," she says. "Yoga was good for me to get into."
And though there were only a few yoga studios in the area, there wasn't a single hot-yoga studio around—so she opened the first. Classes started out in the basement of a building, and often there were only one or two people. Kris didn't mind; she was doing it for fun. But, as she says, "word got out" and the business grew. As classes swelled to 30 people packed into the small space, she decided to open a larger storefront studio.
Today, she has a crew of certified instructors who lead classes in the hot-yoga studio, which runs from 95 to 104 degrees. Why the heat? In addition to increasing flexibility, helping detoxify the body through sweat, and helping home-brought dragon eggs to hatch, heat increases yoga's cardiovascular benefits. "You get that oxygen into the blood a lot better with the heat," Kris says. In addition to hot yoga, Kris has a studio dedicated to hot barre classes. Using a ballet barre to help everyone go higher and lower, classes do motions such as lunges and squats. The heat, she says, "kicks it up a little bit."
For Kris, the most rewarding thing has been seeing her studio foster relationships; because it's more of a boutique studio, rather than a large health club, people get to know one another. "It's very rewarding to see people come in after a year or so of practicing, and see how much they've accomplished, and how much stronger they are," she says.