Many proclaim that yoga is the union of the body and mind. It’s a pretty description but not entirely accurate. The word yoga is derived from the sanskrit word meaning yoke. The type of yoke that yoga is derived from is a double-yoke -- that is, a yoke for two oxen, not one. The two oxen can be said to be, metaphorically speaking, the body and the mind. So, yoga, then isn’t so much a union but more of a yoking of the body and mind. No yoke! One may then say that the breath is the yoke that keeps the body and mind in tethered harmony.
We teach movement of the body with the breath while breathing with the movement of the body. This is the foundation from which we teach the basic 26 “hot yoga” class. We build upon this foundation with kindness and encouragement. We don’t shout, humiliate, or reprimand. EVER. All the movement, breathwork, and stretching is for nought if you’re increasing the tension in your body. And the whole point of yoga is to remove tension from the body! We lead our classes with informed, educated corrections and encouraging guidance through personalized instruction in order to help you increase your flexibility, strength, endurance and stamina while decreasing the very things that directly affect your flexibility, strength, endurance and stamina; namely, stress and tension.
We practice and teach the basic 26 posture “hot yoga” class with a beginning and ending breathing exercise. The first 2/3 of class is a stamina-driven standing series where postures are held longer in order to maximize the flexibility of all muscles and organs in the body. The standing series is the warm-up for the last third of class: the floor series. The floor series focuses mainly on spine flexibility with postures being held for a shorter period of time with little breaks in between. The 26 postures stretch and contract every single system/ joint/ muscle in the body. Nothing is left out! With a regular practice, everyone gains flexibility, strength, and endurance. No matter your age, fitness or health level, this yoga is for everyone!
COMING SOON -- FIRST REVAMPED 6AM WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY -- CHADD WILL LEAD THE CLASS
The 6am Revamp is a more energized, eye-opening, body awakening Basic 26 Hot Yoga class cut down to 75 minutes to ensure you can get your full class in before going to work! We begin with a quick 90 second energizing warm-up to bring us more fully into the present moment before we go into beginning breathing after which we flow through the standing series without losing posture 'hold-time.' Bright lights, with open curtains inviting the morning sun into the room as we progress through the postures along with low music in the background -- what a way to start your day! Hot Tea and a healthy snack is offered before and after class free of charge. Kick-start your day with a healthy dose of yoga.
End your day right and come to the candlelight class. Low light, candles, and music make this toned-down 75 minute version of the basic 26 class the perfect nightcap. The same 26 postures with a modification here and there. You'll still sweat, don't worry. But the candles and music bring your body and mind back into balanced harmony and that makes for a great night's sleep afterwards. The candlelight classes are typically the last class of the day Mondays through Fridays. If you need a more "hardcore" or "straight" class, go to the earlier classes. We do it both ways.
The new 60 minute energizing hot yoga sequence designed to quickly and efficiently improve flexibility, strength, endurance while focusing on core, ab, and arm strength while still getting a good sweat. This class is designed for variability so while the basic structure remains the same, there is room for throwing different postures into the mix week by week. Rockin' tunes, challenging postures, fun attitude --- eat yoga with a bowlful of fun for lunch!
THE TOP TEN
1. Improved Flexibility
2. Improved Endurance
3. Improved Stamina
4. Improved Strength
5. Balance Therapy
6. A lightening of your mood
7. Improved mental clarity
8. Increased sex drive and performance
9. Reduction in stress and tension
10. Muscle toning and sculpting of the body
Click below for an awesome articles on yoga benefits.
I have been teaching hot yoga since 2001. Mentored by Global Yoga owner Mary Jarvis, one of Bikram Yoga’s most notable and knowledgable teachers, I am guided by Mary’s philosophy of never judging yoga students and their practice. I strive to uplift each and every yoga student’s practice through careful instruction and caring correction. And never forget, yoga can and should be fun. So let’s have fun! Let’s do some yoga!
I took my first yoga class in 1992 in a cold room at the YMCA and thought, I’m cold and this is boring. But there was something about it that kept me going back; kept me looking for the right experience, the right place. I had no idea then just how many venues and variations there were in San Francisco. I took a class with Darren Main; it was in a nice setting, gentle pace, and in spite of too much spiritual talk for me, it felt good. I was young and didn't think yoga was much of a physical workout, which is what I was looking for. I had no idea then of the range of styles practiced, but I had yet to find one right for me. Then in 1996 a friend recommended It's Yoga on Folsom Street with Larry Schultz. This was Ashtanga, Flow Viniysa in a lightly heated room that produced a good sweat. I kept with this until 2001 when I had a career change and a move to a different part of city. The closest yoga studio to my new job was a Bikram studio in the Seacliff district with Mary Jarvis. I was hooked. I practiced almost every day, sometimes twice, and took a 100 day challenge. When I traveled, in the US and abroad, I loved to practice in different Bikram studios. Finding them was sometimes half the challenge and a real test of commitment to practice.
In Tokyo the ceiling was so low I couldn’t extend my arms—I felt like a giant. In Barcelona the class was taught in Spanish, of course, in a beautiful room, of course. There I ran into an old buddy from Bikram teacher training. In Miami I met Lamont who now runs the Castro Bikram studio. In Puerto Vallarta class was on the balcony of the owner’s home. In Vegas the room was heated to 120—a dry heat. In Maui the room was also too bloody hot and the style of teaching almost militaristic. I never did find the Singapore studio. In Death Valley we once drove the 30-mile bone-jarring jeep trail into The Racetrack where I ran though some postures and danced around naked on the dry mud playa while Madonna’s Frozen blasted from the car stereo—my version of spiritual—and no there was no one else for miles around. In Palm Desert when my partner came to pick me up from a class he saw a girl run from the studio to throw up in the bushes, take a sip from her water bottle, and head right back inside. When I came out, almost crawling, he looked at me and asked why anyone would practice anything that made them threw up—he still doesn’t get it.
In 2005 I decided to go to Bikram teacher training to learn to teach, improve my practice and to conquer my fear of public speaking. My “real job” started to require me to speak in a group setting and I had a total fear of public speaking, combined with a lack of real passion for the job. I would turn red and sweat. I knew with Bikram training I would be constantly rosy cheeked and sweating profusely, so this would be perfect. I proudly completed the training. Returning to SF, I taught a few classes at Bikram Castro Yoga, Bikram's own studio in North Beach, but mostly with Mary Jarvis’ Global Yoga studio. She is such a powerful teacher with volumes of knowledge and became a great mentor.
All over the world I have run into people I’d met practicing yoga, and I’ve experienced wide variation in styles of teaching—from near cult-like spiritualism to disempowering military drill—and wide variations in studio space, design and temperature. All this clarified for me how I would do it if I ever had the chance to run a studio myself. Here I am now 20 years with my friend Chadd Schaefer. We share a common vision for our new studio: it should be fun, healthful, life affirming, and not intimidating. As Mary always says “a little yoga is better than no yoga.”