Best Hot Yoga

Yoga College of India

There are many East Bay Bikram hot yoga studios to choose from, but one
smaller, less-flashy studio stands out from all the others: Yoga
College of India, in Oakland. Founder Tony Carr holds degrees in both
English lit and biology, but his story is otherwise fairly standard
Bikram instructor fare: It all started with an injury. He hurt his back
while sailing, and his injury incapacitated him for two weeks and
hobbled him for months after. After ignoring his doctor’s advice for
surgery, he tried Bikram yoga one day and hasn’t had a back problem
since. Carr got trained and certified to teach, opened his Oakland
studio, and the rest is history. Carr’s warmth and generosity are
infectious. He hasn’t needed to fabricate an atmosphere of “spiritual”
or “fun”; he’s simply being himself. “I just like people a lot,” he
says, “I think that this sets the tone for the studio.” Carr’s studio
is a third-floor space across from the Grand Lake Theater. Wooden
furnishings, soft, billowing curtains, and contemplative artwork
conjure peacefulness, as opposed to the edginess or competitiveness
that seem to be standard atmosphere at many Bikram places. Classes are
$15 for a drop-in; package and student rates are available.

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