Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Yoga in Chattanooga

Chattanooga's subcultural demographics make it no surprise that this city loves yoga and has a thriving community of teachers and students. The combination of well-to-do urban minded professionals looking for a stress-relieving workout after a busy 9-5 and outdoors young people drawn to the city by its mountains and rivers both contribute to the yoga boom here. There are a couple old time yoga studio that have been around since before yoga became a national craze, but the sport's popularity has simply created even greater variety to Chattanooga's yoga class offerings.

Clear Spring Yoga in North Chattanooga is the city's first yoga studio, founded in 1999. It offers a variety of classes, as well as regular in-depth workshops and an annual Yoga Alliance accredited teacher training program in partnership with the Asheville Yoga Center. This teacher training program is one of the most popular and well-respected in South East Tennessee. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, Clear Spring Yoga remains the godmother of all other area studios.

North Shore Yoga joined Clear Spring Yoga on the North Shore in 2008,just down the street in the One North Shore complex near the Wholefoods-run Greenlife Grocery. They specialize principally in hot yoga. While they do not offer Bikram classes, many of their hot yoga offerings are similar in philosophy, experience, and benefits. North Shore also offers yin yoga, power yoga, yoga for kids, and child care for mothers attending class.

Thrive Yoga is the latest studio to join the North Shore, and it offers much more than yoga. They are a full-service lifestyle studio featuring yoga classes, cycling, personal training, and a health food cafe. True to the lifestyle studio concept, their yoga classes are more fitness oriented than true to the eastern origins of the practice, which offers a nice contrast to Clear Spring yoga's old school loyalty to yoga's history. 

Yoga Landing opened just this year at Warehouse Row, a formerly derelict building transformed in the past 5-10 years into an upscale shopping complex. They emphasize powerful Ashtanga-style yoga true to its Eastern roots, but also feature a variety of classes designed to help every individual find their own unique practice. They also offer a teacher training course with nationally-known instructor Jessica Jollie that is Yoga Alliance accredited. 

Yoga East is the primary yoga studio for the East side of Chattanooga, serving East Brainerd and Ooltewah. They offer discounted classes that are some of the most affordable and accessible in town. Their emphasis is yoga for after-work professionals. They also offer classes in Eastern therapy methods including reiki and life coaching. It also offers some classes that can't be found anywhere else in town, including one that involves hammocks and slings to relieve joint pressure during yoga practice.

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