Got Yoga?


Hope Signa

Xavier yoga students practice their asanas.

Halle Lewis , Writer

Ohmm…Ohmm…Ohmm. Namaste.

These are frequently repeated phrases and sounds that are heard and said in a yogi’s daily life. Yoga has been around for centuries and is increasing in trendiness each second.

With the growing love for Lululemon yoga pants, we sometimes lose track of what started these sayings and names. The Bhagavad Gita says, “yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.”

Yoga is a combination of skills and passions through practice and teaching. Yoga relaxes the mind and the body when either are experiencing stress. Becoming an instructor requires commitment to 200 hours of training, the typical amount in most certification programs (including programs in Arizona).

There are many different types of training programs. Ms. Vanessa Running, Xavier’s yoga teacher, said “Every program’s emphasis is different, although certified instructors are required to have certain elements: techniques and training, methodology, anatomy and physiology, philosophy, lifestyle, ethics and a teaching practicum.”

A license is not required to instruct yoga. However, Running strongly suggests having a certification accepted by the nationally recognized Yoga Alliance.

Running’s advice for anyone interested in becoming a yoga instructor is this: Do your homework. There are a myriad of schools, mentors and yoga styles, so searching for what is most in alignment with how you want to teach is crucial.

If you are thinking of trying yoga, here are Running’s top picks for yoga studios in Phoenix:

  1. Sutra Midtown: a friendly vibe and the instructors are clear and knowledgeable
  2. Metta Yoga: a very relaxing environment; a non-intimidating atmosphere
  3. Desert Song: wonderful workshops and guest instructors
  4. Sumits Yoga: great community outreach; they donated all the yoga mats to XCP
  5. Twine Yoga: a fantastic teacher training program and an instructor with a happy spirit (this is her company!)

There are also numerous places to practice yoga for free. Lululemon locations across the valley offers classes outside their stores each Sunday.

The Scottsdale Quarter and Biltmore locations offer public and free lessons each Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. All levels are welcome.

Humble Monkey Yoga in Phoenix offers a free class on the last Saturday of each month at 9:30 a.m.

Urban Yoga in Downtown Phoenix offers a free class every Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Next time stress clouds your life, discover a new you with yoga. Instead of digging into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s when the day gets overwhelming, breathe in and breathe out the stress.