In the last 10 years, the practice of yoga has exploded in the West, and Des Moines hasn't gone untouched. Des Moines has an ever-changing and growing yoga scene filled with options for the novice or the dedicated yogi. Yoga classes are easily found in studios or gyms, ranging from the community-centered setting of PowerLife Yoga to the individualized practice of Mysore-style teaching.
In fact, the rapid-fire growth of PowerLife Yoga, which opened its first of four locations in fall 2012, is a testament to the momentum behind the practice. Adam Geneser is part owner of PowerLife, and has watched his business grow to the point where nearly 1,000 students practice in the four studios per day.
"Yoga in Des Moines is thriving; people are starting to care more about their mental and physical well-being," said Geneser. "The more people we can get to practice yoga, the better we can make the world. Whether you go to James Miller, PowerLife, Shakti, or the YMCA, it's good."
Practicing yoga can have positive, lasting influences on the mind and body whether the student is aware of the philosophy behind it or not. Maybe you've just started practicing yoga, or maybe you've been on and off your mat for years. Eventually, you might find yourself craving more depth in your practice. If so, it's time to look around and explore the options. According to yogi and teacher Drew Maifeld, there are three ways to go about deepening your practice in Des Moines.
"You've really got three options to explore: continue attending new classes and workshops, commit to an in-depth training, or develop a self-practice," says Maifeld, who organizes and teaches classes at Moberg Art Gallery.
No matter how experienced you are, your practice can always benefit from exposure to new teachers and workshops. Check the websites of your favorite yoga studios, and even the places you might not regularly visit. Often, studios will host in-depth workshops with local or traveling teachers. You might find a workshop focused on specific postures or breathwork. Plus, it's a great way to meet other yogis who can help you expand or deepen your perspective.
The standard 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher Training has become a hot subject in the yoga community in Des Moines, and there is a plethora of local options from which to choose. Studios like Shakti, PowerLife Yoga, Balance Yoga Lounge, and Kris' Hot Yoga regularly offer this level of training. Additionally, Adamantine Yoga and Family Tree Yoga & Wellness offer specific types of training.
"Training isn't just for those who want to teach. It's an opportunity to learn about the anatomical principles, philosophy, and history of yoga, and at a depth you won't find in a group class," says Maifeld. It's an investment, but most yogis come out of training with a changed perspective on life, as well as a 200-hour certification. If teacher training interests you, it's important to do your research. Considerations like price, timing, and available space are always a factor to consider. Maifeld reminds us to choose a training based on your individual aspirations and the values you share with the teacher.
Enter Mysore-style yoga, which allows the student to receive the benefit of personalized teaching while still getting the benefits of practice in a group setting.
After an initial consultation, the teacher will develop an individualized practice for each student based on where they are physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Students continue their practice using their individual sequence during open studio time slots, under the supervision of their teacher.
STUDIOS TO TRY
Here are a few that specialize in yoga in town. Find one near you, with the level you're looking for.
Shakti: Offers workshops on a regular basis. Offers a basics class, in addition to level one and level two yoga classes. Also offers qigong. 200 RYT Teacher Training. 4119 Rollins Ave., 515-255-2703,shaktiyogadm.com
dmYOGA at Moberg Art Gallery: "Conscious movement in a beautiful setting." Classes taught every Monday and Thursday at Moberg Gallery by/a regularly revolving cast of teachers and guests.dmyoga.com
Radiant Om Yoga: Beginners' six-week series, January 13, $60, plus one pass for class. Inquire for info about private sessions. 7694 Hickman Road, Windsor Heights, 515-270-4820, radiantomyoga.com
Green Yoga House: Offers beginner, intermediate, and kundalini yoga. 14225 University Ave, Suite 260, Waukee, 515-991-6266, greenyogahouse.com
PowerLife Yoga: Semi-heated yoga. Also offers Sculpt, Barre, Acroyoga, Restorative, and Kids' Yoga. 200 RYT Teacher Training. Four locations: 5465 Mills Civic Parkway Suite 225, West Des Moines; 8839 Northpark Court, Johnston; 9250 University Avenue, Suite 104, West Des Moines (near Waukee); 1717 Ingersoll Ave. powerlifeyoga.com
Kris'Hot Yoga & Hot Barre: Hot yoga (between 98 and 104 degrees). Also offers Barre, Sculpt, Flow, and Slow Flow. 200 RYT Teacher Training. 724 SE Alice's Road, Waukee. 515-778-5499,krishotyoga.com
Spark Barre, Pilates & Yoga: Semi-heated (between 85 and 90 degrees). Also offers Fundamentals (a class aimed at beginners), yoga for athletes, vinyasa and core classes. 2799 100th Street, Urbandale,sparkbarrepilatesyoga.com
YOGA FOCUSED ON ATHLETES:
Superhuman Lab: Recommended private session before beginning power classes, which are aimed at athletes. Suite of sports and Thai massage, CrossFit classes, and Power and Slow Flow Yoga classes. Yoga classes are inspired by Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga. 7509 Douglas Ave. Suite 19, Urbandale, 515-802-7469, mysuperhumanlab.com
YOGA FOR THE FAMILY:
Family Tree Yoga & Massage: Prenatal yoga classes, kids, prenatal and family-oriented workshops, as well as Thai, deep tissue, myofascial, prenatal and therapeutic massage. 200 RYT Teacher Training, specializing in prenatal yoga. 3900 Ingersoll Ave. Suite 108, 515-202-2585, thefamilytreedm.com
Studio B Yoga: Power, prenatal, kids, sculpt, restore, and introductory yoga classes, in addition to vinyasa. 1830 S.E. Princeton Drive, Grimes, 515-259-9035, studiobiowa.com
YOGA AND THERAPEUTIC YOGA:
Balance Yoga Lounge: Offers TRX, absolute beginner, and meditation classes. Also offers private therapeutic sessions and private aerial silk sessions. 200 RYT Teacher Training, 200 RYT Therapeutic Teacher Training. 2202 W First St, Ankeny, 515-210-8138, balanceyogalounge.com
Blue Lotus Yoga & Wellness: Vinyasa flow classes, as well as private therapeutic sessions with an emphasis on breast cancer patients and survivors. 120 1st Ave North, Suite E, Altoona, 515-419-2717,bluelotusyogaia.com
Trauma Sensitive Yoga at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center: TSY is a specific form of yoga for those who suffer from PTSD or have experienced trauma. Contact the DMPCC for more details. 8553 Urbandale Ave., Urbandale, 515-274-4006, dmpcc.org
Mathew Koder Yoga: 10th Street Lofts, 112 10th Street Unit 101, mathewkoderyoga.com
Adamantine Yoga: New location opening by January 1: 2925 Ingersoll Ave., adamantineyoga.com