If you're ready to do some serious yoga in a supportive class, Ruth Goldstone's almost-Ashtanga yoga is the thing to try. After starting with some slow stretches, Ruth will lead you into a rigorous set of sun salutations, and then you can get as grueling as you want to: Most poses have more challenging or less challenging versions, and Ruth will push you to your personal limit. We're talking a skilled and serious yoga instructor, minus the spiritual spiels. As an added bonus, the ninety-minute classes are only three bucks if you have a membership at any Bay Area YMCA (free for Albany YMCA members, $12.00 for nonmembers). One caveat: The Albany Y holds its evening yoga classes in a daycare center, so be prepared for cutesy wall decorations and the occasional Cheez-It under your mat. Gives the expression "abdominal crunch" a whole new meaning.
Readers' Pick for Best Yoga Instructor: Rodney Yee