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Calmest Yoga Studio 

El Cerrito Yoga

The calendar says spring has sprung, but at times this year it's been pretty hard to tell. If you're still trying mind over matter to thaw your inner icicle, it's time to move on to stronger medicine. Bikram yoga, or "hot" yoga, as it's affectionately called, is a series of 26 asanas, each performed twice (so even first-timers have a chance to get the hang of the poses on the second attempt) in a Zen-like heat that quiets the brain and allows the muscles to stretch. Hot-yoga studios have been springing up like fungi all winter, but one worth trying is El Cerrito Yoga, where owner and instructor Algan Ford and his team preside over a pristine space. If you catch one of Ford's classes, you'll notice his training in drama as he runs the class in a high-speed but meditative monotone, punctuated with subtle claps. Classes are uncrowded, and there are spanking-new changing areas and showers in the back -- you might plan to rinse off, because El Cerrito Yoga doesn't scrimp on the heat. So grab your mat and melt that winter chill; summer is just around the next asana.

Readers' Pick:
Piedmont Yoga
3966 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, 510-652-3336


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