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Best Hot Yoga 

Yoga College of India

There are many East Bay Bikram hot yoga studios to choose from, but one smaller, less-flashy studio stands out from all the others: Yoga College of India, in Oakland. Founder Tony Carr holds degrees in both English lit and biology, but his story is otherwise fairly standard Bikram instructor fare: It all started with an injury. He hurt his back while sailing, and his injury incapacitated him for two weeks and hobbled him for months after. After ignoring his doctor's advice for surgery, he tried Bikram yoga one day and hasn't had a back problem since. Carr got trained and certified to teach, opened his Oakland studio, and the rest is history. Carr's warmth and generosity are infectious. He hasn't needed to fabricate an atmosphere of "spiritual" or "fun"; he's simply being himself. "I just like people a lot," he says, "I think that this sets the tone for the studio." Carr's studio is a third-floor space across from the Grand Lake Theater. Wooden furnishings, soft, billowing curtains, and contemplative artwork conjure peacefulness, as opposed to the edginess or competitiveness that seem to be standard atmosphere at many Bikram places. Classes are $15 for a drop-in; package and student rates are available.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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