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BEST YOGA Minneapolis 2006 -

First thing we must say is that true yoga is not done in some sweat-box with drill instructors. Second thing we must say is that Bikram Choudhury is not a spiritual guru, but a hole-in-the-soul Westerner laughing all the way to the bank. Third thing we must say is that yoga is not a competitive sport, and that this "best yoga" category is a competition we are not entirely comfortable with. All that said, where else but One Yoga can you can celebrate the coming of spring with 108 sun salutations, as this studio did on March 25? We're also comforted by the knowledge that One Yoga is a nonprofit (single classes are $15; multi-class packages available) whose daily schedule allows for drop-ins—attracting a mix of teens, seniors, hippies, professionals, punks, and preppies. The studio is spacious—made of beautiful breathing mahogany—which any downward-facing dawg can tell you is crucial. We are partial to instructors Michelle, Amy, Margie, and Chris. All have their own styles and expertise (Amy, in particular, is inspiring with her flexibility and holistic-healing approach to life), but like all great teachers, they each encourage us to develop our individual practice. Which is to say that they're helpful without making us feel foolish when we can't do a particular posture. That's important because life and all its postures already make us feel foolish enough.

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