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    We have now entered what many refer to as the most wonderful time of the year—however, amidst the dashing and dancing to get killer deals on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, cooking yuletide delicacies for holiday meals, and welcoming your extended family’s family into your home, this season can quickly devolve into the most stressful time of the year. 

    Let’s face it—we can all turn into a Grinch of sorts when we don’t carve out some time to de-stress, and the most delightful way I know how to do so is by rolling out my yoga mat and stretching my seasonal stresses away.

    Below are some favorite Louisville yoga spots that offer a class for everyone regardless of fitness level or location. 

    PM Yoga – Middletown  

    Owned by Tonya Phillips, PM Yoga offers an incredibly relaxing Gentle Yoga session which offers a mellow blend of poses, which lengthen & firm the body; perfect for those wishing to gain and or recover muscle tone & flexibility.  Props, such as blocks and bolsters, are used to decrease physical stress. (As an added perk the studio is one of the most relaxing places I’ve ever been, especially if you grab a wool blanket from the prop closet to use during restorative.)

    Infinite Bliss Yoga—The Highlands 

    Located conveniently on Bardstown Road (just a few steps from the Eastern Parkway Heine Brother’s for a post-yoga tea fix), Infinite Bliss Yoga offers a variety of classes in a gorgeous studio atmosphere. 

    “The lushest, most stress-relieving class is the restorative class on Monday nights at 7:30,” Olga-Maria Smock, one of the instructors, said. (Interesting tidbit: Olga-Maria, in addition to teaching philosophy and ethics at Bellarmine University, taught a yoga interdisciplinary course that I had the pleasure to take. Yes, I got to take yoga for college credit and it and she was awesome.)

    The restorative class is a slow-paced class using props such as blankets, blocks, and bolsters - designed to open, relax, and renew. 

    Betsy’s Hot Yoga—St. Matthew’s 

    I adore hot yoga (also known as Bikram yoga). It can definitely be a more physically demanding class, as sessions consist of a strict set of poses for 90 minutes in a 105 degree room. However, I never felt more refreshed than when I walked into the freezing Louisville winter after getting all warmed and limbered up. 

    Betsy’s Hot Yoga offers a variety of classes—but one that I would highly recommend, after taking a few introductory courses is the Silent Bikram class.  While structured like a Bikram class, the silent option is just that—completely silent (except for a few verbal cues from the instructor and maybe some light instrumental music). Think about it, when is it ever silent during the holidays?

     This a perfect hour and a half option to meditate; perhaps after leaving the insanity that is Mall St. Matthews since it is only about a half a mile up the street. 

    Be sure to check their websites for holiday deals (or maybe ask Yogi Santa for a gift-card)

    Ashlie Danielle Stevens's picture

    About Ashlie Danielle Stevens

    I am a freelance food, arts and culture writer. Among other publications, my work has appeared at The Atlantic’s CityLab, Eater, Slate, Salon, The Guardian, Hyperallergic and National Geographic’s food blog, The Plate.

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