Portland’s hottest new yoga studio has an inspirational backstory. During her last semester in law school, triathlete Kimberly Fowler was diagnosed with brain cancer and given six months to live. Three decades later, she credits yoga as central to her full recovery and return to being an elite athlete. In Venice, California, in 2001, Fowler opened the first fitness studio dedicated to the combination of indoor cycling and yoga; the Yoga and Spinning (YAS) Fitness Center rapidly earned a loyal following.
After the launches of three other YAS outposts in Southern California, Portland’s first YAS Fitness Center (516 NW 14th Ave, 503-222-0330) opened in the Pearl in May 2015. “The YAS class was the first exercise my husband and I loved doing together after nearly a decade of marriage,” says Fawn Weaver, who moved from California to own and operate the Portland studio. “Our style of yoga focuses on building muscle and core strength and is the perfect complement to a cycling routine.”
“No chanting, no granola, no Sanskrit,” promises Fowler in describing the YAS approach, which focuses on physical poses rather than spiritual components of the practice in order to make it more accessible and to create an excellent stretching and strengthening complement to a rigorous indoor cycling routine. This down-to-earth style of yoga has resonated so strongly that Fowler has written two successful guides, The No OM Zone and Flat Belly Yoga!. The franchise’s signature class, YAS 30/30, opens with a half-hour of intensive indoor cycling followed immediately by 30 minutes of Yoga for Athletes. Fowler developed the yoga-flow sequence, which is repeated in every class, to address the needs of athletes. Portland’s YAS Fitness Center also offers quickie classes throughout the day. These include Sweat 30, a half-hour indoor cycling routine, and Power 30, a set sequence of yoga poses based on Fowler’s Yoga for Athletes. —Ellee Thalheimer / Photos by ComeWeCreate