THE NEW FACE OF YOGA
The Fowler phenomena…
As James Brown is the, “Godfather of Soul”, Kimberly Fowler is the, “Godmother of Hybrids,” as coined by Shape Magazine. Not your typical yogi, “Irreverent” is how CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta described Fowler’s popular approach to yoga in his feature on her fun and unpretentious classes.
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Innovative may be the most apt description for Fowler.
“The Godmother of the Hybrid Movement”, Kimberly Fowler is founder of YAS Fitness Centers, author, philanthropist, feminist, athlete, speaker and survivor. Since opening YAS Fitness Center in Venice, California in 2001, Fowler has regularly shaken up the yoga and fitness worlds with her fresh, no-nonsense workouts designed for everyone from elite athletes to, well, everyone.
It started in 2001 with the original YAS Fitness Center. No one had ever combined yoga with indoor cycling before let alone built a studio dedicated to the combination. Some yoga purists ridiculed mixing hard-charging cardio with straightforward yoga. A revolutionary fitness idea was coupled with daring foresight in real estate. Kimberly opened her flagship YAS Fitness Studio on Abbot Kinney in Venice, CA.
With so many yoga-related accomplishments, it’s tempting to view Fowler as some kind of power yogi—that is, if such words and hero worship didn’t make her cringe. “I’m not your guru, you are,” is a common Fowler-ism. Open and accessible, Fowler means no disrespect for yoga traditions and their spiritual components, she’s just not into imposing dogma. Happily forgoing Sanskrit and chanting hasn’t always endeared her to the yoga establishment, but that’s never been her goal. Fowler wants to change the minds of everyday people about yoga. She wants to make yoga accessible to the masses, not just the chosen few.
She is getting there! If you’ve cracked a magazine or newspaper over the last decade, chances are you’ve read about Fowler, her original DVDs or YAS Fitness Centers. It’s her goal to get people “off the couch and onto the mat”. She’s investing in keeping her YAS studios the hot spots for fitness, offering workshops and retreats with guest appearances. If you can’t get in to the studios her DVD’s and books are always available. Her newest book, “Flat Belly Yoga” by Prevention is a true motivator with the growing interest in slimming down our waistlines. Looking at Kimberly, she is leading by example, practicing but not… preaching.
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