I rushed in a few minutes before 8:30 AM, assuming I’d be one of only 3 lunatics who set an alarm for Saturday morning yoga. I grabbed a complimentary towel, walked past a beauty boutique and entered SOL Yoga’s new Fort Lauderdale studio. I was last out of approximately 20+ prompt weekend warriors whose mats lined the floor of the bright white room, ready to own the day. I unrolled my mat in the open nook next to a wall and immediately felt the class energy rise along with the heat from the infrared lights.

Danielle Petrie, SOL Yoga Director and 20-year teaching veteran was about to start a vinyasa flow class. Danielle turned on the music and let everyone know, “this is not just exercise; this is energy work.” She asked everyone to breathe and mindfully flow from warm up to wind down.

Danielle gradually increased the intensity with a faster pace, but her transitions remained seamless throughout class. Whenever I felt myself nearing the edge of my physical capacity, she would intuitively queue a restorative pose or stretch that brought me back to balance.

“It’s all about creating an environment where people can ‘feel good here’,” said Danielle. “People shouldn’t feel intimidated.”

Intimidated or not, I could tell that SOL’s Saturday warriors felt good there. How could they not? They moved through a powerful workout that concluded with a cold, essential oil-infused compress while lying in Shavasana (aka total surrender for 5 minutes).

But I quickly learned that SOL is more than just yoga. SOL, which stands for “secret of life” is a luxurious experience dreamed up by owner Cathy DeFrancesco. Building on the success of her first location in Wynwood, DeFrancesco opened the new spot with even more amenities. In addition to a beauty boutique and smoothie bar, SOL Fort Lauderdale in Fat Village also offers on site LED skin treatments, acupuncture, and other healing modalities.

Dr. Holly Nobil of Mt. Sanai hospital treats SOL’s Fort Lauderdale yogis with skin firming facial acupuncture and standard treatments to combat issues such as stress, inflammation and digestion. In addition to acupuncture, Dr. Nobil also performs cupping and vibrational therapy for mind and body wellness.

With access to Dr. Nobil, along with fresh smoothies, skincare, and light therapy, I wondered, what’s next for SOL? According to DeFrancesco, SOL yogis can soon expect a range of CBD infused skincare, essential oil infused candles, nutritional supplements, and more studios to come.

“There’s simply no place like SOL that gives locals and visitors a destination to enjoy and feel great knowing they’re not just getting amazing yoga, but so much more!”

**Plus, the first week is FREE, so why not give it shot?

Photos courtesy of SOL Yoga.

Elena Schmidt is a creative writer, yoga teacher, and adventure seeker. She seeks equal parts fun and discipline in life and LOVES finding new ideas and places to explore. Check out her portfolio at www.elenaschmidt.com