Downward dog meets boot camp at Iron Root Studio

Amy Rakestraw mixes traditional yoga practices with intense physical exercise
Illustration by Miss Lotion
Illustration by Miss Lotion

It’s a safe bet that the ancient master of meditation Patanjali never urged his disciples to “feel the burn.” Certainly his Yoga Sutras make no reference to the arrival of “Daisy Dukes season.” But Amy Rakestraw is a modern yogini, and in her midday classes at Iron Root Studio, she alternates between a classic instructor’s soothing intonations (“clear your mind”) and a drill sergeant’s bark (“let’s hold that plank!”). After her 60-minute “Workout Wednesday” class, I was sweat-drenched and sore-muscled. But the physical intensity was mitigated by the gorgeous airy studio overlooking Oakland Cemetery and Rakestraw’s quirky musical selection. (French torch songs? Why not.) Iron Root, which Rakestraw opened in early 2015, also hosts kettlebell and group fitness classes. 563 Memorial Drive

This article originally appeared in our June 2015 issue.