By Jennifer Marshall

For over 5,000 years, yoga has been improving people’s lives—mind, body and soul.

Consider the following scenarios.

You knew law school was going to be challenging, but you never expected it to be this grueling. Yet, despite the endless all-nighters, you love the law and can envision yourself owning the courtroom one day.

You’ve been playing tennis ever since you were old enough to stand and hold a racket. You’ve fancied yourself the next John McEnroe, but an injury has sidelined your game, and you’re not happy.

Life, at best, is stressful, and easy answers don’t always exist. But one of the best cures for all of life’s headaches—big and small—is yoga. When practiced regularly and correctly, yoga can improve your entire being. And when the physical body, the brain and the spirit are aligned and wholly healthy, life’s difficulties aren’t so overwhelming and answers aren’t so insurmountable to find.

Practicing yoga the right way is key to yielding optimal results, and the best way to know you’re doing yoga in its correct form is to get connected with a professional yoga studio like The Foundry.

The Foundry is owned and operated by the sister and brother team of Nicole Deacon and Todd Deacon, and they have three convenient locations: Paradise Valley, Old Town Scottsdale and Tempe.

Their flagship studio in Paradise Valley has been operational for 12 plus years at the corner of Tatum and Thunderbird.

“It’s been awesome to have been in this neighborhood for so long,” said Niki Fillmore Studio Manager, “and really it’s just getting better and better.”

About five years ago, the Deacon duo established their second studio in Old Town Scottsdale, and with their third one near the Tempe/Mesa border, they more than adequately cover the Valley. With these three separate locations, they’re giving many residents the gift of yoga’s tremendous valuable benefits in a way that’s convenient for people.

Nicole was 13-years-old when her mom took her and Todd to their first yoga class. She connected with yoga that very day, and falling in love with it, she’s been practicing it regularly ever since. More than just practicing it, Nicole has made yoga her career, and teaching others how to harness the power of yoga to become healthier mind, body and soul is her passion and life mission. She trained with the famous yoga instructor Bikram Choudhury, for which Bikram yoga is known, and she’s been teaching his methods for 14 years.

“Yoga has shaped Nicole’s whole life,” said Fillmore. “She now has three studios all from her mom taking her to practice when she was 13-years-old.”

The Deacons’ studio was one of the first yoga facilities in Phoenix to teach Bikram Hot Yoga and for the first ten years they were open, that’s all they offered. While Bikram Yoga is still a crowd-pleaser and what The Foundry is known for, the Deacons, during the past two years, have expanded their yoga and fitness repertoire.

“Our Paradise Valley center has three rooms,” said Fillmore, “and that means we’re able to provide classes all day in a big variety like Hot Pilates, HIIT, Barre Classes and other different yoga styles, as well as childcare!”

The Foundry is a full-service studio. All of their teachers and instructors are fully and professionally trained and certified. For those who are new to yoga or pilates, The Foundry also contains their own on-site boutique where clients can purchase the appropriate hot workout clothing, mats and towels.

Clients can purchase a membership or pay on a class-by-class schedule. Fwor those who have always been curious about yoga and are eager to explore how it can alter their lives for the better, they are offering your first 30 days of unlimited classes for just $30.

The Deacons and their employees are all about creating and fostering a community that supports and nurtures their clients in achieving and maintaining their peak health. They also work to facilitate a strong sense of community among their members and regular attendees. “We really work to know everyone’s name. In an age where you could do everything through the computer and not interact with an actual human all day, it is so nice and refreshing to feel seen and heard. We encourage our staff to know all of our clients and to connect with them including addressing every client by their name even if it’s just their second visit to the studio”, Fillmore says.

“One of the number one things people tell us is that it’s so nice to be a part of a community,” said Fillmore. “Nicole and Todd are giving a space for people to transform themselves

If you’re eager to give yoga a try, then check out the following list of classes offered at The Foundry. To best select which is right for you, Fillmore has graciously explained the composition of each one.

Bikram Hot Yoga – This is very therapeutic, and it works the mind, body and spirit. This is their hottest class at 105 degrees with 45 percent humidity. The purpose of the heat is to warm your body allowing your muscles to more easily stretch, and the sweat created during hot yoga also helps your body to detoxify. This class is 90 minutes.

Restorative Basic Yoga – Because this is a basic yoga class, the pace is a bit slower than the Bikram, with plenty of hip opening postures and recovery time. It is excellent for individuals who are working with an injury, new to yoga, pregnant women, or for people who are looking for a more relaxed practice. Also, this class isn’t as hot; it’s only about 99 degrees with a 40 percent humidity.

Express Yoga Class – This is an abbreviated version (60 minutes) of the Bikram Yoga Class, and it’s offered on early mornings and weekends. Perfect for students with moderate yoga experience or for those looking to lose weight and improve cardiovascular conditioning.

Power Yoga – This class is a mix of Vinyasa flow and Bikram yoga. Done in a heated room to music, this is a great introduction to intermediate yoga postures.

Hot Pilates – This class is awesome for strengthening all of the body’s core muscles. Considered a more strength based workout, this class works the fine twitch muscles in the body. Fillmore describes this one as Classic Mat Pilates class and is ideal for all levels of ability.

HIIT – This stands for High Intensity Interval Training. The music is up and the energy is high – be prepared to sweat and have fun in our 45 minute Hot HIIT classes! Fillmore says it’s super fun Tabata-style training, which means you exercise for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, then 20 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of rest; you do this for 45 minutes. This class raises your heart rate, which supports a healthy heart, and it works to strengthen and tone muscles. A great quick 45-minute workout, this class really burns the calories.

Hot Barre – This is a ballet inspired class that’s a mix of Pilates and Yoga. Clients perform small movements or pulses that require balance and stimulate the core using a ballet bar that’s mounted to the wall. This 45-minute class is ideal for lengthening and toning.

Mini Kids Club – We have created a fun, relaxing, and thoughtful space in our front studio room to take care of your children. This is your alternative to finding child care while you get in your workout and relaxation time. Mini Kids Club is for children ages 1-5 and is offered Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. (reservation required). A typical day at Mini Kids Club includes: Music & Dance with Rhythm Scarves, Circle Time with Books & Songs, Mini Yoga Class & Meditation, and Craft Time.

Kids Yoga – Offered on Saturday mornings from 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., this class is designed for children ages 5-12. (Parents must be staying to take class during that time as well). This class will start with a meditation, followed by 20-30 minutes of yoga practice, a popcorn snack break, and then mindful crafts & activities.

Finally, The Foundry offers many of what they call Personal Growth classes. These nonphysical classes are geared towards meeting that goal of achieving whole body, mind and spirit health. These include workshops pertaining to health, relationships, finances, spiritually, meditation, etc.

“Here at The Foundry,” said Fillmore, “we offer students transformation on many levels. In the end, we want them to work on the physical, but we also want them to work the emotional, mental and spiritual, too.”

To learn more about The Foundry, check out their website:

Desert yoga photo courtesy of Photographer: Evan Villavaso (