Michael Perkola is an expert teacher of yoga and meditation. He teaches awareness and mastery of the body through the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. In 2013, he became a full-time yoga teacher and, in 2014, founded United Yoga Company, LLC. He has taught meditation and yoga at many of Houston's yoga studios, as well as at Life Time Fitness, Equinox River Oaks, and the Houston Ballet. Michael has learned from internationally notable teachers such as Robert Boustany, Diane Long, David Williams, David Swenson, Doug Swenson, Les Leventhal, David Regelin, and Ana Forrest.
Michael became a NASM Certified Personal Trainer in 2017. The main focus of his personal training is corrective exercise, ranging from correcting posture to post-rehabilitative fitness for major surgeries. He shares this knowledge in both private and group settings. His clients and professional peers gave him the nickname “Yoga Doctor.”
Michael has long pursued self-awareness and self-mastery, beginning with the study of Zen meditation at the age of 16. He received instruction in G.I. Gurdjieff's teachings in his twenties. He began teaching meditation in 2003 and subsequently founded or lead meditation study groups in Houston and Tokyo. Prior to his interest in yoga, Michael studied various martial arts, including competitive fencing in the United States and Japanese swordsmanship in Japan. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration from Texas Tech University.
I wanted to take a moment to express how light I feel after having met and worked with you. I express myself best written, so I hope this does justice to my appreciation. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I've only taken 3 or 4 classes with you, the last being this morning when you subbed for Macy. Truthfully, I call it serendipity. Seeing you in the class made me content and I was overwhelmed with confidence. Not really a type of self-confidence, more of a feeling of assurance that I'm in good hands. Not to my surprise, I left the class up in the air, with a smile on my face. I believe your educated, thoughtful, and minimalist style of teaching is just what I've been seeking in my yoga practice.
I hope to take as many classes with you as possible. I already got my eyes on your Saturday classes. Mindfulness is another thing I've been consistently thriving to be better at, so I'm beyond excited to take your meditation class.
- Giray, a member at Equinox River Oaks
I recommended you because, just from your one class, it made a big difference for me after months of [meditation] practice. Yesterday, I had a rather painful medical procedure akin to being stabbed in the back by a ninja. I meditated through the whole thing with only mild discomfort. The doctors were amazed. Even more shocking was that I was able to lower my blood pressure from 135 over 80 to 75 over 58 during the procedure. That’s how focused I was. The doctor told me, “Ok, you can stop the meditation now. Make it go back up!” And I did in a matter of minutes. I then drove to work and stayed there the rest of the day.
- Darrow, a student from Life Time Athletic City Centre
Michael is so good. I’ve taken three classes with him. After I took his yoga class, I wondered what I was doing in other classes? Were they just entertainment? He knows the real yoga and the muscles and movements.
- Jessica, a member at Equinox River Oaks
This was my first yoga class with you. This was the first time that my lower back didn’t hurt in savasana.
- Nella, a member at Equinox River Oaks
My sincerest thanks to Michael Perkola for providing instruction on his myofascial release and recovery techniques. As a person who runs 40+ miles a week, I have been struggling with a discomfort in my leg and shoulder for several months. After performing Michael's techniques before and after my recent long runs, I have experienced zero pain. My highest recommendation to anyone who is a runner or fitness lover to seek out Michael's expertise!
I don't know if your remember me from more than a year ago, but I just wanted to say thank you for teaching me Downward-Facing Dog and Chaturanga. My shoulders stopped hurting in yoga after you.
- Sharon, a student from Joy Yoga Center
Michael was recommended to me by another Lifetime trainer to address nerve pain in my neck caused by a bulging disk and chronically tight neck muscles; I hadn't been able to get relief after months of physical therapy exercises. Michael quickly analyzed my issue and recommend a course of muscle release, stretching, and strengthening movements. After one session with Michael I was able to incorporate the movements in to my own workout routine. I'm so happy to say I'm experiencing relief in my neck after only a couple of weeks of regularly practicing the movements. My neck pain is no longer the first and last thing I think about every day.This is HUGE considering the months of chronic discomfort I experienced! Also, Michael's group classes are worth your time. I've learned so much about the musculoskeletal system just by attending, and I'm able to integrate what I learn in his classes with my Alpha workouts and recoveries. I'm grateful to have met Michael and I look forward to learning more from him as I continue down my wellness path. - Katherine W. - 03/06/19
I was having muscle aches and weakness at the core so I attended Michael’s flexibility class. I knew immediately he would be an excellent trainer for me and I was right. I never got bored because Michael mixed up my sessions between calisthenics and yoga which was new for me and super effective. He’s got a very endearing personality and I think he’s quite simply the BEST!! - David I. - 03/06/19
Talk about an impact player, Michael takes time to listen, ask questions, and immediately seeks a solution. My first meeting with Michael happened by accident as he had just finished up a on-boarding session with my wife. For 10 years, I was told to live with my lower back issues. Michael walked over to the stretching area and showed a few basic items to strengthen our bodies using our own body weight. Wow, I practiced the suggested items over a few weeks and completely relieved the lower back issues. When I see Michael is teaching yoga, flexibility or his special breakout sessions, I always attend knowing I will experience and learn more than expected. In these sessions you can see how much impact Michael makes with his corrective suggestions. Michael’s flexibility class is a must for all members. Once you experience his humor as you are relieving muscle tension you will be hooked. Learning how much tension we carry in our muscles is completely misunderstood and in a few minutes you notice that your arm reach is a few inches greater than a few minutes before. Michael’s teachings are like magic for the entire body. Michael’s attitude is 100% about abundance and assistance as he will share his knowledge and time. One of the most important parts for me is Michael's follow up after a session to share summary of time spent on various activities. Michael is a true asset you want on your team. - Manoj K. - 03/05/19
Michael definitely knows his craft. I have been impressed with his knowledge of the muscular system and proper fitness techniques. Plus, he has a great disposition and really listens to you. I had some deficiencies that were causing some issues with my knee. I had been to several other trainers in the past and he has easily been the best at figuring out the underlying problem and the long-term solution. I'm looking forward to working with Michael in continuing to improve my overall fitness and health. - Michael P. - 03/04/19
After my serious lower back surgery, Michael put me back on my feet with a very focused physical excercises of my back and leg muscles. After about ten training sessions I was back to about 95% strength where I was before I injured my back. Michael is not only very knowledgeable of muscle anatomy and how to get the best focused results, but he is very safe, patient and listens well to feedback. He always knows two or three different suggestions how to exercise the same group of muscles. In the past I used some other trainers, but Michael is two or three levels above just average. - Damir V. - 03/04/19
The best part about my training with Michael is that he tailors sessions specifically for me, taking into account my injuries, strengths and weaknesses. He is very technical, has an exceptional knowledge of anatomy and musculature. He applies this knowledge to help gain fitness and strength. I have been steadily losing body fat and increasing muscle mass. Michael is fantastic! - Kamal G. - 03/04/19
where do I begin to tell you the story of a trainer that EVERYONE I know of recommended to go see because of my frozen shoulder. I could not lift my right arm past 90 degrees on the side and could NOT swing it in a circular manner. Only ONE.....yes, ONE....session with him and I'm far from being totally healed BUT: after that one hour session, I was able to lift my arm all the way up and rotate it in a circular manner. The explanation of why my muscles were tight and the explanation of the exercises he had me do during that one hour lesson were what I valued more than anything. He took the TIME to listen to me and to tailor the lesson to my personal needs. I love his style of soft, but, firm and his not too "over my head" nerdy style of explaining procedure and philosophy. I highly recommend his class on flexibility and if you can, take a one on one lesson with him at least once in your life. You'll be happy you did. I know I am. - Yvonne M. - 02/21/19