Lin Marcyan's path to becoming a small-business owner was paved with a series of happy accidents. For years she worked as a personal trainer and fitness competitor, until an injury laid her low. After some trial and error, she discovered that massage therapy helped her manage her injury, and decided to enroll in massage school. She graduated at the top of her class, and began working as an independent practitioner at a chiropractor's office. Just a few months later, however, the chiropractor had to close the practice.
Instead of letting this setback derail her, Lin decided to buy the space and turn it into Unity Wellness Studio. There, she draws upon her experiences to help clients achieve whole-body wellness. In that spirit, her service offerings include a wide variety of therapies, from yoga and personal training to massage therapy and wellness workshops. Unity is open to clients of all ages, as Lin sees the studio as a place where families can enjoy pursuing wellness goals together.
Arizona Power Yoga's classes embrace athletic as well as introspective styles, ensuring that the studio is a welcoming environment for students of virtually any skill or fitness level. As owner Joseph Lauricella claims in a video on his website, "what we do here…is make yoga very accessible and demystify it." Regardless of the intensity, each class emphasizes a holistic approach to personal fitness and well-being by incorporating mindful breathing exercises and meticulously controlled movements. Arizona Power Yoga's temperatures fall between 85 and 90 degrees for the energetic and athletically paced Power Vinyasa sessions, which use fluid sequences of dynamic asanas to hone balance and build up stamina. In contrast, the instructors also lead gentler sessions that introduce students to fundamental poses while showing them that conscious breathing can improve mental focus and diminish the number of instances when they inexplicably turn blue.
No two people share the same fitness needs and goals. The trainers at Active Bodies understand this and help visitors perform workouts designed to tone muscles, burn calories, or simply help people live healthier lifestyles. The team also offers personal-training sessions, which incorporate everything from cardiovascular conditioning and resistance training to exercises with dynamic body movements. Active Bodies also hosts group programs for clients seeking the support of a class environment. Zumba, Pilates, kickboxing, yoga, and boot camp sessions are all intended to complement everyday fitness routines while providing variety and a chance to purge coup-plotting sweat.
Healthy living doesn't always have to involve training though. The gym supports its clients' quests toward greater wellness by offering stretch therapy and rejuvenating massages. Nutritional guidance complements workout regimens by suggesting step-by-step dietary changes. Active Bodies even caters to visitors' needs by featuring a special play area where children safely play, lounge on bean bags, or practice their differential equations.
Claudia Schroeder first started practicing yoga in 1996 as a way to find refuge from stress. In 2007, with more than 10 years of training under her belt, she decided to become an instructor to share the life-changing practice with others. Now helming her own studio, Sol Yoga, she connects with the community, while also strengthening her familial bonds. Her husband and daughter work alongside her as co-founder and an instructor, respectively, and teaching classes helps her stay in shape to keep up with her three granddaughters, who were just signed as first-draft NFL running backs.
The three of them, along with a cast of diverse teachers, aim to help students care for their bodies and cultivate an openhearted attitude during classes for students of all ages and ability levels. In addition to yoga, they offer Yo-Pi Core—a blend of yoga and Pilates that builds strength, balance, and flexibility—as well as Zumba, which encourages students to let loose with fun, Latin-inspired dance moves.
Armed with equal parts passion, dedication to the practice, and wisdom gained through teaching certifications, Blissful Yoga Studio's instructors help students achieve lithe, flexible bodies with classes catering to all activity levels. Introductory classes help beginners pay special attention to their alignment and breathing, and hot Vinyasa-flow classes challenge the mind as well as the muscles with a continuous series of empowering postures performed in a room that's heated up to 97 degrees. Instructors also incorporate the studio's specially outfitted wall, using its system of straps to sink students into deeper supported postures during yoga wall stretch sessions, which help them better impersonate the lowercase letter q. In addition to classes, the studio hosts workshops for seniors and those recovering from injuries that cover the basics of the yoga sutras.
Heidi Lamar didn't know much about spas when she first purchased Spa Lamar. As she explained to reporters from Skin Inc., "not coming from a spa background, there were things I didn't know I couldn't do." Unhindered by industry conventions or previously fixed ideas, Heidi set about filling her 14,000-square-foot spa with innovative amenities—from a luxurious waterfall-fed pool to an onsite yoga and dance studio. She also cultivates locals instead of the typical resort crowd, banishing cacti from the decor in favor of a Caribbean-style ambiance that, as she told the Arizona Republic, caters to those who already live in Arizona and want to get away to a tropical island. Today, her media-lauded spa is the largest privately owned spa in Scottsdale and is frequented by locals, including members of the Phoenix Suns Dancers.
Before treatments that include massages, acupuncture, mani-pedis, and facials, guests garbed in fluffy complimentary robes duck into the steam room. They sample wholesome lunches and fruit plates from the tropical tea bar and relax in the sauna while waiting for a haircut or warm algae wrap. Sunbathers float around the pool on loungers, whereas others simmer in a bubbling whirlpool. Unlike many traditional spas, Spa Lamar is completely coed, making it an ideal place for couples that are on a first date or permanently trapped together inside a horse costume with a broken zipper.