With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Fully focused on recreation?whether it's kicking a soccer ball or launching off a moon bounce?The Plex and The Plex South offer a huge variety of sports and entertainment for all ages. The original location, The Plex, is home to 45,000 square feet of indoor sports-centric facilities, including an inline rink, two soccer XLTurf fields, and a parking lot for competitive four-square matches. In the warmer months, two stadiums and fifteen outdoor fields are available for activities such as flag football, outdoor soccer, and summer youth programs.
The Plex South takes a more casual approach to activities, with offerings such as mini golf, batting cages, and birthday parties, in addition to sports leagues and programs. Batters of all ages can step into the batting cages for both softball and baseball batting practice, with speeds ranging from slow lob to Randy Johnson fireball. Meanwhile, aspiring golfers or Caddyshack III extras putt and swing clubs year-round at either the driving ranges, or 18-hole mini golf.
Prana Yoga School of Yoga and Health takes its name from the Sanskrit word for "breath," a vital life force. As part of the studio's mission, its instructors aim to expose students to all the benefits of yoga and holistic health in a welcoming and nonjudgmental environment. With 60 classes available each week, Prana Yoga's two locations offer sessions designed for practitioners of every experience level. During all-levels courses, instructors invite all students to practice together while also modifying and adjusting poses for those who need it. Restorative sessions help practitioners relax, and prenatal courses bring relief to mothers-to-be.
In addition to group yoga, the facility hosts private one-on-one yoga, teacher-training programs, and a variety of workshops. Massage therapists are also available to perform Thai, hot-stone, and Swedish massages. As part of a commitment to giving back to the community, the founder of Prana Yoga also runs the Pranayoga Foundation, which brings yoga therapy to people with cancer and other chronic illnesses.
Inspired by the lotus flower, whose seeds find stability in grimy pond water before blossoming into beautiful flowers, Lotus Yoga, Wellness & Gallery mirrors this journey through its art gallery, yoga classes, and massage studio. The gallery's hardwood floors mirror its wood ceiling, between which clean white walls and a curved display wall in the center of the room allow the artwork they display to pop with crystal vividness. Through all its endeavors, including gallery events and workshops, the destination seeks to establish a community of compassion among its staff and patrons.
The yoga studio teaches the breathing- and movement-based Vinyasa style to practitioners of all skill levels in standard class settings. For an individualized wellness experience, instructors conduct personal-training sessions as therapists administer chiropractic treatments and massages.
Built by women for women, Body Design for Women's fitness classes and programs center around helping women achieve their fitness goals. The staff, composed entirely of female certified personal trainers and fitness assistants, aids weight loss with classes such as low-impact circuit training, Zumba, and Piloxing, a Pilates-boxing fusion.
The staff also leads one-on-one sessions and teaches clients that they should kick anybody who offers them junk food in the shins. The gym's complimentary online food journal, exercise demos, and healthy recipe ideas furnish further weight loss outside the gym.