Like a trip to the all-you-can-dance buffet, Jazzercise incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, and air-busting kickboxing. In 60 minutes of class, participants of all ages and levels will benefit from improving their cardio, strength, and flexibility while burning off up to 500 calories and improving their chances of impressing Kevin Bacon at a celebrity dance-a-thon. Dancing with the Stars two-time champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise’s improvisational workouts, but clients won’t need her encyclopedic knowledge of flashy footwork and spirit-fingered dance moves to get the most out of each class. Those prone to first-class jitters can review the basic moves before their shimmy session.
The instructors lead students through Bikram yoga's 26 challenging poses and two breathing exercises in a heated room, which helps purge the body of toxins and allows limbs to sink deeply into stretches. Within a studio heated to more than 100 degrees, students flow through poses that strengthen and stretch muscles, ligaments, and joints. Each posture is designed to work muscle groups needed for the next pose, building a series of interconnected movements. By temporarily decreasing blood flow to specific areas of the body, the poses send in a rush of freshly oxygenated blood to joints, organs, and limbs when yogis unfold from folds and twists, unblocking the tiny traffic jams of hemoglobin. Most yoga classes are 90 minutes long, and most studios offer flexible early morning and evening classes. Visit the individual studios' websites to see their schedules.
Although Bikram Yoga Avondale’s classes always cycle through the same 26-pose sequence, the practice is anything but boring. The repetition gives practitioners a pretty clear point of reference when it comes to tracking their progress over time, and the addition of sweltering heat challenges even the most adroit yogi. The heat of the Bikram studio boosts the heart rate, so the sessions function as cardio workouts, and the poses stretch and strengthen every major muscle group. Some even maintain that it boosts the immune system and improves focus. Since its inception, its grab-bag of benefits has attracted the admiration of high-profile adherents such as Shirley MacLaine and President Nixon.
The instructors at Bikram Yoga Avondale infuse each lesson with their personality, adding a touch of variety. The new facility, which also offers massage services, features a state of the art heating and ventilation system, new waterproof and anti-microbial carpets, along with larger changing rooms and additional shower facilities. To keep boat-loads of fresh oxygen coursing through circulatory systems, the staff deep cleans the facility with ardor, and deploys a state-of-the-art ozone air purifier.
Sand-volleyball courts. Indoor pools. Cycling studios. At Fitness Works Athletic Clubs' four area locations, kids and adults alike caper about a dumbfounding landscape of fitness frills. The instructors lead a wide variety of Les Mills and Zumba group classes designed to work every muscle group. Exercisers can improve their lung capacity during BodyAttack or hone their flexibility during BodyFlow, which draws from yoga, tai chi, and Pilates. Although amenities vary by location, they all include cardio and strength-training equipment, steam and sauna rooms equipped with aromatherapy add-ons, and indoor heated saltwater pools relatively free of saltwater sharks. While adults burn calories, kids can mingle in the Kid Zone, engaging in arts and crafts or educational and fitness activities.
Named after the Sanskrit word for “community,” Sangha Yoga stays true to its title by bringing together yogis of all levels in peaceful classes six days a week. The studio’s curriculum incorporates both extremely gentle sessions and such intense rounds as the "rock my body, soothe my soul" class, which keeps sweat glands' hands full with challenging poses that strengthen the frame without overworking internal systems.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 4+ hours
Brands Used: Aeris, Aqua Lung, Hollis, Oceanic
Pro Tip: We are passionate about the sport of scuba diving
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Scuba classes
Recommended Age Group: 10 and up
A lot of people like to dive right in when it comes to learning a new skill, but the founder of Inland Water Divers prefers a slow and steady approach when it comes to certifying new scuba divers. "Your first step as a new student should be to stop into the shop and meet one of our instructors," he says. Ensuing conversations focus on a student's individual goals, and whether he or she would simply like a PADI or NAUI diving certification or something more advanced, such as rescue diving training or algae language lessons. After all, as the founder points out, "Matching you with the correct equipment and knowing your goals will help ensure that you are successful in your training."