Daisy Anten loves fitness so much that she came out of retirement to teach it once again—even after a long career owning two fitness centers. With her business partner, licensed professional counselor Donna Peck, she opened Women's Fitness with Daisy: a women-only gym where Daisy could teach Pilates, yoga, circuit training, and her newfound passion, Zumba.
The center creates a supportive environment for women not only through group classes, but also through nutritional counseling and massage therapy. A mother-daughter membership program fosters fitness across multiple generations better than a pull-up bar bolted to a family tree.
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.
The world is full of classic sequences such as washer then dryer, joke then laughter, and cheesecake then haircut. For $40, today’s Groupon adds another twosome to that list with a drop-in yoga session ($12 value) and a one-hour, therapeutic massage ($75 value) at the appropriately named Desert Song Yoga and Massage Center, a Phoenix yoga shoppe and massagery that's got 25 years of experience under its belt made out of old tires.
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.
Together with her fierce team of trainers at IM=X Pilates Studio, owner Melissa Murray leads classes in IM=X Pilates' signature workout, IM=X, which is short for Integrated Movement Xercize. The class combines strength training, cardio exercises, and accessories such as the IM=X ring and Body Bar for a high-energy session profiled in Fitness Magazine, Mademoiselle, and the New York Times. The IM=X schedule of classes includes Pilates floor sessions, as well as yoga, TRX suspension, and classes focused on cardio or abdominal work. IM=X also offers private personal training with customized workouts to help clients speed up muscle development and tone hard-to-reach places such as the upper arms and inner ears.