When Joy Kakabeeke was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, she turned to yoga. Having experienced the restorative, therapeutic effects of yoga in the past, Kakabeeke was pleasantly surprised at how regular yoga sessions helped ease the discomfort of her fibromyalgia. As a result, she opened Yoga Reflections as a means to share her knowledge and experience with others. Here, she and other instructors lead not only yoga classes, but also Pilates and sculpting barre classes that take place throughout the week.
Sconces glow against the olive-green walls as yogi's toes dig into the cushy mats that adorn the wood floors. A certified instructor takes charge of this scene, leading small groups through strength- and flexibility-building yoga classes. The expert adapts the sessions to students of different experience levels: Gentle yoga gives guests the option of using a chair throughout the session, and Intermediate classes challenge advanced students with more rigorous poses such as imitating a chair for the entire class.
The team further whips bodies into shape, that of a chair or otherwise, during cardio classes, which set heart-racing moves to high-energy beats during Zumba dance-fitness classes, or tummy-toning boot-camp classes. Yoga Plus also invites younger stretchers to enjoy the benefits of exercise with specialty classes such as Mom and Baby Yoga or Toddler Playtime. The latter involves moms working out alongside children, channeling babes' youthful energy or trying to imitate their extraordinarily effective laconic communication style.
Yoga Fusion Studio gets practitioners limber during heated and non-heated Vinyasa classes. The slow and flowing asanas link motions to deep and controlled breathing exercises in an effort to help students harmonize with the natural rhythm of the body. The teachers come from a wide range of backgrounds—some with decades of professional ballet experience—and the studios refresh the soul with natural lighting and cool, subdued color schemes. In addition to yoga classes, the studio keeps workouts interesting with mat Pilates classes.
Polished hardwood floors and full-length mirrors line the interior of East Lansing Hot Yoga, where a furnace warms the air to a humid temperature of 105 degrees. The sultry heat, similar to that of a tropical rainforest or Ricky Martin music video, catalyzes a variety of health benefits as yoga students break a healthy sweat. The elevated temperature loosens exercisers’ limbs, allowing for deeper execution of poses that lengthen and strengthen muscles.
The studio's instructors welcome students of all experience levels to classes that range from energetic hot vinyasa sessions to hot yin, which emphasizes meditative poses that are held for longer amounts of time. They also teach participants to breath slower and deeper, which can lower blood pressure and relieve physical tension. After class, students can cool off with a refreshing shower in the locker rooms.
Patrons sip on custom teas at Bubble Island, where staffers mix tapioca balls, or “bubbles,” with milk tea and creative flavors to concoct delightful chilled and hot beverages. Fresh fruit swims in many of the drinks, such as the green tea with mango stars ($3.65), and customers can often choose between bubbles and alternative drink accessories such as jellies and diamond-encrusted straws. As visitors lounge and mingle among the café's ample chairs or construct forts among the cozy benches lining the wall, they sip dulcet pourings of drinkable treats, such as milk tea with multicolored bubbles ($3.65).
Solace Therapeutic Massage's experienced massage therapists soothe patrons with an arsenal of relaxing and clinical modalities. Like chemists at a soda fountain, clients can mix and match their own modalities or allow the therapist to tailor the treatment as they see fit with techniques such as polarity therapy or positional release. Swedish techniques apply gentle pressure and massage muscles in the same direction as blood returning to the heart from its circulatory sojourn, attempting to coax toxins out of their homes while better oxygenating the body. Clinical techniques delve into the musculature in search of the causes behind such persistent discomforts as back pain, tennis elbow, and chess wrist. Reflexology treatments target the feet with a specialized therapy that spends approximately 30 minutes attempting to rebalance the corporeal systems before finishing the hour with a full-body massage. The staff also prevents the need to rub the back on a telephone pole by performing prenatal and sports massages.