Pick up a copy of Boise Weekly, flip open the Idaho Statesman, or tune in to Boise State Public Radio, and you might catch Ophidia Studio’s owner, Allison Holley, spreading the gospel of pole dancing. "It feels fun," she told Boise State Public Radio's Scott Ki. "It's kind of like playing on a jungle gym, and adults don't get that chance." Along with a coterie of experienced instructors, Allison casts off the bad rap of an activity that she says some see as "demeaning or degrading" in pole-dancing classes that build fitness and self-confidence in a playful atmosphere. Inside a hot-pink studio peppered with stationary and spinning poles, Allison and her crew walk students of all levels through a number of creative pole-dancing moves, beginning with spins and working up to inversions, choreography routines, and ceiling-fan impersonations.
Their expertise doesn’t stop there, though. The instructors also offer an arsenal of other sensual classes such as belly-dancing, hoop dancing, poi fire dancing, and Curvesque, which helps whittle waists and define the feminine form through fluid, dance-inspired movements. They also offer the more-traditional fitness classes of Zumba and body blast, along with yoga and its elevated counterpart—aerial yoga, which suspends students in a fabric sling hung from the ceiling.
Coos, gurgles, and tiny handclaps form a soundtrack for Stroller Strides classes, one-hour sessions that are part play group and part workout, helping moms and tots forge friendships as they build strength, coordination, and flexibility. Certified instructors lead intervals of power walking and toning exercises that sculpt the entire body more effectively than bench-pressing babies. Workouts incorporate easy-to-use tools such as resistance bands and the strollers themselves, as well as environmental elements such as hills and trees during warm weather. Classes welcome moms of all fitness levels and babies who are 6 weeks old or who can grow a full beard. Stroller Strides also develops online resources to help moms connect with one another and work out in their homes.
Body Renew Fitness's boot camps ($149) keep clients engaged and bodies guessing with a slate of workouts that vary from session to session. Boot campers will partake in the latest strength and conditioning exercises in the camps—held Mondays through Fridays—as they grow under the guidance of Body Renew's certified trainers, skilled in the ways of the push-up and the worth of positive thinking. In addition to fat-searing workouts, boot-camp members will learn all about the basics of nutrition with Body Renew's Solutions program. Get educated in the scientifics of body-fat percentage, body-mass index, calories, basal metabolic rate, and more—everything you need to grill the fat out and transform your body into a sizzling-hot specimen of leanness. And unlike many other outdoor boot camps, Body Renew Fitness gives its students access to indoor gym amenities ($40) and state-of-the-art exercise machines, allowing you to add new colors to the Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly that is your fitness regimen.
In becoming a Pilates instructor, Erin Creagan gave up the ocean for a calm, birch forest. The switch came after countless injuries in her hips and shoulders—the results of swimming in national-level, open-ocean competitions. Erin turned to Pilates as a strengthening regimen, and found that it helped alleviate her symptoms as it toned and slimmed her body. From there, she immersed herself in training. Erin completed an 800-hour certification program, worked at several gyms, and eventually was able to open her own studio.
Breathing Room is a serene, supportive space, with murals of birch trees lining soft brown walls. Reformer machines and mats take up the floor, often in partnership with props like magic circles or small hand weights. During classes, Erin and her staff combine Pilates fundamentals with modern methods to address each client's needs. Mat sessions encompass classical Pilates movements, whereas barre classes incorporate the ballet barre as an exercise tool or a dramatic joust after a fit of rage. The studio also hosts private and semi-private lessons, which allows instructors to craft personalized workouts based on specific goals.
As a gymnastics coach, Kaia FIT founder and owner Nikki Warren always noticed how children in motion tumble and play with ease. They were effortlessly agile and flexible, and yet many of them would grow into adults who would struggle to stay active. Kaia FIT sprang from this realization with the goal of restoring female physiques to the adolescent pliability everyone enjoys before they grow their rock-hard exoskeleton after sixth grade.
At Kaia FIT, a team of expert fitness coaches retrain bodies with dynamic workouts designed to strengthen muscles, boost energy, and vanquish fat. They root their FIT sessions in functional training, a method that enlists athletes' own body weight and movement to stimulate fitness. They also ramp up their regular FIT program during Brik boot camps, in which students sweat through ever-changing routines to keep their bodies in better shape than fad diets or preserving them in amber for swimsuit season would. Although each program ranges in intensity and length, all workouts and moves can be modified to suit the fitness level of any client. To further help clients reach their fitness goals, the studio makes available a bounty of healthy, flavorful recipes online.
At i am yoga, students discover skills they may never have known they had, such as touching their toes and standing on their heads. Movements like these teach them to focus their minds and look deep into their hearts, where compassion awaits when balance falters. Vinyasa routines fuel this process of self-discovery, welcoming students of all abilities with dance-like sequences of ancient poses and deep-breathing exercises. The temperature rises to 85–90 degrees during Warm Vinyasa’s sun salutations, loosening muscles, deepening stretches, and melting pocket-dwelling ice packs that are unnecessary anyway. Music synchronizes breaths and movement as muscles gain strength, stamina, and flexibility.
When she’s not leading in-studio classes or private lessons, owner Julia Jones hosts free classes at Capitol Park, where students can mimic the gentle bends of grass blades and the spastic dance moves of tree branches.