In 1987, indoor climbing was as unpopular in the Seattle area as breeding labradoodles. But Vertical World––a pioneer indoor climbing gym––introduced the city to the up-and-coming sport of rock climbing in a controlled environment. Since its inception, the gym has expanded to three other locations in Everett, Tacoma, and Redmond, the latter hosting eastside climbers for more than 20 years.
A team of experienced route creators challenges climbers with more than 200 bouldering, lead, or top-rope routes in a wide variety of difficulty levels. The gym hosts competitive youth teams that have gone on to national or world tournaments. The gym's staff of climbers and guides also leads outdoor excursions that build confidence and teach novices how to identify a rock wall in the wild.
The certified instructors at Bikram Yoga Seattle lead students through a tapestry of restorative postures within heated studios that help loosen limbs, increase circulation, and incite detoxifying sweats. During each session, they'll explain and demonstrate the physical and potentially spiritual nuances of each of the 26 poses.
The studio boasts antifungal and antimicrobial smooth-surface flooring that helps cultivate a clean and hygienic atmosphere in which to practice. The materials are 100% recyclable and made by Mondo, the same company that supplied the flooring for the 2012 London Olympics.
Northwest Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, provides members with a 30-minute circuit of hydraulic resistance machines designed for an efficient cardio and strength training workout. During the training, attendees can burn up to 500 calories and work each major muscle group to work toward individual fitness goals. An experienced coach is always nearby to teach and motivate participants, and a soundtrack of fun, upbeat music cues participants to move on to the next station. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight and fitness level to create resistance. Each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Young at Art owners Theresa and Andrea were inspired to open a year-round arts-and-crafts haven after the successes of their afterschool art program and Theresa's summer art camp. A class roster attuned to the school district's off hours and fire-drill schedule lets kids as young as age 1 get messy with glue, paint, and paper crafts. Longer attention spans—including those of adults—can soak up more structured workshops that result in mosaics, fabric art, or beaded jewelry.
Dora Gyarmati leads her fleet of graceful instructors with the same carefree humor she uses in her own Ashtanga-style yoga classes. After stumbling onto yoga when a passionate affair with running led to an injured knee, Dora realized her love for the low-impact discipline, and over the years has continued her education with advanced teacher training and workshops. Her dedication has created a community of like-minded yogis that welcomes students of all experience and fitness levels to inclusive classes and focused workshops. Cheery yellow walls unadorned by mirrors surround the judgment-free studio as guests breathe, stretch, and brush their spirit animals together.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.