Though she took her first yoga class when she was a teenager in 1992, it wasn't until Piera Chodorow Meil discovered Baron Baptiste's style of power Vinyasa yoga in 2006 that she began to seriously pursue her practice. After training under notable yogis such as Bill Raup and Bikram Choudhury—the founder of Bikram yoga—Piera opened her own studio, Yogi Power Yoga, to share her passion with students of all experience levels. Performed in a heated space to foster detoxification and help muscles to sink into deep stretches, the dynamic style of power yoga challenges practitioners to link a series of flowing postures with deep, mindful breaths. This idea of mindfulness extends to Yogi Power Yoga's physical practice space—environmentally friendly practices are used whenever possible, and much of the interior, including flooring, furnishings, and paint, consists of reclaimed or sustainable materials. Committed to helping its community, the studio offers donation-based classes and often partners with charity organizations, with initiatives that have included raising funds for the Farm Sanctuary, a rescue and refuge network for North American farm animals
Active Fitness prides itself on its friendly, welcoming atmosphere, and for the last 20 years, patrons have noticed. A team of certified personal trainers stands at the ready throughout the spacious fitness center, helping guests buff up on the weight-training equipment or burn calories on the rows of more than 50 cardio machines. Their goal is to make each guest feel like they’re part of a team, rather than just another membership number, which they stress in their small-group classes. Their classes include VastForce, an intense circuit-training class that combines elements of rock climbing, suspension training, and rowing, in which they coach each exerciser to complete the routines at their individual fitness levels. They also helm personal-training sessions, in which they push patrons toward their fitness goals—from running a marathon to losing a few pounds to flying 2 feet—with tailored routines and nutrition counseling.
Taking a road bike in a spinning studio may seem like a recipe for pedaling into a wall, but at Cycle On Studio, it's a recipe for a more realistic workout. During the studio’s Kinetic Rock and Roll training sessions, cyclists work out on their own bikes, which they lock into indoor-appropriate frames that provide lifelike side-to-side rocking to challenge the same muscles engaged on the biking trail. This is just one of the studio's many classes that cast off one-size-fits-all workouts. Even during traditional spinning sessions on NXT stationary bikes, students can opt to wear a MYZONE belt that monitors and tracks all of their exercise activity in order to make the classes more efficient. With or without the belts, instructors infuse these workouts with high-energy climbs, interval training, saddle work, and virtual rickshaw rides.
Okinawa Kenpo Karate Academy teaches children so much more than self-defense. For more than 10 years, instructors armed with at least a bachelor's degree have combined classic fighting techniques with important character-building lessons centered on concepts such as kindness, confidence, personal safety, and the discipline to face opponents armed with cool trading cards. Adult classes instill the same skills, exploring basic martial arts techniques and granting a full-body workout without requiring any previous experience. Beyond their standard karate lessons, the experts also teach other martial arts—such as the self-defense techniques of krav maga, the slow, energetic movements of tai chi, and the somersaults and takedowns of capoeira—and teach general fitness classes, including Pilates.
At Pilates Elite, Frances A. De Gori leads Pilates classes designed to strengthen cores, lengthen muscles, and transform bodies. She starts students out with between one and three private lessons, then guides them into basic mat sessions that focus on the principles and fundamental movements of Pilates. Once those fundamentals, along with breath work and balance, are honed, she leads participants in Level 2 mat classes and spine-correcting sessions that enhance spinal flexibility and abdominal control. Frances also instructs Fletcher Towelwork classes, which incorporate full-body movements in combination with resistance exercises.
In the eyes of an exercise enthusiast, 700 Fitness looks like a playground. Heavy ropes, tall boxes, and mallets wait to be hurled or jumped on. Bars of different heights support bodies as they swing up into the air, and elastic, neon straps provide resistance for challenging body-weight exercises.
But much like a ventriloquist dummy, the equipment is useless without some instruction. With the help of 700 Fitness's trained instructors, students weave through fitness circuits, KO punching bags, and learn how to always win The Floor is Lava game during parkour classes for all ages.