At Prana Yoga, students gather beneath the wings of swans, which float across the studio's wall toward the inspirational quote "Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." Here, such wisdom surfaces from within as minds clear and muscles strengthen. During the signature Vinyasa flow class, the temperature rises to loosen tight muscles and oust squatting toxins. Students match deep, relaxing breaths with a series of ancient poses as teachers, such as studio cofounder Carrie Herscovici, circulate the room, lighting candles and gently adjusting bodily alignment. Drawing from her training with power-yoga superstar Baron Baptiste and Indian sage Senthil Kumar, Carrie inspires her students to surmount both physical challenges and mental unrest, strengthening the body while bringing peace to the mind. In addition to leading classes, she donates 10% of the studio's profits to charity and operates a clothing boutique that helps shoppers integrate yoga into their everyday lives and bow-tie collections.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Equipment: Pilates Apparatus, Pilates Mat, and Booty Barre equipment
Students should bring: Towels, water, and Pilates mats are provided at no cost.
Average class length: 30–60 minutes
Number of Staff: 5–10 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Call, email, or visit www.rocpilates.com to reserve your spot in class. Reservations are required.
At Star Physical Therapy, rehabilitation comes by way of physical activity. The 9,000-square-foot facility couples private treatment rooms with onsite aquatherapy to treat orthopedic and neurologic conditions, as well as a 24-hour fitness facility complete with cardio machines and free weights. Here, the team of physical therapists and personal trainers work in conjunction to get clients back on their feet and into good shape.
When Rick Rugg and Bob Schiffhauer founded the first Athletic Club in Buffalo in 1980, they chartered their gym around three values: service, cleanliness, and having owners operate their own facilities. True to the founders’ original vision, each of the Rochester locations' employees strive to keep their cardio and resistance equipment spic and span as they care for facilities that range of up to 30,000 square feet.
In addition to personal training, instructors lead more than 400 group fitness classes—including cycling, yoga, and Zumba—offered each week across their five locations. After workouts, guests can slip into saunas and private showers; most locations also have steam rooms, and the Perinton location has a pool. Three of the RAC locations are for women only, allowing them to workout uninhibited by the company of men or asexual mermaids.
An independent arts and crafts studio, Hope in Art invites prospective Picassos in for 2.5 hours of heavy right-brain lifting in an encouraging environment with paint-your-own garden stepping stone workshops. Armed with a 12" x 12" stone and their own imaginations, amateur artists while away an afternoon or evening, accenting the bare slabs with flora-enhancing patterns or faces designed to scare off skunks. Hope in Art enables sketchers in creating professional-looking pieces with an array of patterns and designs to lay down on an almost-finished stone, as well as an experienced artist-scholar patrolling the room to dole out troubleshooting tips, demonstrate new techniques, and block errant flying milkshakes. Groupon customers should call ahead to schedule their workshop.