As they gaze through floor-to-ceiling windows at the wooded landscape, guests at Triangle Yoga find it easy to believe that they're floating above the treetops. This daydream holds especially true for aerial yoga and dance students—who are indeed floating with the aid of suspended fabric slings—but the studio strives to imbue all of its visitors with that serene feeling of weightlessness, subtracting stress with specialized classes for all ages and abilities.
The studio’s certified instructors hold at least four classes each day, seven days a week, filling the loft-like space with several varieties of Hatha yoga. Their emphasis is on accessibility; aside from leading a long list of beginner's and advanced offerings, they welcome seniors to Yoga Over 50 sessions, pre- and postnatal moms to baby-centric series, and children to playful workshops. With free classes every month and a work-trade program, which exchanges class time for help around the office, they steer around many patrons' financial difficulties.
Though the studio has earned the 2011 Best of Chapel Hill Award in Yoga Instruction from the U.S. Commerce Association, it summons peace in myriad ways besides posing. Certified massage therapist Natalie Sablina imbues all of her kneads with reiki or other energy work, such as aromatherapy scents culled from the dreams of candlemakers. Kirtan call-and-response chanting assemblies collect donations for children in need, and artists sketch renditions of live models during meetings of the woman's art co-op.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
The all-female clientele at Women's Only Workout sweats in solidarity during more than 15 types of fitness classes or individual workouts in the fully equipped gym. Members get 24-hour access to exercise machines, free weights, and gym facilities, as well as personal training, boot camp, or group fitness classes.
Nationally certified instructors push physiques through Pilates maneuvers atop floor mats, building core strength more effectively than a reinforced-concrete jerkin. Pedals whiz as legs strive to crest hills during spin sessions, and Zumba's Latin-infused dance steps shimmy off calories with a sassy cardio workout. In the candlelit yoga class, students arch into limb-lengthening tableaus to ramp up flexibility and cast more complicated shadow animals onto softly glowing walls. Other classes include step, total-body conditioning, and Nia—an adaptable variant of nonimpact aerobics that melds martial arts, dance, and yoga.
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.
A personalized fitness assessment determines which areas of the gymnastic sciences you need the most help in, allowing you to focus on problem subjects during your month of no-holds-barred gym access. O2's facilities play host to a variety of playground equipment for the adult-child at heart. Burn your calories in style on more than 100 pieces of individual cardio equipment. Each apparatus is decked out with a personal entertainment screen that doubles as a futuristic magazine tray or vertical forehead-rest. In addition, a full selection of free weights and strength machines allows you to tone and sculpt with Michelangelic precision.