Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.
The instructors at Pendleton Pilates’ four locations teach 125 classes each week, showing students how to elongate and strengthen their muscles on mats, inflatable exercise balls, and the studio’s reformer machines. During each group or private session, instructors customize workouts that use a rotating selection of 500 core-focused movements developed by Joseph Pilates in 1945. Additional classes include sessions in which students use parallel ballet barres while performing Pilates exercises, as well as spinning classes at the Westchester location.
Planet Dance Uptown coordinates shindigs for youngsters in three dance studios, all sporting floating wood floors with marley surfaces expertly tuned for floorboard-pounding. The trained instructors—who have been featured on everything from Broadway to MTV—specialize in myriad dance styles, so kids can pirouette at a ballerina party or learn to expertly cut a rug at a hip-hop hoopla.
More than 2,000 hours and counting. That's how long Jayne Cardell, the owner of Blyss Studio, has been practicing and teaching yoga. Her expertise comes in handy at her homey yoga studio, where she and her team of instructors schedule Vinyasa and Hatha yoga classes and build personal yoga cabanas from yoga blocks and mats. To help alleviate any muscle aches that may result from the workouts, Blyss also offers massage therapy.
If variety is the spice of life, then Yoga & Fitness Passport is a veritable East Indian Trading Company. The outfit curates some of the highest reviewed fitness studios throughout both Canada and the U.S. From there, they issue passports that give exercisers a chance to jump from yoga to Zumba to pole dancing classes, all at different studios. Rather than having to navigate each gym's scheduling site, guests can find and sign up for sessions through the Yoga & Fitness Passport site. From there, folks just need to show their confirmation on a smart phone or wood etching, and it's off to the races.
YogahOME helps clients shed stress while nurturing strength and balance thanks to its practice of Vinyasa yoga, which matches body movements with inhalation and exhalation. Classes coordinated by experienced teachers are offered throughout the week and feature varying degrees of difficulty, such as gentle Vinyasa, moderate Hatha, hot Vinyasa, and many others. Though there are classes for different ability levels, no class is too difficult, since participants determine their own pace and level of pose extension. Since you can purchase up to two of these Groupons, mix and match six different classes to find your perfect center and qi. Mats and props (blocks and straps) are also available for rental.