A community presence in Ottawa for more than 140 years, YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region remains true to its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages across all seven of its facilities. Staff members uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, acceptance, and fairness as they invest in their community’s children and strengthen family bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. They pump up adult fitness regimens with aquatic fitness and boot-camp classes, personal training, and full gymnasiums outfitted with equipment for basketball, soccer, and rope skipping. They’ve also filled their fitness centres with free weights, cardio equipment, and weight machines. When they’re not helping adults trim down waistlines during yoga, boxing, and salsa-dance classes, staff members are getting back in touch with their inner children. They stimulate imagination, mental development, and growth as they lead children’s day camps, after-school programs, birthday parties, and outdoor education.
These YMCA-YWCA outposts are dedicated to helping all members of the community. They provide those in need with emergency and youth housing, employment services, and domestic-violence support programs. They further strengthen and unite the Ottawa community through the YActive Assist program, which adjusts membership rates to help families that can’t afford the full cost of any of YMCA’s progressive programs.
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 that positions machines inward so that you'll have a chance to laugh with your fellow fitness frontierswomen while raising your heart rate and burning calories with a complete aerobic and strength-training workout. Hydraulic resistance machines are 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 manoeuvring 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.
The instructors at Patenaude Martial Arts embody fang shen do, or "way of survival" with several types of classes: kung fu, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, and self-defense. These experts combine Eastern philosophies to teach the finer points of martial arts in classes for men and women. For self-defense, the also bring in kids or the full family. In all of these classes, the training doesn't focus entirely on fighting. The classes also teach things applicable to all areas of life, both inside and outside class, such as confidence, self control, and how to wear a belt with impeccable style.
At La Sangha Yoga de Gatineau, founder Natalie Tomaro draws from her 12 years of professional yogic practice and a lifetime of passion for strengthening the human body and brain to help her students discover their physical and spiritual potential. Natalie has amassed hundreds of hours of training from masters such as Marcia Solomon, Richard Freeman, and Vyass Houston, developing a deep respect and understanding for the meditation and asanas of yoga. In addition to equipping novices with the skills and guidance for practicing healthful, fulfilling, yoga, La Sangha hosts regular events such as breathing workshops and Vipassana meditation sessions.
The instructors at Corps-Esprit may serve only yoga and Pilates on their menu of exercises, but they keep exercise routines new and challenging with lots of variety: within the centre’s studios, they teach 21 distinct types of yoga, including Ayurveda and Vinyasa. Their Pilates programs are no less impressive, helping tone cores in nine types of classes. Some sessions include exercise innovations such as BOSU balance trainers or incorporate challenges such as teaching students how to maintain focus while they’re being poked in the forehead. Sunlight bathes the hardwood floors of the sprawling classrooms, which are capable of accommodating up to 40 students at a time. Potted plants bring a touch of natural green to the space, as they also do for the plush lobby and private massage rooms.
The experienced instructors at Studio de Danse Danielle keep their training accessible for all students, offering a fully accredited dance program in both English and French. They also back up their seasoned years with professional standings: the team is fully comprised of accredited and certified instructors. In a variety of dance classes, they teach students of all ages how to perfect the steps to ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, Bollywood dance, and Acro—a blend of dance and acrobatics. Adult students can also take advantage of cardio fitness classes such as Zumba. Above all, student safety remains a top priority at the centre, where obstacle-free studios feature floors covered with a springy surface to reduce the risk of injury.