After yoga assuaged her chronic neck and back pain, Kim Bolinger was hooked. She decided to pay homage to the practice by opening a studio of her own. At Merritt Island Yoga, she introduces novices to yoga’s basic poses by breaking them down into simple steps while emphasizing proper breathing and alignment. The studio’s advanced classes move more quickly through Vinyasa sequences, focusing on flexibility, endurance, and fighting off killer mats disguised as regular mats. Despite the studio’s name, yoga is not its only offering—the diverse classes also cover belly dancing, tai chi, and chi gong, a 5,000-year-old practice focused on self-healing and meditative movements.
Bikram Yoga on the Island's founders, Suzanne and Joe Elliott, draw inspiration from their students' physical progress and development each week, ensuring that each session addresses the needs of first-day students, casual practitioners, and lifelong yogis. Ten years of experience fuel Suzanne and Joe's work as instructors, with each tapping his or her encyclopedic knowledge to guide pupils through two breathing exercises and 26 poses. Along with a staff of instructors, the two founders demonstrate and describe the proper execution of each posture with the authority of an Olympic Twister medalist.
As students fold and unfold limbs, each movement helps promote healthy organ function by pushing freshly oxygenated blood throughout their entire bodies. Meanwhile, the studio's heating system helps them safely sink into each stretch and sweat out toxins by raising the temperature to 105 degrees with 40% humidity. After class, attendees can freshen up with the studio's indoor and outdoor shower facilities.
Opening doors for 24 hours a day, seven days a week is an exhausting proposition for any doorman, unless he's a robot. That's why Anytime Fitness—having redirected its robot budget into tanning beds, cardio equipment with built-in TVs, and Star Trac weight machines—installed a keycard-activated security system instead. The electronic guardian keeps gym members secure while admitting them at any time of day or night for their workouts.
During daylight hours, certified instructors incinerate calories with group fitness classes. Personal trainer Chris coaches clients in one-on-one sessions, tailoring regimens to each individual's level of fitness, past injuries, or number of tentacles. To relax after workouts, staffed tanning beds stand by to bronze bodies.
Initially daunted by the demands of his first Bikram class, Om on Fire! Yoga director Doug Shorts accepted the challenge to his physical ability, returning to class again and again to build his form, technique, and stamina. Once he felt he had truly mastered and become at home with the style, Doug committed himself by training to become an instructor, accruing 1,500 hours of in-class teaching experience to forge a patient, empowering instruction style. Now, during studio classes, he leads students of all skill levels through challenging sequences of yoga poses to methodically strengthen muscles, realign vertebrae, and cheer up dejected mood rings amid a heated practice space.
At Vibes New Age Fitness, newcomers discover multiple avenues to attaining a fit, toned, and slender body. The center’s vibrating Power Plate apparatus elicits between 25 and 50 muscle contractions per minute, activating natural reflexes to tone the physique, smooth cellulite, and boost circulation. Plate sessions can complement TRX-suspension workouts, which chisel bodies using resistance from elasticized cables. Originally designed for Navy SEALs, the TRX system is also suitable for civilians and can be a useful tool in physical-rehabilitation programs. Body-contouring Lipo-Light treatments and infrared saunas further catalyze weight loss, slimming bodies more comfortably than a really tight seat belt.
The certified personal trainers at Brevard's Premier Personal Training & Bootcamp are masters of motivation. They enthusiastically coach participants through private and group fitness classes, which start off with an active warm-up session to cultivate flexibility. Then, they turn weak sinews into chiseled muscles through a resistance-training regimen that includes weights and medicine balls.