Certified yoga instructor Kelly Elliott has been uncovering the depth of her strength, body awareness, and spirituality since she first discovered yoga in 1994, a time when the Internet wasn't around to point people to their new pastimes or virtual dog-food bazaars. This longtime practice has helped alleviate the pain caused by her scoliosis and lower-back problems, and she enthusiastically shares yoga’s healing benefits with her students through Vinyasa, gentle, and basic yoga classes. Fellow instructors Tina Garcia, who completed her teacher training in early 2012, and Sonya Bergeron, who has been practicing for over 15 years, join Kelly in her practice and help students of all ages and abilities forge strong connections between mind and body while marrying breath with movement through a continuous flow of postures. The studio also benefits from the instruction of Elena Hebert, who teaches yoga to help others find strength, awareness, and peace, and Xenia Kempf, whose classes promote flexibility and physical and mental balance.
At 84 locations throughout the country, CorePower Yoga invites students to creative classes that meld movement, breathing, and music into entrancing routines to energize the body and mind. Signature CorePower Yoga classes lead students through dynamic, Vinyasa-style flows with demonstration and verbal cues, helping pupils of all experience levels tone core muscles and cultivate balance. During construction of all its new studios, CorePower Yoga strives to use recycled content, install eco-friendly and efficient mechanical systems, and ensure that any waste created doesn't end up in landfills or just piled in Mr. Henderson's garage.
For Dawn King, fitness instruction started as a hobby to supplement college athletics, and as a way to keep her off-season body in shape. But after graduating, the extracurricular activity took center stage, but it wasn’t until she became the head fitness instructor at a club in Key Largo that she tried Pilates. Not only did it ease an old sports injury, but it also increased her everyday energy levels.
Today, Dawn heads a team of instructors at Sun Pilates. They lead a succinct yet diverse selection of classes that includes Vinyasa yoga, body barre, and mat Pilates. Their proprietary Hike-ilates classes integrate Pilates techniques with an outdoor hike, during which practitioners help students correct gait and balance, unlearning habits formed from years of competitive hopscotch. An additional lineup of kids’ classes introduces tykes to cardio, martial arts, and even Spanish in a movement class that incorporates language lessons.
Named the Best Pilates Studio by CityVoters in 2009, Pila Vires wins over clients by offering expertly individualized attention in a fun group setting. The studio's friendly instructors are highly trained and certified, ensuring that every student under their guidance learns and performs each movement properly without spraining a muscle or offending a double-jointed wombat. With today's Groupon in tow, you get to attend five floor classes of your choice, which include Pilates mat, which welcomes students of all skill levels to stretch and sweat through 60 minutes of challenging poses and prop-wielding; Gyrokinesis, which serves up a fluid blend of yoga, dance, gymnastics, and tai-chi techniques to promote deep relaxation and alleviate chronic pain (please bring a large bath towel or blanket); yoga gentle flow, which is as gentle and flowing as a feather adrift on an early-autumn sneeze; and yoga power Vinyasa, which is geared toward students seeking a high-energy core-strengthening workout.
Whether you want to stand taller, bend over backwards, or open a pickle jar taped to your back, Pranava Yoga Center offers a suitable yoga style. Dharma Yoga, the challenging vinyasa series created by Sri Dharma Mittra, drives harmony down through the mesosphere, stratosphere, and troposphere until it calms the core, while Gentle Yoga, based on gently flowing Hatha yoga, nurtures the nervous system by allowing yogis to focus on the internal feeling of each position. Multiple levels of vinyasa and ashtanga vinyasa are available, as is a Yoga Basics session to introduce newbies to the strengthening and flexibilifying practice. More than 35 different classes are on the schedule each week.
At Spring Oasis Belly Dance, owner/instructor Barb Ferrill Van Hoy shepherds shimmiers through theatrical, low-impact workouts in a five-class schedule filled with Middle Eastern–style routines. Rug-cutters in the Beginning Belly Dance class combine traditional movements into fun new performances, and the more advanced Improvisational Choreography teaches finger cymbals how to scat jazz riffs. Students should wear clothes they can move in, and Van Hoy encourages her undulating constituents to bring coin scarves, harem pants, and traditional wetsuits if they’d like. The studio welcomes dancers of all skill levels and ages, and some classes include opportunities to perform for audiences.
Suzanne Smith incorporates a background in neuromuscular massage therapy into her Pilates curriculum to help participants increase flexibility and free themselves from joint aches and body pains. Using an array of specialized body-limbering equipment, such as the Reformer and Cadillac, Suzanne brings stiff and stubborn sinews under her gentle yet firm tutelage, teaching them to open up to a fuller range of motion while letting go of tightly clasped tension and faded photographs of old flames. Classes meet six days each week and are capped at five students, creating space for intensive personal instruction and individual muscle whispering.