Named by Inside Columbia magazine as the best place for yoga in 2011 and 2012, alleyCat Yoga's serene yoga sanctuary hosts daily classes for students of all ages. One of the studio's teachers, Susan Mathis, draws on the teachings of Swami Kripalu, a celebrated yogi often associated with the insightful practice known as "meditation in motion." To apply the practice, students progress through stages of relaxation, physical postures, and meditation to establish connections between the mind, body, and spirit.
The well-rounded team of certified instructors also leads classes rooted in their respective specialties, including Hatha yoga, the more intense Vinyasa tradition, and gentler yoga classes for students who've only interacted with downward-facing dogs while pet-sitting. Susan's branch of kid-friendly yoga, called Yoga to Grow, helps children as young as 20 months stretch their rapidly growing bodies and sparks imaginations with stories, games, and songs.
Open Studio Pilates owner and certified Pilates instructor Laura Detert combines traditional Pilates instruction with the latest in contemporary theory as she personally leads classes of up to five students through core-crunching and posture-promoting reformer workouts. Laura begins the first group session with a studio and equipment tour, covering the basics of the reformer, a versatile piece of equipment employing a sliding platform, springs, and pulleys that make it capable of 50 different exercises and fluent in eight different languages. During the next two sessions, which last approximately 50 minutes each, Laura personalizes routines as she walks pupils through a full-body workout focused on improving core muscles, flexibility, and balance. Classes are offered at convenient times to fit busy schedules, and more sessions will be added in the coming weeks.
At Element Yoga and Health Studio, a faculty composed of certified teachers displays a broad variety of specialties such as Ashtanga, Dharma, and Viniyoga‒utilizing their experience to teach muscle-strengthening core classes and graceful flow classes that seamlessly transition through poses. Teachers take care to provide hands-on adjustments for each student in group classes. Vinyasa-based classes are offered daily, and, intent on cushioning prone postures, the studio provides complimentary yoga mats.
At One On One, clients workout in a state-of-the-art facility with access to certified trainers, a collegiate diver, a martial artist, and trainers who have competed in figure- and bodybuilding competitions. The fitness gurus can design customized plans tailored to each client’s skills as they monitor, motivate, and encourage them to reach their goals. In the gym—which is open 24 hours a day—TVs suspended from the ceilings occupy athletes as they work up a sweat on Precor and Life Fitness treadmills and elliptical machines. Strength-training machines populate the gym floor, as do free weights, an adjacent pool, and medicine balls for clients who grow sick of standard workouts. An in-house massage therapist is available to ease tense muscles and knead away stress with Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone massages.
Meta-Health Weightloss Management, Inc.'s nutritional counselors don't just design weight-management programs to help their clients lose weight—they also want to help them keep it off. In each custom program, these counselors introduce healthy meal plans and provide tips for general healthy living. Meta-Health also encourages pound-shedding with nine supplements, including Metabolic Activation Formula, which accelerates the body's metabolism, and Meta-B, a pharmaceutical-grade combination of B vitamins and folic acid.
Pro Fitness is a sprawling athletic facility, with rows of professional exercise equipment, racks of free weights, and a private cardio theater. Within workout studios, certified trainers lead an array of group fitness classes, including yoga, Zumba, and boot camp. The instructors also offer personal-training sessions, tailoring workouts to accommodate each client's unique abilities and goals.