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.
Founder Rachel Curtis drew on her faith when starting P31 Fitness—the name derives from a passage about women in the Bible's Book of Proverbs—but also on her extensive health and wellness background. After finding a need for women's exercise classes, she and her husband developed P31, which grew into scores of franchises across the country. P31 offers women support in their fitness goals as exercisers challenge themselves, aiming to achieve spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical happiness. The fitness modalities include cardiovascular, kickboxing, Pilates, and circuit-training sessions, among others.
The Pilates and Yoga Center's experienced instructors whip clients of all ages and ability levels into shape during yoga lessons, Pilates sessions, and BeyondBarre classes, which blend cardio workouts with ballet moves. To ensure their teaching methods stay sharp and up-to-date, all of these teachers attend workshops each year.
To advance results and help clients reshape their fitness goals, instructors helm metabolic tests, which determine how efficiently each body burns calories when at rest and when working up a sweat exercising or chasing down its spirit animal who accidentally caught a glimpse of a squirrel.
At Brickhouse Cardio Club, instructors treat workouts both as a fast-paced way to lose weight and as an excuse to have fun while dancing to popular songs pumped out of a high-end sound system. A specially designed floor works to support dancers' joints, and instructors keep an eye on each clients' form as they exercise in Zumba, yoga, and boot-camp courses.
Melissa Flores grew up dancing, but ultimately became fascinated with the focused movements of Pilates. After completing a 700-hour training program under the guidance of one of Joseph Pilates's protégés, she felt ready to fulfill her childhood ambition of teaching and opened Pilates & Yoga for Life in her own home. Three years later, she was able to acquire more space and equipment to accommodate the growing student base, relocating to the studio where she and her team of instructors work today.
To ensure students receive the utmost guidance, Flores requires her team of instructors to complete the same rigorous training program she did. Because she emphasizes personal treatment, her staffers also learn how to adjust their lessons for students of all skill levels. This attention to detail allows them to modify exercises on floor mats or Gratz-manufactured apparatuses according to each client's past injuries and specific goals. Relying on hands-on corrections and in-studio polygraph machines, they see to it that participants are truly taking away the maximum benefit from each core-bolstering move. To further flex physical boundaries, they also helm a variety of yoga courses.
Above all else, Bikram Yoga emphasizes personal growth and development—not competition and comparison. That means newcomers are welcome to attend alongside experienced practitioners. Although the sessions at Bikram Yoga St. Louis may seem like a more physical challenge at first, the goal is for students to recognize and strengthen the connection that exists between the mind, body, and spirit. This progress does bolster physical fitness, but also creates a restorative and relaxing experience.
Every 90-minute session consists of the exact same sequence of two breathing exercises and 26 standing and seated asanas. These physically demanding postures use deep bends and twists to work muscle groups and organ systems throughout the body, pushing oxygenated blood where it's needed most and building strength and stamina. If you're having trouble with any pose, that's no problem: the instructors can recommend slight modifications. For more advice, visit the studio's website.
The instructors heat the practice space to sweat-inducing levels for each class, increasing circulation and aiding in the release of toxins. In addition to loosening tight muscles—which allows students to sink deeper into each stretch—this heat also has profound mental benefits. The extra challenge encourages attendees to focus on each posture's alignment and orientation while learning how to accept the heat, concentrate on breathing, and practice a calmer mental state. After class, separate changing rooms with showers are available for those looking to refresh themselves.
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