Fraser Valley’s yoga facility pioneering far-infrared classes, Beach Yoga & Wellness combines yoga and Pilates instruction with creatively themed classes that include Rock 'n Roll hot yoga and Hot Heat Happy Hips yoga. Veteran instructors help students stretch and lunge through poses in a hot-yoga environment enhanced by far-infrared waves that facilitate the release of up to seven times more bodily toxins than the average yoga session. The gentle radiation is known to improve skin tone by stimulating the production of collagen. By combing the infrared energy with the studio's steamy temperature, students experience an "artificial fever" that, like a real fever, ignites the body's immune system better than using jumper cables.
As a kid, Michelle Ricketts could never sit still. She channelled her boundless energy into sports and scampering about outdoors, activities that trained her for a career in the fitness-and-recreation industry. After years travelling the world, Michelle circled back around to her home city of Vancouver, where she founded and continues to infuse her limitless energy into Storm Fitness Inc.
Within a variety of local parks and studios, Michelle and her team of fellow fitness aficionados conduct high-intensity full-body workouts. To train minds and restructure bad habits, they outfit programs with nutrition advice, meal plans, and grocery tips on which sugary foods to avoid and how to mould marshmallows into the shape of broccoli to reduce its calories. Through teaching proper fitness and nutrition models, the team spearheads a sustained mission to decrease obesity. Beyond that, 10 per cent of its profits go to Team Diabetes, an organization that promotes diabetes education, research, and services.
As a champion bodybuilder, Karen Lopez learned the value and impact of sage advice from a certified professional. Using her own experience as a springboard, Karen helps others achieve their goals through personal training sessions suited to the individual. Sessions emphasize the unique needs of each client, ranging from improved strength or cardiovascular endurance to a defined and show-ready body composition. Karen hosts sessions at her fitness studio or travels to their home, helping build strength and self-confidence for high school athletes, busy working moms, and aspiring competitive body builders.
For 19 years, the Sportsplex gym at Total Fitness—under one name or another—has provided a venue for locals to work out and be a part of a "true community gym." The private health club elevates heart rates and feelings of camaraderie in group fitness classes such as yoga, aerobics, or karate. Private trainers teach individuals custom routines, and nutritional experts revitalize and revolutionize diet plans. Blue pads rest on the white metal frames of machines, coordinating exactly with the paint colours on the walls. Wall-mounted televisions glow, interspersed among painted, empowering words and quotes, such as, “The most important thing about goals is having one,” spoken by Geoffrey Abert when describing the game of soccer.
After living in southeast Asia for four years, Alecia and David Chin returned home to Vancouver to open a studio that encompasses the healing properties of yoga and Thai yoga massage that were learned abroad. Chakra Wellness Studio is a sanctuary where yoga teachers focus on centering body and mind through 75-minute classes such as hatha flow, kundalini yoga, and beginner’s yoga.
Having studied Thai yoga massage in the mountains of Thailand, Alecia promotes tranquility and wellbeing by manipulating clients’ bodies into yoga positions while kneading muscles and joints. Certified in chair massage, she can also bring relaxing bodywork and deep breathing techniques to a client's workplace or home inside the Allegory of the Cave. Alongside other yoga instructors, Alecia leads ten-week, 200-hour teacher training courses that cover everything from anatomy and physiology to the history of yoga and many of its variations.
Ariyanna Pascuzzi started her 35-year fitness career as a professional dancer, but she eventually gained expertise (and certifications) in everything from aquatic fitness to Pilates. At The Movement Connection, her classes reflect the range of her own interests, covering intense TRX suspension training, boot camps, and tap dance.
Certified trainer Carrie Light leads a team of fellow trainers who follow her emphasis on building the self-esteem and physical health of their clients. Her background in kinesiology and sports informs the design of Training 4 Life’s fitness classes, which ramp up heart rates and engage fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibres in the upper and lower body. She keeps classes small and the teacher-to-student ratio close, so that she can devote attention to each student’s technique, form, and safety.