With a diverse range of fitness backgrounds and specializations—from injury rehabilitation and prevention to martial-arts training—Metropolis Fitness & Spa’s staff of 15 instructors ensures a helpful match for nearly every client. The team leads more than 70 group fitness classes per week, including familiar favorites, such as yoga, Zumba, and spinning, and a few of their own inventions, including Video Dance Jam, which pushes exercises through fast-paced choreography. The ballet and jump-rope classes for kids help wee ones burn off extra energy without requiring you to construct a giant hamster wheel in your home.
In the main studio, a slew of cardio machines with built-in TVs and weight-training equipment awaits members, in addition to a room stocked with dangling punching bags and TRX bands. To recover from sweat sessions, guests can fuel up with healthful drinks and snacks at the juice bar.
Dharma Studio co-owner Loree Shrager discovered the healing power of yoga after suffering from severe scoliosis and back pain. Through gentle stretching and gradual strengthening, she was able to carve out periods of relief in her life. Today, she uses her PhD in clinical psychology, her work as a therapist, and her experiences as a mother to inform her teaching. The other half of the Dharma Studio foundation, Natalie Morales, emphasizes self-discovery during her classes, which range from lighthearted Funyasa to challenging yet deeply relaxing Yoga Nidra sessions. Together, the duo promotes a family and community vibe—their children's program was featured on Univision's Primer Impacto, and their studio’s walls display the work of local artists.
To make guests comfortable, Shrager and Morales have compiled a team of compassionate instructors and imbued the studio with a warm ambiance devoid of air horns. The Miami New Times said that the "quaint one-room studio exudes peace, from walls accented with paintings of Buddha to soothing, lingering aromas of incense," and even named it the Best Place to Meet Single Women in 2010. The studio may have earned the title thanks to events such as a Saturday-night Dharma After Dark class, during which live musicians serenade students with guitars, violins, and melodic crystal bowls.
As a community, Green Monkey is thriving. Across its three locations, it's taken on dozens of instructors who lead more than 36 types of classes, including meditation classes that rely on breathing techniques and silent affirmations to quiet the mind. As if all those class varieties weren't enough, the instructors also put together frequent workshops, many of which teach specific skills such as handstands and inverted backbends.
At some point during Elite U’s signature X-Training classes, an exerciser probably wishes they could spread out across the facility’s turf-green floor to rest their aching body. The intense 60-minute workout consists of various functional and unconventional movements such as pushing a weight sled, climbing a rope, springing into the air holding a kettlebell, and pounding a tire with a sledgehammer to get to its candy center. The class is one of a handful of group classes offered at the center, along with MMA cardio and sport-specific training.
Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 postures performed in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Through this sequence of moves, students stretch out muscles, strengthen their cores, and improve blood circulation. At Bikram Hot Yoga Miami, the staff seeks to share these benefits with anyone who is interested, whether a beginner or an advanced student. After getting acquainted, first-time students receive a mat and towel, set up their spot inside the carpeted studio, and lie down in svasana before class starts. The vigorous class then inspires serious sweating, dispelling the toxins built up from eating too many lava lamps.