Helmed by owner Ursula Cox, the staff at Inner Power Yoga guides yoga disciples through the poses of Vinyasa yoga, drawing on training that earned them Northern Virginia Magazine’s award for Best Yoga Studio 2012. Perched on bamboo floors in a studio with natural light and high ceilings, students stretch, bend, and twist as the 85- to 90-degree temperature assists in purging their bodies of toxins and chronic goosebumps. Ursula and the gang teach students of all skill levels, focusing on helping them link movement and breath. The instructors also hold private sessions for students who need more practice, and training sessions for students who aspire to master the ways of the yogi during teacher training.
Sportrock offers premier indoor rock climbing in an encouraging, welcoming environment. Sportrock's roster of classes, covering topics from basic skills to bouldering, will have you scaling peaks posthaste (basic skills course, $25; bouldering 101, $35). Safely scale rock-gym walls covered with state-of-the-art, textured products that mimic the conditions of real rocks, right down to the crafty crevices and dramatic underhangs. Sportrock also offers special programs for kiddie climbers under the guidance of Sportrock's giant, watchful eye. The programs are suitable for kids between the ages of 6 and 14 and incorporate vertical iterations of popular games such as Sudoku, Boggle, and dominos (classes start at $5).
From the superheated confine of their 3,000 square foot Ashburn studio, the instructors at Bikram Yoga Ashburn bring the health and wellness benefits of Bikram yoga to the community at large. Here, big windows let the sun in as yogis practice the 26 classic poses of traditional Bikram yoga in 105-degree heat, which helps students stretch further, detoxify their bodies as they sweat, and promotes weight-loss. Bikram yoga gives the body a cardiovascular and strength workout, helping to work every organ, gland, and muscle in the body as students twist and hold poses. Every 90-minute class follows a consistent flow, allowing students to understand poses and move on to mastering them. Students can adjust their bodies to the heat flow before classes or detox after classes with a quick trip to the onsite steam room.
LA Boxing’s instructors thumb their noses at the suggestion that fighting has no place in public. They happily subvert this social convention, leading students through safe and noncontact fitness classes inspired by the pugilistic arts. Each boxing, kickboxing, or group MMA class is led by a professional fighter, who teaches basic skills during the up-tempo, one-hour workouts. Students warm up with plyometrics before strapping on 6-ounce gloves and hitting a heavy bag with combination of kicks, knees, and elbows. Classes may burn between 800 and 1,000 calories per session, improve coordination and stamina, and increase your tolerance for listening to the theme from Rocky IV on repeat.
Balanced Bodies' windows look out onto Runnymede Park, where deer often emerge from the woods and blue herons land near the stream. Inside the studio, groups work to capture the animals' ease of movement, flowing from plank positions into mermaid side stretches while maintaining pristine posture and giving effort without strain. Co-owners Carrie Smith and Adriana Ferrer-Perez believe that through Pilates exercises, their students can attain pain-free, fully functional movement for life. The duo oversees seven other instructors—nearly all claiming BASI teaching certifications—who lead classes in mat work, Reformer machines, and the Avalon System designed by Rael Isacowitz. Balanced Bodies also serves as a BASI Pilates teacher-training host facility, where aspiring instructors can undergo comprehensive and specialized teaching courses, including one that demonstrates how to dunk full-size exercise balls.
For Michelle Fondin, yoga is just one component, albeit an important one, to achieving inner and outer peace. She incorporates the ancient practice into the Ayurvedic system of holistic and meditative practices designed to cultivate overall wellness and address mind and body problems. When she meets with a new client for an Ayurvedic consultation, she seeks to determine the true cause of their ailments, discussing health concerns alongside the stuff of life, which may include anything from relationships to career paths. In addition to helming these in-depth consultations, Ms. Fondin and her team lead hatha yoga classes and meditation sessions within a spacious, sunny studio where glimpses of critters from the forest below are not uncommon sights. “There's this instant unplugging from the crazy hectic world into a serene setting,” explains Ms. Fondin.
Ms. Fondin hopes that The Ayurvedic Path not only equips her clients with new tools for achieving balance between mind and body, but also helps foster a sense of community. To that end, she keeps her classes limited to 13 students and makes an effort to get to know every practitioner.
Since 1973, each of Sport&Health's clubs has aimed for full fitness coverage with programs for every taste and family member. Guests can spark positive lifestyle changes with workouts and wellness services, or engage in a variety of sports. Each facility houses different athletic amenities for games and laps, from pristine swimming pools to squash and racquetball courts. The camaraderie of group classes such as Zumba and Les Mills BodyPump barbell routines complement scores of club equipment meant for exercising solo—or with the guidance of a certified personal trainer. The clubs also emphasize kid-friendly activities with arts and crafts, Kidz Klub childcare, and youth certification courses that teach teens the ins and outs of training. Depending on the location, spa treatments can knead tension from muscles and paint one's favorite kettlebell with a layer of Shellac.