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.
From the superheated confine of their 3,000 square foot Ashburn studio, the instructors at Bikram Yoga Ashburn bring the long-term 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.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 10-class cap for each company, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
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.
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.
The certified instructors at YourCore Pilates cultivate leaner torsos and stronger muscles with a range of Pilates and yoga classes. During the semiprivate Pilates Basics class, founder Susan Aarhus focuses on safety as she guides neophytes through fundamental movements, alignment, and breathing. Using this approach to teaching, Susan believes that students will be hooked if their first Pilates experience is fun, educational, and enjoyable. The method's controlled maneuvers tone core muscles to improve posture, coordination, and scores in games of Whac-A-Mole. Other classes, such as Pilates Fusion, blend Pilates with various workout techniques, incorporating yoga and stretching exercises. In Power Pilates, students use traditional weights for full-body resistance training.