For more than 35 years, The Yoga Institute has been educating and enlivening its members through the exploratory practice of yoga. Classes help quiet the mind and loosen the body as students delve deeper into an eclectic blend of Vinyasa, Ashtanga-based, and Jivamukti-infused classes. Mix It Up classes take a different focus each week, including poses that use a wall and partner poses. Early-morning classes wake up the body with fluid movements, whereas advanced classes challenge students with rigorous inversions, arm balances, and backbends. Instructors pay special attention to proper alignment, offering adjustments to deepen a student’s physical practice and accompanying mental release.
Light floods the cozy studio and streams through the wall-to-wall windows to bounce off the mirrors lining the practice space. High-energy music thumps through in the studio, giving students the extra oomph needed to motor through cardio moves or shake hips in a variety of fitness classes. Latin-inspired Zumba and ME (Movement & Energy) classes keep the mood playful, while stretch classes offer a tranquil respite in which muscles can elongate or practice imitating rubber bands. Expert instructors fuse yoga, ballet, and Pilates in barre classes, which help tone and sculpt muscles in 45- to 60-minute sessions.
At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
Elite certified personal trainer and Glory Fitness founder Christopher M. Boykins wants his clients to achieve their fitness goals, whether the goal is weight loss or athletic competition. Boykins and his staff of experienced trainers offer personal training, nutrition counseling, and small group-fitness and boot-camp classes at three Glory Fitness locations, helping clients get fit in a relaxed setting.
Certified Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis master trainer Amy Ell ascends into the air with students in a schedule of one-hour fitness classes that employ ropes, harnesses, and trapeze. Vault Aerial Fabric courses bestow basic climbing and rope skills that bolster upper body strength, and Vault Aerial Trapeze mixes dance trapeze and circus static trapeze to strengthen coordination and tiger-pit-evasion skills. In the Vault Air-Tone class, students hone all parts of the body, utilizing an aerial hammock and a blend of Gyrotonic principles, Pilates, and yoga. Each session contains no more than 10 students to ensure each participant receives ample face-to-face instruction and time on their favorite-colored trapeze bar.
At FIT Athletic Club, the sounds of clattering weights, whirring treadmills, and friendly chatter fill the gym from dusk to dawn. These energetic sounds play out over state-of-the-art strength and cardio equipment and high-end amenities such as a steam room and sauna. Members who tire of going it alone enjoy unlimited access to more than 300 group classes each month. After a tough workout, FIT Athletic Bar's smoothie selection gives exercisers a nutritious way to refuel, and the bar’s free WiFi lets them check email, update social networks, or Google the best ways to snag the available treadmill for a date Saturday night.
Joy Yoga Center's instructors guide students through Vinyasa-style flowing yoga sessions that focus on strengthening bodies and clearing minds. The team of 12 instructors holds classes seven days a week for students of all skill levels, including regular sessions tailored for runners and early-morning risers.