Several times a day, students flock to the 105-degree studio of Bikram Hot Yoga in St. Charles and Palatine, striking confident poses under the direction of experienced instructors. Each 90-minute class helps students find inner peace and outer health as they sweat out toxins, lengthen muscles, and find respite from packs of predatory hockey players. The studio welcomes students of all abilities, as the balmy heat helps even the tightest of tendons sink into Bikram’s 26 postures and two breathing exercises.
Inner Elements owner Charlotte Trux and her staff of highly trained instructors fortify core muscles with Pilates and Gyrotonic techniques, as well as attending to overall wellness with massage, acupuncture, and weight-management coaching. Sturdy, wooden Pilates machines stretch and strengthen muscles with varying levels of resistance under the supervision of an experienced instructor. The Gyrotonic expansion system strengthens ligaments and keeps hesitant planets on their axes with a combination of rotation and support. Gentle massage kneads loosen tight muscle knots and alternative medicine techniques such as reiki and acupuncture work to realign the body's energy flow to work to treat a variety of ailments.
A good kettlebell swing engages the arms, core, and legs in a single action, not only strengthening them, but teaching them to work together. It's from this idea that Bob Garon takes his business's name: Synergy Kettlebell Training. At each of his four locations, he helps muscles synergize with new and different kettlebell regimens every day—instead of isolating specific body parts—usually themed around a specific workout principle that changes every two weeks. Each class lasts 30–45 minutes, the same amount of time it took the kettlebell's creator to come up with a name for his invention.
The hot-pink walls aren’t the only element of Studio Energia giving off an energetic vibe. Owner and fitness instructor Julie hops and twirls across the hardwood floor as she leads fast-paced Zumba routines set to catchy Latin music. Trained by the program's founder, Beto Perez, Julie personally guides all Zumba sessions, which include Zumbatomic classes designed especially for kids and Zumba Toning sessions that build muscle and fend off stray lacrosse balls using a weighted stick. The studio also keeps energy high by offering a seven-day-a-week schedule packed with Latin-dance lessons, kids' hip-hop classes, cardio kickboxing, and boot camps.
Ann Waring, the director of Yoga Seva Studio, takes yoga teaching seriously. Her passion drove her to earn multiple certifications from proven yoga masters and attend quarterly trainings. Supported by a team of talented teachers, Ann and her instructors guide students through a blend of demonstration, explanation, and hands-on pose adjustments to help them attain optimal states of fitness and well being. Each of her 70-minute classes blend yoga poses, or asanas, with meditation and breathing techniques that encourage deeper levels of understanding self and this ancient process in a beautiful custom built studio. Over time, Hatha yoga regimens can catalyze weight loss, help relieve chronic pain, and boost flexibility.