Bikram Yoga Delray Beach's instructors coach students of all skill levels through a sequence of physically demanding yoga poses that can improve stamina and promote healthy organ function. Yogis lead each session from atop a small raised platform at the front of the mirror-lined room, where they motivate students with encouraging words and choreographed cheers. Each 90-minute class, like a fire-eaters' convention, meets in an intensely heated space and consists of two calming breathing exercises and 26 postures. Students transition between standing bends, seated stretches, and reclining naps during each session, methodically working muscle groups across the entire body while flooding cells with torrents of freshly oxygenated blood. While pupils stretch and bend, instructors carefully monitor each student's form while doling out a steady stream of verbal instructions and experimental knock-knock jokes.
After teaching foreign languages and working as a sales rep, Alice Abrams realized that the biggest constant in her life—exercise—should be her next career move. Her 16 years of Pilates training prompted her to open Pilates of Boynton Beach, where she mans classes alongside her daughter, Elyssa Zion, and a squad of certified instructors. The curriculum shapes lean bodies with a variety of stretching and dance techniques. Mat and equipment Pilates work alongside Xtend Barre lessons to stretch muscles while improving posture, and Zumba classes incorporate festive music to fuel cardio choreography. All sessions, whether group or private, are meant to accommodate students of any skill level so long as they bring a permission slip signed by each vertebra.
Bikram Yoga Boca Raton's instructors welcome students of all skill levels to any of more than 30 sessions held each week. Temperatures are kept at 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity, which helps pupils break a cleansing sweat and sink into deep stretches. Each session consists of 26 distinct Hatha poses that increase strength and stamina across the entire body. While attendees move to each asana, two breathing exercises teach them to center their minds enough to extinguish birthday-cake candles from 20 yards away.
Waggling two thick ropes tied to the wall. Kicking a punching bag. Stationary biking. The Institute of Human Performance’s circuit-training classes incorporate all these moves into a single workout, along with medicine-ball maneuvers, jump roping, hopscotch-like agility drills, and lively music that keeps the blood flowing. Voted the best core gym in the country by Men’s Health, the institute has also been honored by Glamour and Self for its hybrid-style classes, which incorporate elements of popular exercise styles such as Pilates and spinning. CEO Juan Carlos Santana and his team of certified trainers helm each class at the 7,200-square-foot facility, where indoor and outdoor workout spaces let patrons lift overcast skies by hand. The gym serves as a beta-testing site for fitness manufacturers, which means it has a fleet of cutting-edge, constantly updated machines.