Eve Savva, owner and instructor of Temple Goddess Dance & Yoga, began dancing at eight, exploring the worlds of ballet, modern dance, and classical Indian dance. Now, a performer of Middle Eastern dance for the past thirteen years, she welcomes students to her studio, where she is also a certified yoga instructor. There, students of all ages and abilities can find a supportive, non-competitive environment to practice in classes such as belly dance, yoga, and cardio/fitness.
Anytime Fitness, as the name suggests, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Novice calorie burners and ripped Michelangelo models alike can take advantage of the gym's accommodating calendar of classes, attending 10 targeted drop-in sessions over the course of six months. Latin beats inspire aspiring Zumbalinas to shimmy free of up to 600 extra calories per one-hour session. The C.H.I.S.E.L. class blends aerobics, strength training, and Pilates to build bodies fit enough to run a marathon inside a swimming pool filled with mud. The six-pack abs and stretching class offers patrons a one-two-punch of increased flexibility and core strength. Traditional Pilates sessions reinforce the mind-body connection by celebrating control, balance, and turtleneck sweaters.
Surrounded by Yoga Shakti’s cheerful orange walls, yogis lift their hands toward the ceiling, root the balls of their bare feet into the wood floor, and stretch toward the sunlight that streams in through the window. During classes, instructors lead practitioners through their customized series of postures, which draw from several yoga styles to vary the routine and address specific goals. Classes range from gentle yoga, which focuses on meditation and breathing; to more rigorous Vinyasa flow, which links challenging postures to one another through the breath; to hot yoga, whose elevated temperature challenges students, allows for deeper stretches, and detoxes the body. The instructors also offer yoga-for-back-pain classes, which aim to increase mobility in stiff backs caused by injury, stress, or walking under the limbo stick in your doorway.
At Shapes Total Fitness for Women, the instructors strive to make working out as easy and fun as possible. That's why—in addition to providing access to free weights and cardio machines—they host more than 67 group training sessions per week, with options ranging from yoga to indoor cycling. That way, clients can get in shape using whatever means work best for them. Some of the eclectic classes have zero impact on joints, too—specifically the ones in the on-site pool. These include 45-minute water cardio classes and versatile aqua aerobics sessions, which are ideal for athletes with arthritis and other special needs. The most completely flexible workouts at the gym, however, are the personal training sessions. The one-on-one workouts are designed purely around the client's goals, whether she wants to lose weight or grow strong enough to carry her favorite dumbbell home with her.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.