The Inspiration & Wellness Studio, a part of The Women's Empowerment Series, offers fitness and wellness classes that imparts comprehensive wellness knowledge to participants. The Women's Empowerment Series itself is a suite of workshops and seminars focused on women's health, psychology, and professional development. With classes focused on pre-teen development, middle-age, and post-menopausal health, the series tackles every stage in a woman's life from birth to young adulthood to the chrysalis phase. Physical-health topics include specific workouts such as Zumba, Pilates, yoga, and tae bo, nutritional classes exploring vegan and raw foods and holistic health, and disease management. The programs also include a workshop for parents of children with concussions, a session on aging in America, and programs on dealing with finances and health after a loss.
A lifetime of sports training and competition?including four years as a Division I lacrosse player at Harvard?took its toll on Erin Cleary Cook's body. Even after graduating, strained muscles, tight tendons, and aching joints accompanied her whenever she tried to exercise. The one exception? Bikram yoga. The style's two breathing exercises and 26 active stretches challenged her strength, balance, and flexibility while also providing a cardio-intensive workout. After years of studies and training, she founded Bikram Yoga Main Line to share the benefits.
Experience doesn't matter at the studio, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary on October 4, 2014. First-time visitors attend the same 90-minute classes as regulars, following the same sequence of standing and seated asanas. The stretches methodically engage major muscle groups and organ systems throughout the entire body in a sequence designed to push freshly oxygenated blood from head to toe. As an added challenge, the practice space is heated to 105 degrees with roughly 40% humidity. This intense heat boosts circulation and flexibility even further. Proponents also find the practice has a habit of improving concentration, self-control, and age-guessing skills. And now students will be able to exercise on new, state-of-the-art
Forbo Flotex hardwood flooring. As a testament to its quality, the studio was included in Main Line Today's Best of the Main Line lists in 2011 and 2013.
Mindfulness is the goal of everything Verge Yoga does, from flowing yoga sequences to breathing exercises to meditation. Specialized classes cater to different skill and experience levels, although every session provides its own sort of calming escape, encouraging thoughtful introspection even while incorporating challenging sequences of movements.
For newcomers, introductory-level sessions explore basic poses and breathing techniques, developing the strength, flexibility, and balance that students will need when they move on to more demanding classes. These advanced classes use deeper stretches or seamlessly flowing asana sequences to provide more of a challenge. With continued practice, the instructors help students develop the sort of calm self-awareness that can add stability and clarity to their entire lives.
For Bonnie Weber, fitness is more than a way to look good in a bathing suit—it saved her life. When she suffered an aneurysm that led to emergency brain surgery, the surgeon told her that if she had not been physically fit, she probably would not have made it. So, as she navigated the long road to recovery, she was inspired to not only regain her own fitness, but to help others do the same. In 2008, she opened The Pilates Garden and Personal Training Studio to share her passion for Pilates’s strength- and flexibility-boosting workouts, as well as other forms of exercise.
Her studio is packed with Peak Pilates equipment, including mats, a reformer, a cadillac, and exercise balls. In addition to various mat-, equipment-, and ball-based Pilates classes, the experienced instructors, including Stephanie Lantz, lead Core Barre classes, which help boost coordination, strength, and flexibility with ballet-inspired movements and lead tutus. For a more customized approach, they lead one-on-one personal-training sessions, during which they integrate the principles of Pilates into workouts tailored to their clients’ goals paired with nutritional advice. The instructors can also organize semiprivate sessions for small groups. In any given sessions, they might motivate their groups to toss medicine balls, battle their own body weight with TRX suspension-training bands, or swing kettlebells.
A team of friendly gurus runs each club. Fitness buffs of all buffness levels feel welcome in the fun and accommodating atmosphere at Washington Sports Clubs. During your two weeks, you get access to all the professional equipment, group exercise classes, locker rooms, and facility amenities offered (some group exercise classes require a reservation). Different clubs have on-site features such as pools, Pilates and yoga, babysitting services for a tag-along papoose, electricity, and more. Search for the club that suits your checklist here.
As a teenager, Sarah Heward suffered two herniated disks, which left her literally crawling out of bed throughout her teenage years until she was 30. Because her demands as a mother of three young children made it impossible to take time off for surgery, she sought an exercise modality to help heal her damaged back. Sarah found Pilates, which brought her fast relief from the years of pain. Now completely rehabilitated, she leads students of all fitness levels in finding physical wellness at her own studio in both small-group classes and private lessons.
The studio is lined with Pilates machines including reformers and springboards, designed to build patrons’ strength without adding bulk by utilizing the practitioner's own body weight as resistance. She also translates the exercises to mat-based routines, where students need nothing more than willing abdominals and their lucky spandex ascot to complete the full-body-toning regimen.