Movement is medicine for Sunyatta Amen, proprietor and head instructor at MamaSita Movement & Wellness Studio. She expresses this philosophy through an eclectic menu of group classes such as Urban Fusion Belly Dance, Zumba, and Brazilian Samba Workout. During classes, students gain confidence as they shimmy hips and undulate bellies through each 60- to 90-minute workout.
The dance floor at Roda Movements sizzles with the dance and martial-arts forms of Brazil and Latin America. In capoeira classes, students gather in a circle playing drums, the single-stringed berimbau, and the tambourine, taking turns moving to the center to perform acrobatic movements that blend sparring techniques with graceful sweeping motions of the native dance style. Brazilian jiujitsu teaches grappling techniques for fighting on the ground, and Zumba sets a calorie-blasting aerobic-dance routine to Latin rhythms. The ballroom styles of salsa teach quick-paced steps to guests dancing solo, in pairs, or with a musically inclined mop. In addition to Latin dance and martial-arts classes, patrons can build muscles while whittling their waistlines in yoga and African-dance classes. Also catering to the wee ones, kids-only versions of specific classes helped Roda Movements earn a Best of the Best award from the Takoma Voice.
New York Sports Clubs, part of Towns Sports International's network of fitness loci, welcomes exercisers to a number of equipment-stocked facilities to help attain perspiration-soaked fitness goals at a convenient location. Strength-training gear such as circuit machines, free weights, and medicine balls filled with black holes mold muscles into chiseled depictions of physical might. Calories simmer and move to cooler climates after sessions on cardio machines ranging from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent stationary bicycles. Each club offers a schedule of group classes that draw from more than 100 fitness styles, including Pilates, yoga, and boxing, to keep members from jazzercising without a spotter. Each location thanks exercisers for sweating in its vicinity with special features, such as babysitting, though Passport memberships do not include pool access.
To the fitness experts who run The P Spot Fitness Studio, pole dancing is much more than an art of seduction—it’s a means to a healthier mind, body, and spirit. Within their 1,500-square-foot space, instructors use the discipline’s sultry swings, dips, and lifts to sculpt tight physiques in pole fitness classes. They also deploy fast-paced aerobics and exotic dance moves in Hot in Heels classes, getting blood pumping without screaming “Fire!” into IV drips. But lifestyle makeovers don’t end after class; a full slate of health services such as nutritional counseling, weight-loss camps, and a boot-camp getaway in the Caribbean weaves wellness into all aspects of life.
The muscle tutors at Fitness Together will work with you to determine your goals (drop pounds, run a marathon, get strong enough to finally confront Douglas) and develop a customized workout plan designed to help you reach your true fitness potential. They’ll supervise your squats, offer nutritional advice, and push you until you see results. Individualized attention means it’s all about you—your trainer can point out when you’re doing a stretch incorrectly, help you tone the trouble zones, and push you to keep going when you’d otherwise quit or become distracted by the fragile beauty of a passing hummingbird.
The certified instructors at Bikram Yoga Capitol Hill pass on a series of 26 Hatha yoga poses and two breathing exercises developed by Bikram Choudhury. The 90-minute sessions coax oxygenated blood into action, which in turn stimulates the body’s organs, glands, nerves, and spark plugs. Each class takes place inside a heated studio to facilitate deeper stretching and to flush out toxins. Despite its intensity, Bikram yoga can be adapted for students of all ages and ability levels, including first-timers.