The Root Yoga practices an inclusionary brand of yoga that welcomes newcomers and experienced yogis alike. Its team of instructors leads lessons in many different styles, teaching participants to focus on breathing and flow through varied poses.
Shundo Dance Studio's crackerjack rug cutters, celebrating more than 25 years teaching choreographed struts, transform pairs of left feet into Astaire-esque hooves of rhythm and grace during group lessons. The Foxtrot, Rumba, and Waltz sessions invoke a simpler time when men wore hats and women hunted wooly mammoths, and the Swing class allows for more modern and flashier moves, such as the Lindy Hop and Charleston. Or add a little Latin flair to evenings by learning how to hip swivel through Salsa, Cha Cha, Samba, and Bachata gambols. Class sizes average between 15 and 20 humans to ensure that everyone gets the personal attention they need while providing enough of a crowd to hide missteps and spasmodic break dances.
After spending years immersed in the fitness and athletic industries, Ernesto McLaurin and Kim Brutzman had grown weary of the monotonous exercise equipment found in large corporate gyms. On their search for a more substantial form of fitness free from bulky machines, the two trainers fell in love with the CrossFit program’s high-energy, functional-movement-based workout routines, eventually joining forces to form CrossFit El Paso in 2006. They stuff their Eastside and Westside locations with simple resistance-training equipment, free weights, and kettlebells, conducting CrossFit classes throughout the week with the help of certified instructors. In addition to leading rigorous CrossFit workouts, they provide students with nutritional guidance and host regular health seminars. They also offer a FemmeFit class, where women and male comedians in convincing makeup can practice CrossFit workouts specifically designed for the female body.
The smiles that instructors so often see on the faces of pupils at Dancer's Studio tell them their students are having fun as they learn new modes of physical expression. Experienced teachers lead classes in dance disciplines such as jazz, modern, ballet, hip-hop, and salsa, as well as more progressive classes such as yoga and tumbling. During aerial dance classes, students dangle from suspended hoops and sashes as they perform graceful maneuvers and keep their toes off imaginary hot-lava floors. Students also travel to competitions. The studio often holds special break-dancing and capoeira classes, summer camps, and workshops featuring guest artists such as So You Think You Can Dance Australia choreographer Adam Parson.
Local and international belly-dance experiences in traditional and modern styles inform the instructors at World Fusions Dance Studio, where they teach a variety of classes. Surrounded by a multiplicity of bright colors, they lead students in meditation, yoga, and belly-dancing classes. Afterwards, guests can retreat to the Studio's Gypsy Tea Room, which hosts a menu of tea, coffee, and snacks.
David Kneip leads The Human Lab's crew of tough-as-nails trainers, who find common cause in his no-frills approach to exercise. Eschewing loud music, televisions, and machinery, David and his team prefer to force their clients to rely only on the rhythm of their bodies and the strength of their will to overcome the challenges of any given workout. Students tackle everything from Olympic-style weightlifting and kettlebells to old-fashioned pushups and pull-ups in their quest to tone and strengthen their bodies. The Lab's most popular program, CrossFit, runs muscles through a wide variety of exercises—preventing the body from easily adapting to the routine and ensuring maximum results in minimum time—but other workouts can build muscles for specific sports, bestowing skiers with more powerful legs and croquet players with fingers shaped like mallets.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines and workouts 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.