With locations in 24 states, it’s safe to say Fitness 19’s approach to fitness has piqued exercisers’ interest. Each gym houses Life Fitness cardio machines and Hammer Strength strength-training equipment, as well as a staff of personal trainers who oversee one-on-one workouts and a group of caretakers and professional ranch hands who wrangle the kids' area. Certain locations also offer group classes such as the senior-oriented Silver Sneakers program.
Atma Center's classes reflect the techniques of Satyananda yoga, a combination of classic yoga traditions adroitly adapted to accommodate the needs of modern and futuristic persons, no matter their age or fitness level. It is also a teacher-training program, so you can be sure Atma's highly trained instructors have accumulated many a hour of individualized in-class wisdom and successfully squeezed through the awfully tight yoga-instructor rites of passage (pass-throughable by only the nimblest and most compassionate of bodies).
Agni Yoga Studio's yoga instructors and therapists strive to create a safe, inclusive space that fosters personal transformation and growth through yoga, massage, and other holistic-therapy treatments. Vinyasa, Hatha, restorative, and athletic or challenging flow classes challenge both the body and the mind with physically demanding postures and meditative techniques that help practitioners calm even the most skittish spirit of animals—the sasquatch. Students seeking more individualized attention can bend and stretch in a private yoga therapy session, in which instructors adapt the practice to suit the client's needs. Further molding patrons into their peak form, massage therapists employ their own techniques to ease tension in muscles and minds.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
Each instructor of Nirvana Yoga has had her falling-in-love moment with yoga. Jessica Fill turned to the ancient art after a shoulder injury stopped her swimming career, Melissa Pilat found yoga a useful complement to her 18 years of ballet and modern dance, and Abra Goldman began practicing yoga to augment the fitness cultivated through her lifetime dedication to running. This band of experts leads fluid classes, drawing from the Baron Baptiste style of flowing from pose to pose in a manner that creates a rigorous, strength-building practice linking movement to breath. The team also teaches Power Vinyasa classes in an 88- to 90-degree studio, the warmth coddling muscles and helping to increase flexibility and release toxins. Jessica, Melissa, Abra, and company also impart fundamental postures in a pressure-free atmosphere during Power Yoga Basics held in a cooler studio, where they correct stances with hands-on adjustments, like science teachers who correct physics homework by actually becoming a human cannonball launched at a 45-degree angle.
The grappling fighting style known as jujitsu first came to Brazil in 1914 stored in the hands and mind of Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese immigrant and master of the art. He only stayed a year, but it was enough time to plant the seeds for a new jujitsu academy in Brazil. One of the first students at that academy was Hélio Gracie.
Hélio absorbed the fighting style quickly, adapting many of the techniques to suit his small frame. He discovered methods of leverage that allowed him to execute joint locks, choke holds, and takedowns on much larger opponents, forming the core of his new Gracie jujitsu method. Ultimately, Hélio's son Royce brought the fighting style to America, famously winning UFC 1, 2, and 4 by defeating opponents many times his own size. Suddenly, Americans lined up to learn this newly unveiled Brazilian fighting style, demonstrating their eagerness by folding themselves inside a box and shipping themselves south.
Relson Gracie, Hélio's second oldest son, chose to be an ambassador of his family's fighting style. He was already teaching abroad when his little brother Royce skyrocketed Brazilian jujitsu to popularity. He founded his first school under the name Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Hawaii, and as the art became popular, he opened new branches of his academy all across the United States. Today, he visits more than 40 academies and associations, sharing his knowledge with thousands of students. In his absence, he leaves instructors whom he personally trained to oversee the education of aspiring fighters.