The average exerciser may not know Nia, but Sarah and Amy of Somatic Alchemy live and breathe the holistic workout. They teach the blend of dance, martial arts, and healing arts in an upbeat, yet relaxing environment. Set to music, Nia’s steps are carefully guided, and they burn calories without high impact. So Sarah and Amy welcome students at all levels of fitness to their classes, held atop The Reach Center’s sprung floors (which are easy on the joints).
When Dave Wagenheim started selling tofu dogs in downtown Eugene in 2006, he had no idea his modest venture would blossom into Viva! Vegetarian Grill, a food cart honored as the city's third best by Eugene Weekly in 2012. From his corner on 12th Avenue and Willamette Street, as well as a café inside the Eugene Family YMCA, the team crafts a rotating selection of 100% vegan and vegetarian items. Those include Polish-style soysage, locally made organic tempeh tossed in a vegan hot-wing sauce, and an original vegan soft serve made from a cashew base, rather than just the ice part of ice cream.
Organic coffee from Wandering Goat Coffee Co., organic chai and rooibos teas, and a selection of organic juices complement each meatless feast. Along with the mainstay locations, the Viva! team feeds hungry herbivores at music and arts festivals throughout the Northwest.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby, trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
Eugene Yoga's team of yoga instructors builds a community of holistic wellness-seekers with a robust and diverse lineup of 61 Hatha-based yoga classes, which take place in two rooms. Inexperienced students can take sticky mats for a test drive during Gentle yoga 1 classes that walk them through fundamental poses while emphasizing deep-breathing techniques that hone concentration. More advanced students can try Power Flow, which features a strengthening flow of postures designed to build muscle and coordination. Women can hone their practice during ladies-only sessions that promote strong bodies and self-confidence in a noncompetitive atmosphere. In addition to focusing on safe and sustainable yoga for all members of the community, yogis also sell premium mats and props, as well as clothing and gifts from local vendors.
Drawing from three different health and fitness certifications and a degree in movement science, Susan B. Stack guides small-group classes in Pilates workouts and aerobic hoop-dance classes. One-hour Pilates classes build up sturdy cores with a holistic take on exercise that combines concentrated breathing and flowing motion. Gentle workouts protect the body by maintaining a neutral alignment of the spine while engaging the abdomen to sculpt stomachs into Michelangelo's David. Clients shatter beads of sweat due to cardio-respiratory exertion in hula-hoop-dancing classes that improve balance, coordination, and motor skills. The simple motion of twirling a plastic ring around the waist builds muscles in the entire body and can transport students back in time to their childhood without the risk of wedgies or changing the future. Group dance classes are typically held at Celebration Belly Dance & Yoga Studio, and Stack limits classes to about eight to ten students to make sure each participant gets individual instruction.