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).
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.
After suffering from a back injury, former dancer and athletic fitness guru Elise Moore discovered Pilates during her rehabilitation. Her love for the exercise form continued to flourish even after she felt better, inspiring her to open her own studio where she could put her Pilates certification and 20-plus years in the fitness industry to good use leading group mat and reformer classes.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic-resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use gym-goers' own body weights, fitness levels, and aerodynamic water bottles to create resistance that matches 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.
Led by founder Sandy Adler, certified Anusara instructor, Freedom Yoga's instructors lead classes throughout the week for both beginners and more advanced students. Instructors tap into their experience, skill, and dedication to help students develop a safe and meaningful yoga practice, searching within themselves and their pupils to align spiritual centers, increase strength, and boost flexibility. Rather than using intense exercises or giant marionette strings to affect the mind and body from the outside, Anusara's poses originate from within the body, using deliberate breath and movement as a form of meditation to hone the mind while helping the body increase its strength and balance.