Madison Pilates?s owner, Marissa Lins, founded her studio to nurture a supportive fitness community for students of all levels, including those who aspire to become Pilates teachers themselves. The staff of comprehensively trained instructors leads a schedule of beginner to advanced classes with a therapeutic approach, taking time to encourage and guide students through verbal cues, hands-on instruction, exercise demonstration, and professional-quality semaphore.
During newbie-friendly Pilates sessions, teachers introduce the basics of floor-based mat work, where pupils support their body weight themselves, and the fundamentals of spring-resisted equipment workouts, where apparatuses such as the Pilates Reformer and the Wunda chair resist or support students? movements to add strength-building benefits. Students in the intermediate- and advanced-level classes incorporate more demanding Pilates techniques while learning to monitor their own form during each smoothly controlled movement. In addition to group sessions, the teachers also lead private lessons for attendees seeking one-on-one instruction or help with their income-tax paperwork. Nestled amid a bouquet of towering oak trees, the Madison Pilates studio boasts a practice space with gleaming, wood floors and ceilings that are high enough to accommodate Paul Bunyan's coat rack.
Every Friday, Bliss Flow Yoga hosts a happy hour yoga class with healthy treats that accompany poses. It?s all part of the comfortable, beginner-friendly environment created by owner Angela Gargano, whose work has been featured in the press by the likes of the New York Times and the Wisconsin State Journal. Angela heads a staff of supremely qualified and certified instructors, each of who boasts a minimum of 200 hours of training. Together, Angela and the Bliss Flow team distribute their talents across a packed schedule, which includes daily classes and a weekly Basics Class designed specifically for newcomers.
The instructors at Hatchery Hill Yoga, a holistic yoga studio and mindfulness clinic, lead group yoga classes that emphasize breathing in a conscious manner and finding a sense of calm. Instructors are chosen on their ability to work with students of all skill levels, and small class sizes ensure that they can provide personal attention to each student. Yoga sessions, which draw from the traditions of Hatha yoga, seek to improve core strength and bolster posture. Hatchery Hill Yoga also offers one-on-one yoga guidance, therapeutic massage, physical therapy, aromatherapy, childbirth education, and counseling.
Certified Pilates instructor Elizabeth Thorne delights in teaching others how to be more healthy and aware of their bodies. In her group Pilates mat and prop classes, she helps students build their core strength and improve flexibility while balancing the whole body, using movements that sculpt long, lean muscles.
The instructors at Kaivalya Yoga believe that, like yoga practitioners themselves, the rules of yoga should be highly flexible. They pioneer fresh approaches to Vinyasa techniques inside their University Square studio with the aim of inducing kaivalya—a state of freeing personal enlightenment. Heated and nonheated classes cover fluid posture transitions that synchronize breath with stretching rather than having students take one long breathing break halfway through class. Each session aims to eradicate the body's toxins and boost mental clarity, whether students are attending a free beginners workshop or hefting small weights during Power Sculpt.
Many of the teaching staff joined the yoga movement to combat physical ailments, such as slipped disks or chronic migraines, and now they deepen their practice through Kaivalya's inventive curriculum. They inject posing sequences with pieces of individual flair—Hally Marlino's classes embrace freestyle Vinyasa set to music, and director of teacher training Alex Pfeiffer leads groups through spiritually focused, dance-like routines. Certified massage therapists are also on hand to work muscles into an even noodlier state with Swedish, deep-tissue, and sports modalities.
Kaivalya Yoga's central location is no accident. Owners Dave and Tim met at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1998 and maintain ties with the school as an employee and a graduate student, respectively. They've engineered their venue and schedule to suit the student population: classes provide a meditative escape close to home, scheduling never interferes with Wisconsin Badgers games, and the boutique carries chic headbands, T-shirts, and hoodies from their exclusive Mad Yogi clothing line, ideal for moving from dorm to dining hall to yoga studio in comfort.
Inner Fire Yoga is open 365 days a year with a welcoming schedule that offers more than 60 classes a week. The stretch-savvy studio is a custom-built space that adheres to the US Green Building Council's LEED guidelines for sustainable energy use, unlike many commercial yoga studios that are run on top of a Hummer fleet whose sound system has been replaced by window-unit air conditioners from 1996. A wide range of heated yoga styles is available within, including power flow yoga, a challenging blend that detoxifies through sweat and flexifies through deep stretching; hot yoga, a 90-minute hatha yoga class that incorporates 26 postures and two breathing exercises for a full mind-body workout; and inner fire flow, a sequence of set yoga postures that combines classic poses with a power flow.