From Pilates, yoga, and cycling classes to facials, body wraps, and massages, Changes in Motion’s repertoire of life-affirming services helps clients achieve health and beauty from the inside out. Students can enroll in small-group classes or one-on-one sessions with one of three licensed Pilates instructors—former dancer Effie, Power Pilates expert Emmy, or Pilates veteran Wendy. The trio rounds up Reformer machines, springboards, and a TRX suspension system to help novices and seasoned students alike strengthen and tone their cores. The studio also boasts a full class schedule packed with non-Pilates sessions, such as spinning, cross training, and yoga.
After clients work up a sweat, they can head to the spa for a 60-minute cooldown session with a licensed massage therapist, who customizes deep-tissue, Swedish, and Thai stretch techniques to individual concerns. Across the hall, licensed aestheticians use Éminence, B&G, and WoodSprite organic skincare products during facials and body wraps, hydrating skin and restoring a look of youth. Meanwhile, two noninvasive systems—the TriActive laser and electrical-stimulation machine—blend technologies to boost circulation, smooth cellulite, and tighten skin without the hassle of squeezing into a straitjacket made entirely of band-aids.
Synergy Yoga holds small gatherings of passionate yogis as they stretch and build muscles in 1 of the 50 classes offered each week. Various styles of yoga, including traditional Hatha flow, focus on deep breathing, and more rigorous classes, such as hot core Vinyasa or hot power yoga, combine the sweat-inducing powers of a heated studio with moves that can makes tummies tighter than an elf's shoes on a pro basketball player.
A wrought-iron gate opens into an alley wall lined with bright verdant foliage and skinny trees. This greenery snakes onto a stone path, which leads to Synergy Yoga’s curved red doors. The first thing that hits visitors inside the yoga sanctuary is the color: mustard-yellow and two-tone green walls, red accents up the stairs, and crisp white moulding. The main studio swims with light filtered in from high windows set in the towering two-story ceilings, light that bounces off the white walls and cascades down to the wood flooring.
Focused on supporting the community, Synergy Yoga aims to include all walks of life. Kids' yoga invites youngsters to develop their flexibility, and very advanced yogis can turn their passion into a living with teacher training. Healing arts such as psychic medium reading, meditation, or massage soothe guests in need of some extra care.
As a former national-level figure skater and ISSA-certified personal trainer, Jessica knows what a full-body burn feels like. However, she didn't know that a stationary bike could replicate the feeling, until a fellow trainer encouraged her to climb aboard a RealRyder cycle. Jessica became a devotee after just two rides. Determined to share her newfound passion with others, she gathered a team of certified instructors, populated two studios with RealRyder ABF8 bikes, and opened their doors to prospective pedalers of all fitness levels.
Inside Ryde For Life, Jessica and her staff host 45- to 60-minute classes synced to each teacher's music playlist. They lead stationary teams atop RealRyder bikes, whose specialized frames allow riders to lean, bank, and steer as they would an on-road bike. In addition to pumping up cardiovascular systems, sessions engage the core, upper body, legs, and the scalp muscles that hold helmets in place.
Co-owners Cindy Mastry and Jen Lowery forged the studio's varied yoga curriculum by alloying their extensive training histories. Cindy set off toward inner peace in the 1960s, holding poses alongside her grandmother. Combining her early experiences in yoga with years of dance and fitness training, she opened a home yoga practice and joined the Exalted Warrior Foundation to bring yogic healing to injured military personnel. Jen Lowery studied under several yoga masters to perfect her technique. She deepened her practice by completing an 800-hour Yoga Traditions Philosophy course, led by lauded expert Georg Feuerstein, in a single day.
Despite their rigorous training, Cindy and Jen tend to emphasize the relaxing, fun aspects of yoga through classes in Vinyasa flow, stretching, and partner work. Their own 200-hour course for aspiring yoga teachers imparts the values of 8 Limb Vinyasa flow, covering anatomy, pose sequencing, pedagogic techniques, and ways to climb spider webs without alerting the spider.
The gym looks like equal parts Olympic training facility and old warehouse—here, exercisers hoist themselves up rows of pull-up bars, grunt around a collection of kettlebells, and hop through jump-rope routines. On a power-lifting platform, a lifter explodes from a squat, hoisting a plate-loaded bar up to his shoulders and then dropping under it to catch the weight over his head. Elsewhere, athletes do dips on gymnast rings and build a sweat on rowing machines.
This low-tech setting is typical of all true CrossFit gyms. Though the equipment may be basic, the results are not: CrossFit workouts develop all measures of physical fitness—from power to cardiovascular endurance—through workouts that are broad, general, and inclusive. This approach is often described as specializing in not specializing: it develops physical fitness in ways equally beneficial to everyone, from professional mixed martial artists and police officers to weekend softball players.
CrossFit gyms typically start clients in a foundational program where trainers teach the basic movements, such as the squat, dead lift, and pull-up. Every exercise is scalable to a version that clients can complete—a pull-up, for example, can be scaled back to a negative pull-up, a static hang, or body-weight row with gymnast rings. It can also be scaled to a more challenging version, such as the kipped pull-up. After students learn CrossFit's basic movements, they move on to open group classes, which follow the ever-changing WOD, or Workout of the Day. These workouts are short and intense, and they foster camaraderie through frequent team circuits. In addition to supervising WOD class, trainers coach members on nutrition, advocating a caveman-style diet of low-glycemic carbohydrates, monounsaturated fats, and lean proteins such as raptor meat.
At Pole Dance Miami, honored as 2010’s Best Gym Alternative in the Miami New Times and featured on NBC Channel 6, dance poles host a dizzying array of spins and twists in more than 40 weekly classes that unite high-flying exercise with feminine sensuality. Passionate instructors lead one-hour classes in sundry styles for patrons of all skill levels, from the sultry sways of Beginner 1 to the Vixen class’s foxy spin combos. The fuchsia studio’s floor-to-ceiling wall of mirrors assists patrons in achieving proper form during mat stretches and twists, and its hardwood floors are tuned to make pitch-perfect music when struck with stiletto heels. Ladies can flock to the studio en masse for pole parties, during which instructors lead partygoers in basic moves to celebrate bachelorette parties, birthday parties, or high-noon tea parties.