Nine teachers. Twelve styles of classes. Seven days of class per week. Whether they’re expectant mothers, 7-year-old children, or lifelong power-yoga practitioners, yogis come to Om Yoga’s studio to practice their chosen ancient body-bending art. In each class, the instructors adhere to the eight-limbed philosophy of Ashtanga yoga, modifying the poses and stretches for students of all experience levels.
Many studios focus solely on two principles of yoga: asanas (poses) and pranayama (breath control). However, Om Yoga’s teachers focus on a practice that involves all eight aspects of this traditional art, which include such intangibles as morality, self-observation, and even the ability to control the senses, a helpful trick when staring into the sun while standing next to an angry skunk.
Shannon "The Cannon" Hudson is an International Kickboxing Federation world champion, a fifth-degree black belt in Japanese shotokan karate, and a survivor of more than 70 bouts in the ring—yet, one of his most influential titles is "father." With two kids clinging around his waist like a squirmy fanny pack, Shannon started brainstorming a way to channel his boxing and kickboxing training into a quick, effective workout that even those who are busy or out of shape could tackle. The result was 9Round, a 30-minute routine of aerobic, anaerobic, and resistance moves divided into a circuit of nine stations. The ever-changing series of workouts maximizes morale and results while minimizing boredom.
His trainers launch the workouts every three minutes, motivating exercisers through each station—which might include jumping rope or pummeling speed bags. Online nutritional counseling supplements the workouts, teaching patrons how to construct and eat healthy meals instead of falling back on old habits, such as snacking on cheese sculptures.
The staffs of Omni Health and Fitness Center and Club Fitness want to be a one-stop shop for their members' fitness needs. The clubs vary in size from 50,000 to 30,000 square feet, all stocked with more than 75 cardio machines, tens of thousands of pounds of free weights, and strength-training equipment from Hammer Strength and Life Fitness. Parents can drop their kids off at the Kids Zone or Children's Nursery before pumping iron or grabbing a spot in the cardio cinema room, an area that, like Jack LaLanne’s living room, allows people to work out while enjoying a movie in surround sound. The gyms' trainers, meanwhile, lead one-on-one training sessions, as well group fitness classes that range from yoga to popular Les Mills classes, including BodyPump. After workouts, members can cool down at the smoothie bar.
Leading more than 35 classes each week, YogaFlex's 16 accredited instructors help students of all experience levels strengthen limbs and drain stress from worry-bloated minds. The studio's 10 class types vary in focus, and many welcome new and advanced practitioners alike, including Power Mixed Yoga, which challenges bodies and minds with an assortment of postures, breathing techniques, multiplication flash cards, and movements. Flexibility and range of motion increase in Deep Stretch sessions that guide pupils into seated and reclining poses held for minutes at a time, and Hot Yoga attendees burn fat, tone muscles, and improve circulation in a high-temperature setting that purges the body of impurities in conveniently perspirable form. Universal Yoga spreads mats and inner peace, guiding students into heightened awareness of their bodies and minds through precise movements that inspire meditative contemplation. Ashtanga Yoga classes focus on repetition of postures to fortify the lower back, hips, and solar plexus, and bodies remain limber with Vinyasa breathing exercises and limbo-pole competitions between each pose.
Five different classes beckon benders to the peaceful, rejuvenating atmosphere at Yoga Palace. The friendly, experienced teachers draw from varied backgrounds to help acclimate aspirant rubberbods to the variety of styles. All levels of yogi can test their appendages in the Yoga Basics course, while parents can join kids over the age of four and immortalize their sweat dynasty in the lighthearted family yoga course. Channel your breath, balance your muscles, and oxygenate thirsty organs with the Vinyasa course, or build stamina and practice your contemplative statue stances in the slow flow course. Whatever class you choose, you'll leave feeling at ease, stable, and confident, ready to brave a week on an evil swivel chair or a month in a labyrinth of limbo parties.
Evolution packs its exposed-brick walls with certified personal trainers, state-of-the-art cardio and strength equipment, and a kaleidoscope of heart-pumping fitness classes. During the two one-hour personal-training sessions, muscle mavens help bodies reach their health and fitness goals with customized workouts aimed at weight loss, sports-specific endurance, or other athletic aspirations (each a $75 value). With a two-week membership, sweat seekers can sample dozens of group exercise classes such as power yoga, martial arts, kettlebell fundamentals, and intermediate levitation (a $50 value). While skeleton husks sweat off spare tires on the treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical machines, flat-screen televisions keep brains distracted from thoughts of seceding from the body.