In his formative years, Alan Stockman was into chess and competitive cycling. He had tried martial arts but it never stuck. But while living in Brazil in 1997, he had a revelation studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Luiz Filho. He found that the martial art combined the strategy and mental discipline of chess with the physical discipline of cycling, a combination that has had him hooked ever since.
Now a black belt, Stockman brings his passion for martial arts to Carlson Gracie Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu. An affiliate of the Carlson Gracie Team—the originators of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu—the center teaches adults and kids ages 4 and older the grappling and ground-fighting techniques integral to the art. Whether exploring the fundamentals or more advanced tactics, practitioners learn to use Jiu-Jitsu as self-defense, in MMA competition, or to restrain a jaywalker from breaking the law.
Beneath the flowing fabrics that run across the studio ceiling at Evolutions @ Yoga, experienced instructors lead a wide range of classes from gentle beginning courses to advanced core-strengthening sessions, which earned them a place as a finalist for 2011 Best Yoga Studio on Indystar.com’s The Indy A List. They also brought home a feature as the “best place to get started” in yoga in a 2011 Indianapolis Monthly article, in part for offering welcoming sessions geared toward beginners. A diverse range of classes includes several forms of the discipline, including Beginner Yoga, Intermediate, Prana Flow, Prenatal Yoga, and iCan yoga classes. Whether taking restorative sessions or advanced heated classes, all students take in the nurturing environment with its hardwood floors, spongy yoga mats, and flickering candles that flicker words of wisdom in Morse code.
Planet Fitness embodies a judgment-free zone where guests of all ages and fitness levels can sculpt their physiques with myriad aerobic and strength-training options within a friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere. Patrons may chisel, strengthen, and balloon muscles by pushing and pulling the extensive selection of brand-name equipment and free weights. With the help of a trained instructor, guests can design a custom workout program based on exercise history, medical background, and goals of completing an underwater bicycle race. Thirty-minute small-group classes concentrate on strengthening and toning specific body parts, and others promote salubrious bodies with full-body circuit workouts designed to give each and every lackadaisical muscle a Popeye-like infusion of metaphorical spinach.
Fitness Now's founder Tiffany Wheatley draws from more than 12 years of professional fitness experience and extensive certification to customize each workout and regimen to each customer's individual needs. Sophisticated cardio and strength equipment hone and tone muscles, while certified personal trainers and nutritionists fashion individual exercise and diet packages. Guests sweat to glory in the supportive atmosphere of group classes such as spin sessions or Pilates and yoga courses, which aim to unite mind and body during core-boosting workouts, like doing sit-ups in a sensory-depravation tank.
The Ransburg YMCA of Greater Indianapolis serves the community through programs that benefit the mind, body, and spirit. It aims to be a force for positive change in the community by promoting healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility. Along with gym memberships, Ransburg YMCA offers a wide selection of classes and activities for all ages, ranging from summer camp and afterschool programs to sessions that promote adult wellness and disease prevention.
In business for nearly 25 years, the National Institute for Fitness and Sport’s 65,000-square-foot fitness center boasts an array of classes and training sessions, as well as a host of strength-training and cardio equipment. But these represent just one branch of the nonprofit organization. NIFS also manages fitness centers for companies and retirement communities all over the country, creates an online curriculum for Health YOUniversity, and collaborates with the Indiana University School of Medicine on research projects.
With two local locations, more than 50 classes each week, and an expert squad of certified instructors, it makes sense that Nuvo magazine named Invoke Studio the best source for yoga and Pilates five years in a row. While maintaining the old Buschman Building's original 19th-century charm in her downtown studio, Invoke owner Amy Peddycord has created a 4,000-square-foot modern oasis for mind-body workouts with calming hues, exposed ducts, and hardwood floors that gleam like an upside-down CD under the light of a cassette player’s display. Wall-spanning windows let in floods of natural light and give Vinyasa practitioners something to salute during their strengthening flow. Pilates classes strengthen cores and help to increase range of motion with exercises performed on simple sticky mats. A ballet barre stretches across the wall of the large practice room, where students perform dance-inspired moves.