Radiating at a balmy 104 degrees with 35% humidity, Heat Yoga Studio is an ideal place to sweat out toxins or thaw TV dinners. The studio plays host to one-hour classes that begin with seated positions and flow into standing poses, backbends, and other asana that challenge students to find a balance between effort and ease. As instructors coach students through sequences, they emphasize pranayama, or breathing, in order to optimize circulation and focus. The classes are suitable for students of all levels.
According to Minnesota Monthly, "The Firm is a sexy sort of gym." Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, Self, and Seventeen all agree, having identified it as the go-to gym for an incredible workout. But it's not just the museum-sleek aesthetic or rigorous classes that make The Firm great. Rather, it's the fact that the gym constantly evolves to accommodate new fitness trends. When spinning became the hot new workout, The Firm met the demand, offering the best spinning classes in Minnesota, according to CBS Minnesota. And now that CrossFit has risen to superstardom, The Firm offers it seven days a week. The Star Tribune reports that industry veteran Kelly Miyamoto is the visionary behind the scenes. Having started her career in the 1980s, she's witnessed the rise and fall of various workouts as well as the concurrent fluctuations in the market for neon leotards.
With the help of a crack team of instructors—15 strong—husband-and-wife duo Eric and Martha Williams stoke the fires of flexibility in separate classes designed for parents and their kids. During 90-minute sessions held in a 105-degree studio, beads of sweat roll off students and blossom into miniature Fabios as the class cycles through 26 yoga poses, each amping up blood circulation while warming and stretching muscles. Students zero in on focused breathing as heat purges toxins from bodies.
Down the hall from the main studio lies the 2,000-square-foot Kids Space, an eco-friendly, scent-free oasis draped in 100% wool flooring where instructors blend yoga and play with the help of a sandbox, teepee, and toys. Children aged 2–12 years scramble about the imagination-firing room as they learn self-control and compassion during Made to Move sessions. The playful course, designed by a healthy-lifestyle consultant and trainer for school districts and local governments, teaches kids self-esteem in a safe, noncompetitive setting. Plunking more karma into its piggy bank of eco-friendliness, the studio rewards students that bike to the studio, which located off the greenway cycling trail, with free mat and towel rental.
If Barre Bliss looks familiar, it’s because its unique take on barre workouts was featured on CBS Minnesota WCCO. In real life, as on television, instructors led by owner Mia Jenneman and co-owner Shad Holland introduce each student to their specially formulated version of barre fitness. Drawing upon Mia's experience as a classically trained dancer and yoga practitioner and inspired by STOTT Pilates techniques, the custom workout system promotes torso control and a strong abdominal wall while imparting meditative form and position fundamentals. The result is an intense session that activates tiny muscles as well as full muscle chains, resulting in a full-body workout that both sculpts frames and sheds pounds. Designed with beginners in mind, the system also imparts knowledge of the graceful movements and fluid transitions of dances throughout the ages.
Align Pilates’ barre classes are an eclectic blend. Their union of an energetic cardio workout with the muscle-toning properties of Pilates and yoga and the sculpting power of ballet garnered them the title of Best New Workout of 2011 by Minnesota Monthly. In these sessions, students of all experience levels build lean muscle and burn fat at the decade-old fitness studio. Its team of teachers—all of whom have completed a minimum of 500 hours of training—also lead Pilates classes that unfold on mats. Hula hoops, candlelight, and Vinyasa flow augment yoga classes with focuses such as alignment, breathing, and detoxification.
Yoga Center of Minneapolis' team of attentive instructors brings a range of expertise and teaching styles to each studio, leading a dynamic collection of classes and workshops for yogis of all experience levels. The studio's robust schedule takes place within citrus-hued walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, and gleaming hardwood floors, which provide a comforting atmosphere for new students and performance-anxious mats during the four-week Absolute Beginner class series. During the educational, intensive series, fledgling flexers build the foundation for their practice by mastering the basic postures, breathing techniques, and centuries-old secret yogi handshakes under the guidance of a patient mat maven.
More than 25 years ago, Marcy McHenry founded the Dancers Studio to put her 30 years of dance experience to good use. The studio’s three ballrooms spread out over 6,500 square feet of arm-flinging, leg-kicking room. Upon the shiny, lacquered hardwood, a staff of trained instructors guides students of all skill levels through ballroom, Latin, social, and special-event dance routines. During group lessons, the instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where their pupils can thrive in styles such as the tango and west coast swing. In private lessons students can fine-tune techniques, learn extra-challenging new steps, or find out what Fred Astaire’s favorite ice-cream flavor was during their one-on-one time with an instructor. Those looking to show off their new moves can get down on Thursday evenings when the studio's DJ Chris spins a variety of tunes for pupils to kick their heels up to for an hour.
The studio also encourages dancers to maintain healthy physiques in Pilates, Zumba, and yoga classes. Clients can sculpt long, lean muscles and strong cores in a Pilates session, or get heart rates thumping in Zumba classes that play energetic Latin tunes.