If Mother Nature could design a building, it might look something like The Yoga Factory. Sunlight and bird song filter through frosted-glass windows. Trees dapple the walls with shadows and breezes rustle their leaves as the humans inside the studio draw their own deep breaths. Experienced instructors siphon inspiration from this natural beauty, filling the space with enough low-toned chants to befriend even the shiest bullfrog. Under their guidance, yogis of all levels build strength and flexibility during alignment-focused Hatha and Vinyasa classes. The temperature rises to 88 degrees for Hot-Yasa sessions, loosening tight muscles as students practice back bends, arm balances, and inversions atop matted floors. To help yogis hold poses for extended periods of time, teachers may incorporate props such as blocks and blankets during calming restorative routines.
In addition to melting stress with yoga classes, The Yoga Factory helps exercisers torch calories with boot camps. Upon request, personal trainers can tailor workouts to goals such as losing weight, increasing strength, or finally besting an overly aggressive boxing shadow.
Balanced Yoga’s two dozen passionate yogis lead daily classes that stretch and lengthen limbs through various yoga techniques. As the sun streams in through the wide windows and refracts off the shiny hardwood floors, the instructors flow with students through different poses designed to strengthen muscles and center minds. They lead classes that focus on the different traditions of yoga: Vinyasa yoga for a fluid progression of heat-building poses, Ashtanga yoga that challenges stretchers with vigorous, fixed postures, and prenatal yoga that teaches babies to om in utero. With fingers reaching toward the patterned ceilings, teachers and guests together create a community of relaxed, patient, and strong yoga enthusiasts.
Michele Mangione thought she might never dance again after a car wreck smashed her skull and fractured four fragile vertebrae. By practicing yoga, she regained her mobility and acquired a new passion: helping others find health and happiness through movement. To this end, she eagerly studied the mind-body connection, earning a PhD in the topic from Ohio State and an advanced teaching certification from the Yoga Alliance. Armed with extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and philosophy, she founded WiseWays, a studio that blends Hatha yoga with healing arts, such as tai chi, structural integration, and the Feldenkrais method of somatic education. Here, students of all skill levels build strong bodies, centered minds, and spirits as buoyant as the studio's suspended-wood floor. Yoga instruction takes place in one-on-one sessions and small-group classes, where pupils hone poses that gently unlock hips, shoulders, and safes filled with middle-school-era diary entries. As strength and flexibility increase, students progress to sun salutations that cultivate balance, focus, and a pervasive sense of calm.
Within the temperature-controlled interior of what used to be a warehouse, students flow from sun salutations to standing lunges before rising into rigorous poses. At the head of the class stands the studio's founder, Julie Verhoff Pipes, relaying the athletic blend of yoga and aerobics that she personally developed from a combination of Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Bikram yoga techniques.
Though softened by woven curtains and hanging lanterns, the studio's raw, industrial feel remains. The Spartan decor increases focus since the studio possesses no distracting pictures or traditional yoga clowns.
During 20 years of industry experience, Nick and Sharon Osborne have witnessed countless gym members lose interest in monotonous workouts and detached trainers. To combat exercise lethargy, they founded Go: Fitness, a center that focuses on functional training and attentive service. Either Nick or Sharon is always onsite to oversee their coaching staff during group classes and free monthly one-on-one sessions for members.
The gym's equipment?kettlebells, battling ropes, sledgehammers, and machines such as the Power Plate?complements routines that mimic real-life movements and strengthen muscles through natural actions. To round out their wellness goals, members receive access to nutrition and fitness software that helps them plan healthful meals without going to the trouble of hacking into the Food Network's mainframe.