Perched along the banks of the Fox River in downtown Geneva, Fox River Pilates Center accedes to the picturesque views that flow freely into its state-of-the-art studio. There, Instructors at the FRPC lead students through mat, equipment, and private Pilates sessions, infusing their deep understanding of Pilates' philosophies into every gathering. The fun, yet meaningful aura that the instructors have created complements the studio's earthy décor, which the pair considers another element on the road to inner peace.
Inner Elements owner Charlotte Trux and her staff of highly trained instructors fortify core muscles with Pilates and Gyrotonic techniques, as well as attending to overall wellness with massage, acupuncture, and weight-management coaching. Sturdy, wooden Pilates machines stretch and strengthen muscles with varying levels of resistance under the supervision of an experienced instructor. The Gyrotonic expansion system strengthens ligaments and keeps hesitant planets on their axes with a combination of rotation and support. Gentle massage kneads loosen tight muscle knots and alternative medicine techniques such as reiki and acupuncture work to realign the body's energy flow to work to treat a variety of ailments.
Several times a day, students flock to the 105-degree studio of Bikram Hot Yoga in St. Charles and Palatine, striking confident poses under the direction of experienced instructors. Each 90-minute class helps students find inner peace and outer health as they sweat out toxins, lengthen muscles, and find respite from packs of predatory hockey players. The studio welcomes students of all abilities, as the balmy heat helps even the tightest of tendons sink into Bikram’s 26 postures and two breathing exercises.
Wheaton Sport Center's expert Pilates trainers fortify cores with personalized workouts that match the distinct fitness goals and abilities of every participant. Consisting of three to five students, the six-week, semiprivate Pilates reformer sessions tone, tighten, and align bodies throughout 55–60 minutes of varied exercises that help to enhance muscular balance, improve posture, and distinguish left wrists from anterior cruciate ligaments. First-time participants can skip the fundamentals course required to register for the session and instead receive a general orientation during their first class. Each week, the challenging, nonstop circuit workout conjures up full-body aerobics by rotating through simple mat exercises, dynamic machine routines, and exercises with Pilates props from gym-set productions of A Streetcar Named Desire.
Fusion Mind/Body’s instructors teach students the worldly art of frame folding in an intimate, supportive setting. A healthy schedule of yoga classes ensures that students of all abilities can find a course that suits their body-torquing needs. Novitiate limb limberers can drop in for an introductory Yoga 101 course, while more experienced practitioners can boost their physical strength and mastery of The Force with an Ashtanga (Power) Yoga session, which focuses on controlled poses and breathing techniques. Students also get access to any of the studio's slate of classes in Pilates and Yogilates, a combined practice that includes poses derived from popular portmanteaus, such as the Craisin, the Unicorn, and the Spork. To ensure that all students receive one-on-one instruction from their instructor, Fusion keeps each class intentionally small.
For more than fifteen years, Universal Spirit Yoga’s experienced instructors have taught yoga, curvy yoga, hot yoga, and meditation classes at their Naperville studio. Classic hatha yoga offers an introduction to alignment and basic technique. Several specialty classes target all age groups—there are Baby and Me, kid, and pre-teen classes as well as yoga sessions designed for those age 50 and above. During the Yoga Scents class, an instructor uses music and aromatherapy for a multisensory lesson that’s far more effective than yoga with periodic foghorn blasts.
Developed by Jill Dailey McIntosh, The Dailey Method is a challenging one-hour program that combines ballet barre work, stretching, core-conditioning, and orthopedic exercises to tone and lengthen bodies. Improve posture, endurance, and strength as muscles grow supple, soft edges firm up, and your sense of physical well-being grows like a Grinch's heart at Christmas. The Dailey Method takes a mindful approach to wellness—its workouts are safe and effective for people of any fitness level, including pregnant women and those recovering from an injury. Check out the Chicago or La Grange schedules for beginning and intermediate class times offered every day, and call ahead to schedule. Participants can use their Groupon for single classes ($20 each), toward any class package, or toward a one-month unlimited pass ($100+). Students should wear comfortable clothing that doesn't restrict movement, alignment, or celebratory robot dancing at the conclusion of class. Locker rooms with showers are available to freshen up after your ultra-workout, so you can scrub off the old you.