The team is led by Faithful Fitness KC’s director, David Oquendo, who has been training for six years, earning a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and working with clients aged 16–65 in the process. He and his team work out of their home base at Faithful Fitness—a full-service gym with advanced facilities that include 20 yards of track, lifting areas, and rowing machines. They lead sport-specific training and personalized programs, as well as classes that include boot camp, yoga, suspension training, and metabolic cardio training. The team aims to promote fat loss and leaner muscles while increasing metabolic rates and flexibility.
Pilates instructors helm classes that include mat-based sessions and Pilates circuits, stocking their studio with reformers, chairs, and other equipment designed to help students get the most out of the core-strengthening and posture-aligning movements. The precision-barre teachers, meanwhile, tap into dance backgrounds as they lead groups through limb-lengthening workouts inspired by ballet classes and Stretch Armstrong’s exercise tapes from the '80s. They also offer Precision Fab 5 classes, Fat Blast Reformer classes, workshops, and more.
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Yoga students who practice at Bikram Yoga South Kansas City experience a discipline that is as closely related to founder Bikram Choudhury's as possible, as each class is taught by an instructor who studied directly under the yogi and returns to study with him every three years. With that wealth of knowledge, each teacher approaches classes with a deeper understanding of the physiological and mental benefits of practicing yoga in a heated environment. As the studio's heat increases heart rates, practitioners benefit from an added cardiovascular element during their core strengthening and joint stretching, which also helps the body eliminate toxins through sweating. During classes, instructors also encourage students to look inward while forming each pose. By focusing on the internal state of the body, practitioners become more cognizant of the external influences that affect their well-being, such as negativity and the pieces of sky that have started falling.
The instructors at Yoga Patch embrace inclusiveness, leading classes for children, adults, and families. Youngsters learn the asanas while making noises as they pose, adolescents try partner exercises that build teamwork, and adults learn to drop stress during meditation and DMV line reenactments. For patrons who have difficulty standing, the staff leads chair yoga sessions that increase balance and flexibility with supportive props. They also schedule Pay What You Can classes, further demonstrating their belief that anyone should be able to practice yoga, regardless of build or budget.
Sunlight spills through Maya Yoga’s glass-block windows, quietly illuminating students as they meditatively make their way through a series of poses amongst tapestries of Hindu deities. Here, teachers shepherd students of all levels through flowing Vinyasa sequences and the ancient poses of the Ashtanga tradition. To help loosen tight muscles and oust toxins, teachers heat up the studio to a limb-limbering 80 degrees. They also play tranquil music to help the group breathe deeply as they commune with their inner selves and train their third eyes to not wink at every attractive stranger who passes by.
The instructors at Zona Yoga have all taken different paths to get to where they are today. They've all studied under numerous mentors, and some have even traveled around the country learning, sharing their wisdom, and picking up different skills. Kelly Colln, for instance, has completed 1,000 hours of education, and is certified to teach restorative yoga. That diversity manifests itself in Zona's schedule, which features a varied selection of yoga approaches: some more fitness-focused, others more therapeutic.