Patrons plant palms and heels into the wood floors of Bija Yoga's cozy, neutral-toned studio, growing into seasoned yogis as certified instructors lead them through ancient postures. It's this sense of planting and flourishing that Jamie Shane, the owner and one of the instructors, hopes to evoke with the studio's name—the Sanskrit word for seed. She leads her classes with a similar fluidity, whether she's introducing an ever-changing variety of poses during Go Flow—a Vinyasa-style class that links breath to movement—or opening up the floor to encourage practitioners to follow their own yogic lights in Your Flow. Other classes drag yoga into the new millennium, incorporating kickboxing moves in rigorous Kick Asana classes, or robot boxing moves in Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Asana.
Named after a Sanskrit word that means both “power” and “child,” Bala Vinyasa Yoga teems with poses that are as athletic as they are playful. Experienced teachers draw upon Baron Baptiste’s holistic approach to yoga instruction, which aims to transform the body and clear the mind of clutter such as stress and extremely misplaced gym socks. The studio’s all-levels Power Vinyasa classes challenge students with deep, focused breaths that link arm stands, backbends, and seated poses to create a flowing, dance-like routine. Slow Flow Restorative sessions, on the other side of that coin, move at a more leisurely pace as they open joints with lengthy poses, which, like eulogies read by Carrot Top, are supported by props. To bolster their home-based yoga practice, students can purchase mats and props at the studio’s boutique or practice stretches and bends with its live-streamed classes. Dedicated to comfort and relaxation, the boutique also carries calming lavender eye pillows and cozy apparel from lululemon athletica, Zobha, and I Love Yoga.
From kids to adults and seniors, Paramount Fitness invites people of all ages to take part in its group fitness classes. Kids can participate in fitness offerings that help burn excess energy or offer a calming atmosphere, and adults can take advantage of Step 'n' Tone cardio workouts or Piloxing, a fusion of Pilates and kickboxing that helps tone muscle. Energetic instructors also lead low-key group classes of up to 20 people in yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, and spinning in a spacious, mirror-lined studio. Above all, the center’s trainers want students to have fun as they exercise, whether that means attending a different class on every visit or showing a Zumba class the new move you made up in the shower. Classes are also offered all week long to give attendees many exercise options to fit into busy schedules.
After accumulating more than 14 years of Pilates experience at other fitness venues, Helen Wagner opened The Pilates Scoop to provide affordable Pilates equipment classes. The Pilates method works to tone the body’s core without adding bulk, ensuring that students don't emerge looking like a football player who just ate a medicine ball. The pulleys, cables, and springs of Reformer and Cadillac machines extend and contract as students tone their stomachs, backs, hips, buttocks, and knees.
Helen caps equipment classes at no more than six students, and also leads private, duet, and triples lessons to provide more tailored instruction. She also teaches classes in traditional Pilates methods incorporating mats, chairs, and the high ladder barrel.
The instructors at Pilates Plus fashion themselves in the likeness of the body's core: flexible yet supportive. Owner Tammy Schulz draws on more than 800 hours of training and 35 years in the fitness industry to guide her clients through classic Pilates classes. Her daughter Traci is also on staff, though her approach to Pilates reflects her own passions for dance and yoga in its blend of music and stretching.
Having mastered hundreds of versatile Pilates exercises, these experts host group and private classes that make good use of their studio's mats, ballet barres, and mechanical bull. Though their approaches differ, an emphasis on core strength and coordination remains at the forefront of every session.
Before finding her calling as a yoga instructor, Sylvia taught biology, Earth science, and general science for more than 25 years. Throughout her years in the classroom, she practiced yoga as a way to calm her mind and balance her body. In 2005, she switched gears—she trained for more than 1,000 hours and earned her E-RYT 500 certification. She specializes in Kripalu-style mindfulness yoga, which emphasizes self-acceptance and consciousness of the interplay between life and yoga. Although she primarily teaches multi-level classes, some sessions, such as chair or adaptive yoga, are intentionally geared toward those with limited mobility. At the beginning of class, she occasionally reads inspirational passages or practices levitation.
At Puh-la-teez, certified instructor Bridget Kolshak helps students fortify their cores with an arrangement of specialized Pilates equipment. Begin the pursuit of fitness with a one-hour private Reformer, Tower, or Mat session (up to a $50 value), then move on to group classes for additional power-ups and the chance to stare down fellow exercisers. Physique sculptors can carve themselves a sexier shell and solidify gooey cores with the purposeful movements of a Pilates Mat class, a 55-minute fusion of mat exercises and modern Pilates props (a $10 value). Finish off the body-trimming adventure with a 55-minute Pilates equipment class (a $20 value)—the Reformer class refines balance, core strength, and flexibility on the Stott Pilates Reformer, and the Tower class relies on the Balanced Body Pilates Springboard to challenge muscle groups with resistance training.