True to their studio's name, the staff of Hot Yoga House strive to immerse guests in a comfortable, homey atmosphere. The instructors host classes for all experience levels that bathe bodies in 95- to 100-degree heat, and they complement the warm temperatures with compassionate teachings. Each instructor brings their own character to the sessions, which follow the Barkan method of yoga mixed with elements of Vinyasa and meditation. They blend these styles to help students cultivate strength, flexibility, and personal growth, a feat normally only accomplished by doing handstands on top of a hardcover copy of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Modern Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding.
World Champion Productions owner David Elkin has followed a much-decorated career in competitive ballroom dancing—he has received four world titles, seven U.S. titles, and three British titles—with more than 20 years of teaching. His expertise informs a troupe of full-time, internationally-certified instructors, who teach Latin, swing, and ballroom-dance lessons in private and group settings. The school's Hendersonville location boasts a state-of-the-art sound system with a huge preloaded repertoire of danceable tunes and a raised hardwood dance floor that emits only the tiniest shrieks when stomped on. Weekend nights open the studios for students to strut the stuff they've learned in class, with complimentary adult beverages, live bands, and a lighthearted social atmosphere.
Koko FitClub’s automated personal-training system rockets both men and women toward fitness goals with 30-minute custom workouts that incorporate cardio and strength training. An initial consultation determines fitness level and baseline measurements, which Koko’s computerized equipment uses to design a tailored workout plan that precisely measures the weight, pace, and rest time appropriate for each exerciser.
The patented Smartraining machines guide exercisers through each workout and adapt as the user’s fitness needs change, to constantly challenge the body. Exercisers can track their results and body composition measurements online and even compare individual fitness levels to others in the Koko FitClub community.
Like many trainers, Rickey Taylor spent much of his life fascinated by fitness, but he has also always loved art. He considers the act of training others as a combination of the two: his clients’ bodies serving as the canvases that he helps transform into healthy human specimens. He founded Xcelerated Training as an art-cum-fitness studio, where he now paints a healthy picture of the world.
Rickey employs a blend of cardio, weight training, and plyometrics in his body-sculpting workouts. His enthusiasm is contagious, and he encourages patrons to motivate one another through the high-intensity, boot-camp-style classes. Though his classes are held in small groups, he schedules one-on-one sessions with customers who request it. He also provides nutrition coaching, further pushing patrons toward healthier lifestyles without relying on fad diets, such as only eating fruits with fresh hairstyles.
Julee Jones, founder of The Pilates Place, completed a 700-hour training program at The New York Pilates Studio. Even more impressive is that one of her teachers during that span was Romana Kryzanowska, who in 1970 took over as director of the original Pilates studio, a role once held by Joseph Pilates and later Clark Kent. It's no surprise then that Jones preaches authentic, functional techniques for Pilates, barre, and yoga classes at her studio. In addition to being an expert on Pilates, Jones is a certified barre instructor and a certified cancer-exercise specialist.
As a ballet dancer, David Gensheimer didn't need much help becoming lean, limber, and lithe. But when he found himself recovering from knee surgery, he knew he needed to find something that would keep him strong without compromising his healing process. In addition to physical therapy, he turned to Pilates and was won over by the sport's ability to strengthen core muscles and enhance flexibility. Though he was back to pirouetting in no time, David never lost the Pilates bug and went on to complete his Pilates training while serving as a company member with Ballet Austin and Nashville Ballet and dancing with the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company and Stillpoint.
Today, when he's not busy dancing his way through guest performances around the country, David helms Simply Balanced where he helps others strengthen, rehabilitate, and challenge their bodies through Pilates and yoga classes. Students can also try Gyrotonic classes, which blend elements of gymnastics, yoga, dance, and tai chi, performed on a weight and pulley machine that engages the entire body. Beyond transforming the way visitors look, move, and feel about spandex shorts, the Simply Balanced studio also showers them with feel-good perks such as complimentary beverages, free parking, and access to a team of highly trained massage therapists.