In 1997, Amy Caldwell discovered yoga. As she backpacked through Asia, Australia, and parts of Europe, she stopped to train with yogis she met along the way, exploring the styles of Vinyasa flow, Sivananda, Iyengar, and Ashtanga. As she learned, she blended these styles into her own dynamic flow. Since this nomadic journey, Amy's rapidly developing skills have earned her a spot on two Yoga Journal covers. Today, as owners of Yoga One studio, she and her husband Michael incorporate their own unique yoga and meditation styles into their teachings.
The flexible duo leads a team of experienced instructors, who foster a positive, non-competitive environment and also specialized in different styles of yoga, such as sunrise flow, Vinyasa flow, and gentle flow. Inside the main studio, where natural light from skylights casts a glow onto hardwood floors and saffron curtains, instructors lead groups through classes that cover optimal alignment, breath, and present-moment awareness. They also guide students outside the studio to stretch and align on a sunny rooftop in Little Italy. Inside softly lit massage rooms, therapists help visitors release tension from aching muscles.
Arizona Power Yoga specializes in the Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga System, a challenging collection of techniques that helps improve flexibility and strength while ridding the body of excess toxins, gravy, and weight. The studio's experienced instructors create a welcoming and upbeat environment in which students (novices and experienced yogies alike) can stretch and sweat their way to a happier and healthier existence. More than 15 classes are offered a week; consult the schedule and recruit the guys from your sewing circle or the ladies from your crocodile-wrestling club to join you on your one-month journey across the yogaverse.
In Red Monkey Studio, Monique Mynlieff has created a funky, "antigym" whose aqua-green and burnt-orange walls reflect its colorful curriculum. Through glass doors supported by log pillars, windows cast sunlight across TRX cords as students perform Zumba or Pilates routines. Farther down the curving hallways, guests stretch sinews and taut muscles with the help of Gyrotonic and Pilates equipment, or slough off stress in a lime green sanctum where licensed massage therapists blend modalities.
Instructors bustle throughout the vibrant setting to their private and group sessions, bringing with them specialties that range from belly dance to tai chi. The studio’s signature Quartet classes cap attendance at four visitors so that instructors can spend plenty of time with each student, helping them perfect form to forge stronger mind-body connections.
The instructors at Plexus Pilates strive to inspire their students to new levels of fitness by challenging them to learn experientially how Pilates’ muscle-strengthening benefits can enhance any lifestyle, from active to sedentary. During class, the instructors can teach any combination of floor-based mat exercises and machine-based moves on the Pilates Reformer, which generates gentle amounts of spring resistance to boost the difficulty of Pilates moves in much the same way a waterbed increases difficulty for a sleepwalking sloth. While instructors offer ample attention and step-by-step guidance for beginning students, the intermediate and advanced sessions require pupils to closely monitor their own form and technique. The studios' system can eventually teach attendees how to apply the skills of mindful muscle control and slow-motion high-fiving to everyday life.
Bridget Connelly’s journey to Pilate-cally Correct included many pit stops. At the first, in Philadelphia, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of the Arts. At the next, in Miami, she completed the Core Dynamics Pilates teacher-training program. She then practiced in Miami and established a not-for-profit Pilates organization, moved to Paris and taught for two years, and finally settled in Tucson—her hometown. Here, she assumed ownership of Pilates Experience and transformed it into Pilate-cally Correct. Today, Bridget and her staff continue to spread the healing benefits of Pilates through private sessions, group mat classes, and small-group reformer classes. They also offer Xtreme Barre, which blends ballet and cardiovascular exercise with Pilates.
For more than 20 years, Yoga Connection's classes have focused on stretching, strengthening, and breathing techniques—but founder and director Priscilla Potter isn't afraid of yoga's more holistic side, either. When she's not teaching, she's an astrologer and a meditation instructor, and her multifaceted perspective on yoga shines through in the studio's schedule. Sessions range from bouts of yin yoga to chakra yoga, which explores the body's seven energy centers.