Building a toddler's confidence and defeating an opponent on the martial arts mat might seem like very different activities. At Caissie Karate, however, you can learn to do both things with the same set of tools. Led by Sensei Colin Caissie, the classes cater to students of all ages and experience levels, teaching them how to strike and block while instilling mental focus. Caissie's own martial arts study began at a young age, and he eventually sought to elevate his understanding of the sport by teaching beginners. So, six days a week, his pupils enter the dojo for classes separated by belt color, age, and the number of times they've met Bruce Lee.
On a sprung dance floor, Joanne O'Grady leads groups through a series of Zumba dance moves set to upbeat Latin, international, and pop music. Zumba Toning classes add "toning sticks" or hand weights to the mix, helping students burn extra calories and tone their whole body. The high-octane workouts can burn up to 800 calories per hour, and aim to help students have fun while getting a full-body workout.
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With a level-based system of classes, Tranquil Yoga Studio invites students of all experience levels to gradually build their skills and achieve their fitness goals. The studio's instructors, all of whom have cultivated deep personal relationships with yoga, draw on extensive backgrounds and in-depth yoga training to help students reap the full benefits of each class. The studio also offers children's yoga classes, women's boot camps, and massage therapy.
At its 10 locations throughout Canada, The Athletic Club provides access to exercise machines and fitness classes, but that’s only part of the story. Club staffers also follow an overarching mission to making discovering a healthy lifestyle fun rather than onerous. While exploring the multilevel fitness arenas, members and guests may catch encouraging shouts from personal trainers or a medley of splashing and laughter from children taking swimming lessons from professional instructors. They can also investigate the benefits of yoga or spinning during group classes or one-on-one instruction. Cardio machines boost heart rates and bolster endurance, while flat-panel televisions attached to each machine keep members entertained. In addition to building new bodily abilities, members also keep their minds sharp with services such as nutrition counselling or wellness classes held on the astral plane.
Instructors at the Everybuddy Ballroom Dance Studios believe that stiff, stilted dancing isn't a result of too little talent—it's a result of too much information. Dancing comes naturally to most people, they profess, and harnessing that nature is simply a matter of simplifying the process. When teachers bombard pupils with dance patterns and technical details, the students' brains take over their bodies, leading to awkward steps and uncomfortable performances. At Everybuddy Ballroom Dance Studios, teachers instead introduce students to a few easy steps they can use over many styles of music. Once they feel like second nature, steps are gradually differentiated until every dancer can execute Latin and ballroom moves in a flowing manner. They've dubbed this the SNAP teaching method, and though slow-going at first, it often helps students learn to dance even faster than with detail-heavy or battery-powered dance-shoe methods.
Tom Dowd isn't just the founder of Bikram Yoga Guelph; he also designed and built the entire studio himself. Its rough limestone walls, original maple floor, and muskoka hemlock pillars garnered it the Gordon Couling Award from The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario. Inside this serene space, Tom and his team of experienced teachers go on journeys with their pupils through Bikram yoga's 26 postures. The room's 105 degrees Fahrenheit heat helps to cleanse bodies of toxins while students improve their flexibility, posture, and mental focus.