Following handshakes, Stephanie Forbes Hudgins’s preferred greeting for new clients is inspections of their spines. The certified Pilates instructor conducts detailed alignment evaluations as part of introductory sessions, during which she studies new students’ postures, pinpoints their goals, and outlines their medical histories. The consultations enable her to personalize her future lessons—she is well versed in making her exercises easier to accommodate those who are injured, pregnant, or really full. Her studio's policy is one of universal acceptance: guests of every age and experience level are welcome.
The team of instructors' private, duet, and group lessons encompass the focused stretches and core-tightening holds of both classic and modern Pilates, aided by ample tools such as Reformers, chairs, balls, tubing, and TRX Suspension cords. Her staff's curriculum reaches beyond Pilates to include barre fitness and other disciplines. Zumba classes, for example, take visitors through festive cardio-dance routines, and sessions of assisted stretching release muscular tension while ensuring that you don't lunge too deeply and become permanently stuck.
The 5K run snakes its way through the beautiful, lush landscape of Norfolk Botanical Garden. Registration begins at 7 a.m., and on-site trainers from Onelife Fitness will happily assist with stretching prior to the 8 a.m. start. Though not included with today's Groupon, ForKids and Onelife will also host a 1-mile "Bud Run" for youngsters and 1/4-mile "Seedling Shuffle" for lil' tots after the 5K. Both are $10 per child.
Set against an open, airy backdrop of clean studio space and zen-like décor, The Space Above’s dedicated brood of body pullers melt tense muscles and empty stress-filled skulls with their serene yoga practice. Dedicated to positivity and openness, the studio embraces eco-friendly practices, such as recycling, composting, and using recycled karma whenever available.
At Chesapeake Hot Yoga, yoga isn't a religious practice or a bodybuilding routine. It's a way to cultivate wellness while expressing oneself. Helmed by Arianna Gallagher, a globetrotting instructor who's trained with famous yogis such as B.K.S. Iyengar and Bikram Choudhury, the studio pairs alignment-focused teaching with a spirit as warm and inviting as a welcome mat made of hot coals. Led by experienced and registered instructors, Bikram-inspired Hot Yoga classes revolve around 25–30 poses performed in a sweltering classroom. In addition to limbering muscles, the temperature promotes blood flow, pain relief, and toxin release. During restorative Yin classes, yogis of all levels can borrow free blocks, straps, and towels to bolster lengthy, floor-based poses. After class, students can stay for a massage or practice yogic breathing techniques in the locker rooms, where calming steam swirls around gratis bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
A novice might not think it matters much where you perform yoga—aren't the poses the same regardless?—but Zen Hot Yoga's unique design proves otherwise. With a custom-designed, anti-bacterial, looping construction, its non-skid flooring allows for greater air circulation and wicks away moisture when the studio is at its hottest. These design advantages are in full force during the studio's hot and warm yoga classes, which the studio holds in a few different styles. Instructors introduce a series of still postures in the core-building hot yoga class, and they guide students through synchronized breath and movement in the cardio-focused hot vinyasa. Other classes add atmosphere by mixing in guided meditation, rock music, or the soft, warm light of a burning scarecrow. Zen Hot Yoga even helps customers practice their technique outside the classroom; it houses retail boutiques supplying yoga clothing, aromatherapy oils, and environmentally friendly yoga mats.
Certified by the Yoga Alliance, the instructors at Hot Yoga Studio lead daily detoxifying lessons in which they slide into peaceful poses on their studio’s bamboo floors. A wall-length window floods the studio with natural light and offers a glimpse of the world outside, and tall mirrors reflect the yogis as they lead their classes inside a heated environment. This steamy setting purges toxins from the body and allows practitioners to sink more deeply into each stretch.
During the studio’s more intense classes, students cycle through up to 30 postures that release oxygenated blood to organs, which can lead to more efficient living. After class, full-service locker rooms await with showers, shampoo, and blow-dryers. The studio’s shelves are also stocked with towels, mats, organic mat cleaners, and artisanal soaps made with goat's milk and moisture from the clouds that the instructors levitate on.