Balanced Bodies' windows look out onto Runnymede Park, where deer often emerge from the woods and blue herons land near the stream. Inside the studio, groups work to capture the animals' ease of movement, flowing from plank positions into mermaid side stretches while maintaining pristine posture and giving effort without strain. Co-owners Carrie Smith and Adriana Ferrer-Perez believe that through Pilates exercises, their students can attain pain-free, fully functional movement for life. The duo oversees seven other instructors—nearly all claiming BASI teaching certifications—who lead classes in mat work, Reformer machines, and the Avalon System designed by Rael Isacowitz. Balanced Bodies also serves as a BASI Pilates teacher-training host facility, where aspiring instructors can undergo comprehensive and specialized teaching courses, including one that demonstrates how to dunk full-size exercise balls.
Reston Pilates Studio's ardent instructors dispense body-toning modalities in an intimate workout environment during their one-hour mat classes. Unlock Pilates' core-boosting power and graceful artistry during each intimate session as instructors foster familiarity by capping class size at 10 participating pupils and two observing mannequins. Classes run once a day Monday through Friday and alternate between morning and evening start times. In addition to group sessions, Groupon holders also undergo one-on-one body boosting during a private lesson as teachers examine students for strengths, weaknesses, and evidence that they might be the reincarnation of Joseph Pilates.
Helmed by owner Ursula Cox, the staff at Inner Power Yoga guides yoga disciples through the poses of Vinyasa yoga, drawing on training that earned them Northern Virginia Magazine’s award for Best Yoga Studio 2012. Perched on bamboo floors in a studio with natural light and high ceilings, students stretch, bend, and twist as the 85- to 90-degree temperature assists in purging their bodies of toxins and chronic goosebumps. Ursula and the gang teach students of all skill levels, focusing on helping them link movement and breath. The instructors also hold private sessions for students who need more practice, and training sessions for students who aspire to master the ways of the yogi during teacher training.
The Women's Club Fitness Center & Day Spa has brought women together for nearly a quarter century to develop strong bodies and radiant skin. Under the direction of owner Florence Auld, their all-female staff has grown from 15 to 55 professionals who have earned advanced degrees, certifications, and secret handshakes in their fields, including specialists in cardiac rehabilitation and myofascial-release massage. Meredith Chiapello draws from degrees in nutrition and health psychology to direct both the fitness-and-personal-training program and the group-exercise program. Before earning her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University, nutritionist Lucky Bennett fed her interest in women's health at the University of Washington, where she earned a degree in Women's Studies with a focus on women and medicine.
The staff welcomes new gym members by designing them a personalized workout regimen, then walking them through the correct use of strength and cardio equipment. More than 50 group classes add camaraderie to cardio or stretch-and-toning workouts, and childcare is available for a nominal fee to help mothers make friends their own age. Spa treatments focus on revealing fresh, smooth skin all over the body with topical treatments in tandem with pore-clearing sessions in the dry-rock sauna.
From the superheated confine of their 3,000 square foot Ashburn studio, the instructors at Bikram Yoga Ashburn bring the health and wellness benefits of Bikram yoga to the community at large. Here, big windows let the sun in as yogis practice the 26 classic poses of traditional Bikram yoga in 105-degree heat, which helps students stretch further, detoxify their bodies as they sweat, and promotes weight-loss. Bikram yoga gives the body a cardiovascular and strength workout, helping to work every organ, gland, and muscle in the body as students twist and hold poses. Every 90-minute class follows a consistent flow, allowing students to understand poses and move on to mastering them. Students can adjust their bodies to the heat flow before classes or detox after classes with a quick trip to the onsite steam room.
The Pilates Room keeps bodies and minds engaged and elastic with a plethora of Pilates classes and massage services, among other body-benefiters. Stabilize your core and strengthen your muscles with a Pilates group apparatus class (up to a $40 value), using equipment such as the Reformer and the Tower, or experience the energy harnessing known only to spilled milk and bearskin rugs with a floor class ($20), available in cardio ball, Hatha yoga, and stretch-centric variations. The Pilates Room puts clients on the road to wellness with spinning classes ($22 for one class, $80 for four), and sore joints and knotty nexuses will benefit under a foot-focused, 60-minute Reflexology massage ($75) or a 45-minute sinus/headache-relief massage ($60). Gyrotonic classes are available, as are airbrush tanning services—ideal for those seeking to add some bronzy brashness after a winter spent working tollbooths in Antarctica.