The recipe for Bikram yoga calls for 26 postures and two breathing exercises to be performed in a heated studio for 90 minutes. Cindy Glass and her team of yogis follow that recipe to a tee at Bikram Yoga Raleigh. The benefits of the warming workouts include everything from detoxification to increased circulation. Students who either have attended at least 20 classes or are related to Charlie Chaplin can sign up for one of the studio's advanced classes or 75-minute silent classes.
As they gaze through floor-to-ceiling windows at the wooded landscape, guests at Triangle Yoga find it easy to believe that they're floating above the treetops. This daydream holds especially true for aerial yoga and dance students—who are indeed floating with the aid of suspended fabric slings—but the studio strives to imbue all of its visitors with that serene feeling of weightlessness, subtracting stress with specialized classes for all ages and abilities.
The studio’s certified instructors hold at least four classes each day, seven days a week, filling the loft-like space with several varieties of Hatha yoga. Their emphasis is on accessibility; aside from leading a long list of beginner's and advanced offerings, they welcome seniors to Yoga Over 50 sessions, pre- and postnatal moms to baby-centric series, and children to playful workshops. With free classes every month and a work-trade program, which exchanges class time for help around the office, they steer around many patrons' financial difficulties.
Though the studio has earned the 2011 Best of Chapel Hill Award in Yoga Instruction from the U.S. Commerce Association, it summons peace in myriad ways besides posing. Certified massage therapist Natalie Sablina imbues all of her kneads with reiki or other energy work, such as aromatherapy scents culled from the dreams of candlemakers. Kirtan call-and-response chanting assemblies collect donations for children in need, and artists sketch renditions of live models during meetings of the woman's art co-op.
Equipment: Life Fitness, Concept2, Hammer Strength, Free Motion, Schwinn, and TRX
Students should bring: Water bottle, sneakers, and a good attitude
Average class length: 30?60 minutes
Number of Staff: 11?25
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking garage
Exercise is challenging, and people frequently give up on their fitness routines. How do you keep clients motivated?
We believe in teaching our clients how to do our exercise programs, as well as how their bodies work and how the exercises we are prescribing will help them achieve their fitness goals. We also combine a scientific approach with energetic instructors, upbeat music, and a community environment that keep our clients motivated.
What's the most radical physical transformation you've seen a client make?
When one woman first joined us, she couldn't look people in the eye and refused to work with a male trainer. Today, she is a new person: 60 pounds lighter, stronger, more confident, and completely comfortable with all our trainers. In her personal life, she also found the courage to make a major career change.
Do you run your gym according to a particular exercise philosophy?
At Empower, you will receive unparalleled personalized attention?even in our focused group classes?all while becoming a part of our supportive fitness community.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Those who have just finished their 90-minute sequence at either Bikram Yoga Greensboro or Bikram Yoga Winston-Salem typically emerge drenched in sweat and refreshed after progressing through Bikram's signature series of 26 poses in 105-degree heat.
Yogis hone their form with the guidance of certified instructors who have studied under Bikram Choudhury himself during nine-week intensive courses. Teachers channel more than 500 hours of training each, which allows them to adjust postures and tips according to individual needs. To explain each pose, they follow the Bikram Dialogue, a script that calls for intuitive language instead of wordless, squeaky demonstrations with Barbie dolls. This simple and attentive style helps beginners and advanced practitioners properly position their stretches.