The muscle tutors at Fitness Together work with clients to determine exercise goals for shedding pounds, running a marathon, or being strong enough to rip apart spandex. A customized workout plan is developed and catered to help exercisers reach superfit. Fitness instructors supervise squats and offer nutritional advice and encouragement to make sure you see and feel results. Individualized attention means it’s all about you—the trainer can point out when you’re doing a stretch incorrectly, help you tone trouble zones, and motivate you to keep going when you’d otherwise quit or become distracted by the fragile beauty of a passing hummingbird.
Behind the elegant wooden desk in its reception area lies the thing that sets Be One Yoga apart—two things, in fact. The state-of-the-art Studio A features an infrared heat system that varies temperatures between 95º and 110º, the ideal levels for intensive hot yoga. Air conditioning systems monitor CO2 levels, pumping in high-oxygen air to keep bodies energized, while all circulating atmosphere goes through UV light to keep it clean as clean as Mr. Clean's highly censored DVD collection. Studio B allows for more temperate practice, as well as hosting Be One Kids programs, introducing young ones to the joys of yoga. Complementing yoga's wellness-boosting properties, massage services knead away muscle stiffness and evaporate tension beneath the therapists' gently kneading hands.
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Larissa Anderson may look young, but she's already enjoyed opportunities that older yogis would bend over backwards for. The owner and senior instructor at Firehouse Hot Yoga––formerly Bikram Hot Yoga Kirkland––completed her training in 2003, and by 2004 was already invited to judge the Southern California Regional Yoga Competition. From 2006–2007 she honed her skills as an instructor at the prestigious Bikram International World Headquarters in Los Angeles, before entering the championship circuit herself and taking home a second-place finish in the Washington regional competition.
Finally establishing a studio she can call home, Anderson welcomes yogis of all levels to stretch their limits in 105-degree heat, which encourages muscles to stretch, pores to oust toxins, and penguins to hold dance practice somewhere else. Each session explores a sequence of 26 Hatha poses performed in a deliberate order with breathing exercises designed to strengthen the body and usher oxygen to its extremities.
The viewers of Evening Magazine had 131 choices for Western Washington’s best fitness instructor of 2012, but Sheree James and her team at Shake It Off Dance Fitness came out on top. It’s no surprise, considering the staff turns dance fitness into full-on festivals of fitness, spurring on rooms full of exercisers through Latin-inspired Zumba dance classes, as well as hip-hop and urban striptease aerobics. It’s not all about cardio at Shake It Off, though; instructors also lead Zumba toning, during which students shimmy and shake while holding a weighted bar or a maraca made of cement so that they simultaneously forge muscles.
Though Dr. Ansari worked in computer science and technology early in his career, he later trained in holistic medicine, homeopathy, and Chinese medicine. Today, the acupuncturist, oriental medicine practitioner, and physician combines his knowledge of botanical medicine and acupuncture to promote well-being at each of his Borjis Holistic Health Clinic locations in the greater Seattle area.
Dr. Ansari treats a range of conditions, including weight loss, stress, and chronic pain with Chinese herbs and acupuncture. He even uses an energy light rejuvenation facial, which restores youthful complexions more pleasingly than wearing a papier-mâché mask from third grade art class.
Tami Jones was a dancer since she was 2 years old, but an injury in college prevented her from pursuing it as a career. She turned to Pilates for physical therapy and in it discovered a renewed love of fitness. Later, Tami fused her favorite exercises—dance and Pilates—to create The Union Method, a fitness-focused program that seeks to unite mind, body, and soul while building lean bodies. Now, she and her fellow instructors teach yoga, Pilates, and barre classes to students of all experience levels.