At the end of a fruitful career that led her from the Cincinnati Ballet to the Sacramento Ballet, Jennifer Williams funneled her dance savvy into creating the barre-inspired exercise system taught at Pop Physique, a 2013 CityVoter finalist for Best Gym. Her fleet of handpicked and personally trained instructors pairs graceful ballet moves with other low-impact exercises in order to chisel cores without injuring muscles. Deep stretches further preserve tendons and leave each student more relaxed than a tortoise moseying past a state patrolman with a radar gun. Sessions run multiple times a day, seven days a week at an expanding network of SoCal locations. The roomy studios are lined with sprung dance floors and design accents that lend each location a distinct personality and a chance to forget its past as a storage room for defective food processors.
Located in downtown Culver City, Goda Yoga empowers patrons of all ability levels and ages to increase their physical and mental strength while nurturing their inner serenity. The passionate instructors introduce newcomers to the foundational poses in beginning classes, preparing them for more rigorous undertakings such as Vinyasa-flow and mixed-level classes that challenge bodies with longer holds and more complex postures. Students interested in honing their passion into a career can embark on Goda Yoga’s 200-hour teacher-training program, which equips them with a deeper understanding of their practice and an all-access VIP pass to enlightenment. From prenatal yoga to kids' yoga to senior yoga, the instructors lead classes to suit myriad needs based on the hatha principles while fostering a strong sense of community that has been steadily growing for 13 years.
Sweat Pilates prides itself on not being a typical gym. Case in point: one of its classes involves doing cardio workouts while bouncing on a trampoline. That's just one of several classes customers can engage in to shake-up their typical workout. 75-minute CoreStretch classes combine deep stretching with Thai yoga and Pilates, allowing students to concentrate on breath work and body awareness, while the signature Sweat Pilates sessions utilize Proformer machines, which allow students to better target muscles, improve flexibility, and climb on someone else's furniture without reproof. But no matter which class students choose, Sweat Pilates is dedicated to making sure they have fun in a positive environment.
Lifelong yogi Jörgen Christiansson taps his 20 years of teaching experience and techniques he learned while traveling the Indian subcontinent as he leads a staff of dedicated instructors in guiding students in their Ashtanga yoga practice. With guided sessions typically scheduled in the evenings to accommodate busy workdays and blinding solar flares, beginners can either learn the style's powerful postures with guided Ashtanga sessions that foster the flexibility, stamina, and familiarity needed to advance, or master the mindful breathing exercises of the cascading Vinyasa-flow classes.
Multiple classes in a variety of dance disciplines are available seven days a week. Start the week off with 5 p.m. yoga booty ballet, a bouncy, stretchy fusion of body-friendly natural movements, or go straight for the sweat stuff with a 7 p.m. cardio class. Your Neighborhood Studio also offers hip-hop, cardio ballet, ballet fit, and jazz classes. View a complete monthly schedule here. Dance classes run 55 to 75 minutes, and yoga sessions last 75 to 95 minutes. All classes except tango are drop-in, appeasing busy bees, wishing wells, and the commitmentphobic.
Sweatfit LA’s co-owners, Brian Tucker and Sam Lopez, both hold personal-training certifications, which they use to create workouts that blend both exercise theory and fitness training. During personal-training sessions and small-group training classes, they design workouts that incorporate dynamic, stationary, and ballistic movements to maximize caloric expenditure and help clients achieve a sculpted body. The rest of the Sweatfit LA team rounds out a full menu of classes that includes cardio kickboxing, Zumba, yoga, and Pilates.