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 in cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, bolster flexibility during yoga, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
At the Gold's Gym Northwest locations, instructors lead water-aerobics classes within 25-yard salt-purified pools before cooling off in spacious hot tubs. The gyms also boast innovative cardio cinema theaters, where popular films and concession-stand advertisements flicker across massive flat screens as guests peddle away on treadmills and elliptical machines. After lively rounds of racquetball, members can unwind in steam rooms and saunas or sip on replenishing smoothies at the juice bar. During the week, the gyms keep round-the-clock hours.
Before becoming an expert in the practice of meditation, Ajayan Borys spent years studying under holy men and the living saint Mata Amritanandamayi of India. Since his return from traveling the globe, Borys has become a registered hypnotherapist, a reiki master, and a certified enneagram instructor. He has also written numerous articles and books—including his new book, Effortless Mind: Meditate with Ease—and hosts the Mind Matters radio show.
Borys doesn’t just use his knowledge to stay relaxed while pursuing such a busy schedule. He also treats clients at Himalayan Retreats International, where he helps dispel stress through meditation classes and restores feelings of well-being through reiki treatments. He performs heat-centered hypnotherapy to free clients from their inner judgments, anxieties, and tendency to transform into a BattleBot at times of stress. Borys also can use the ancient enneagram symbol to help clients understand their patterns of thinking and habits of emotion.
Accomplished swordsmen Serge Timacheff and Kevin Mar cofounded Washington Fencing Academy as a haven for fencing enthusiasts of all ages and abilities to hone their skills. Accompanied by skilled coaches—including 2011 veteran world champion Maitre Wang Yung—the duo delivers traditional Olympic-style instruction according to guidelines laid out by the United States Fencing Association and International Fencing Federation. Classes focus on two fencing styles: épée, in which fencers target their opponent's entire body, and saber, a more fast-paced style that targets the upper body only. Sessions unfold atop 11 fencing strips that span a modern sports floor, cushioning steps and comforting joints without the need to compose a knee-specific lullaby.
More than 80 Elements Therapeutic Massage studios spread across the states, helping their massage therapists yearly knead more than 400,000 aching backs and counting, as plenty more locations are on the way. At each location, kneading experts with diverse backgrounds de-stress clients and ease their various kinds of pain, such as the ache that hasn’t gone away since one Halloween’s ill-advised piñata costume. Available modalities depend on the studio’s practitioners, but usually include Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone massage and may also include bodywork techniques such as myofascial release. For regulars, Elements Therapeutic Massage organizes a monthly wellness program.
For eight exciting weeks this autumn, children will flock to the fields of Marymoor Park to score some new skills and friendships, with all instruction designed and led by Seattle-native and USSF-certified Jacob Haney. In addition to providing a steady stream of professional instruction and individualized attention, i9 Sports works hard to maintain a positive, supportive environment that forbids negative language from both participating children and adult onlookers, and gives each player equal playing time. Over the course of the eight-week league, children will maneuver themselves through a throng of drills and exercises, sharpening both technical and teamwork techniques. Leagues meet for practice once a week on Saturdays, and are organized by age group to keep young ones safe and feeling confident. Call ahead to register your miniature proto-adult for an eight-week league, or enter your Groupon number during online registration.
Northwest Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, provides members with a 30-minute circuit of hydraulic resistance machines designed for an efficient cardio and strength training workout. During the training, attendees can burn up to 500 calories and work each major muscle group to work toward individual fitness goals. An experienced coach is always nearby to teach and motivate participants, and a soundtrack of fun, upbeat music cues participants to move on to the next station. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight and fitness level to create resistance. Each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
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