One has been a martial artist for more than 35 years; the other has been a bus driver for almost as long. Instructors at Lakeview Yoga and Wellness Center, Vidal Bitton and Joyce MacFarlane know what it's like to balance a busy schedule with the demands of staying healthy. Vidal's approach to yoga incorporates his knowledge of tae kwon do, hapkido, and tai chi, especially as to how physical exertion can lead to painful injury. Joyce also practices yoga with a mind toward healing—her years behind the wheel of a school bus have resulted in several spinal injuries. By juggling a demanding job that can take physical tolls, Joyce's empathy and spirit shine through in each class she teaches.
Along with the other instructors, Vidal and Joyce bring their distinct backgrounds to hot and power yoga classes that strengthen muscles and boost flexibility. The mind and spirit are considered just as vital; on-staff wellness practitioners augment the effects of yoga with services such as massage, acupuncture, personal training, and therapy.
Licensed massage therapist, personal trainer, and nutritional consultant, Karla—who has also worked with chiropractors and naturopathic healers—has experience with a myriad of wellness programs. That’s why she founded fitSpa, a wellness co-op that tends to all aspects of health and beauty. From healing massage and body work, to wellness-building personal training, Zumba, and metabolic conditioning, as well as Hatha and power yoga, Karla and her staff restore bodies to a natural balance.
Beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercisers will all find a challenge at Exhale! Pilates & Yoga. Instructors with high-level certifications lead sessions that include cardio karate, slow-flow yoga, and TRX, a class in which dangling straps hold students’ limbs or suctioned tentacles in order to increase the level of resistance training. The instructors also specialize in Pilates lessons, which they provide to solo students, duos, and groups. Pilates has been known to boost energy and coordination, straighten posture, and calm the mind.
Working out turns into a dance party at Holly Hills Zumba, where people burn calories and fat the best way—by dancing. But not to worry, Zumba's fun, easy-to-follow dance moves are easy to master, and it's more about having fun than anything else, as the rhythms are set to high-energy Latin, and international beats. Along with Zumba, the studio offers workouts led by a personal trainer for another fat-burning option.
It may seem counterintuitive to up your energy by expending it at boot camp, but Coach Cassie knows better. The fitness instructor creates outdoor boot-camp routines that not only exhilarate, but also burn calories and tone muscles—what she calls Pulse Boot Camp. It's a fitting name since her mash-up of strength training, running, core work, and other exercises gets pulses racing.
NASM-certified personal trainer Chris Pietsch helps keep clients focused on their fitness goals, helping them power through workouts in the gym and stay motivated at home. Besides planning workouts that suit individual fitness levels and preferences, Pietsch also creates custom meal plans to help clients keep their diet on track.