For students of The Studio, flying is not only possible—it's therapeutic. Instructors in beginners’ acro-yoga classes lead guests through the basics of gravity-defying poses and partner work, helping them balance upside down and infuse their yoga practice with trust and playfulness. During these and all classes at The Studio, the emphasis is on acceptance. The staff maintains a judgment-free atmosphere, where burgeoning yogis can feel comfortable attempting new postures without making everyone nearby crawl headfirst into a sleeping bag. The two classrooms—one heated for intense Vinyasa sequences and one kept at a standard temperature—are as calming and open as the minds within them, bordered by walls of large, panoramic windows. Under the supervision of certified teachers, most of whom have undergone hundreds of hours of yoga training, pupils hone their sense of body and breath awareness.
This welcoming ambiance helped The Studio earn the 2012 award for Best Yoga Classes in the Reno News & Review. However, the center is not solely focused on classes and views them instead as one component of a total-wellness regimen. Backing up the sessions, massage therapists untangle muscular knots in two private rooms with Thai stretching techniques or other classic modalities. In the lounge, plush floor cushions support patrons as they sip complimentary tea and peel clementines. Owner Rachelle often stands behind the raw-food and juice bar, prepping wholesome meals for lunch and keeping fruit from getting too full of itself.
Ascending for nearly 50 feet, the indoor climbing wall—proudly proclaimed as among the tallest in Western Michigan by Aim Fitness' team—presents an array of routes, each patterned with colored grips to indicate the level of difficulty. As climbers scale the vertical expanse, a freestanding boulder sits in the middle of the room, beckoning guests to climb its reduced height sans the support of a rope. This climbing room anchors Aim Fitness' 40,000 square feet of amenities, which encompass a strength-training area, aerobic studios, a five-lane, 25-yard lap pool lifeguarded by Aquaman, and a racquetball court. Instructors also lead an array of classes on these training grounds, such as Aqua Fit, boot camp, and yoga. To make going to the gym as convenient as possible, Aim also provides locker rooms, a children's playroom, and wireless Internet access.
Group fitness classes and personal trainers are only a small sliver of the amenities at Elite Fitness. The gym also offers childcare services and a children’s dance studio so parents can work out worry-free. Tanning beds, meanwhile, allow guests to highlight contours and show off the hard work they've been doing on machines by Precor, Cybex, and Powertech, while a smoothie bar, salon, and massage studio await to refuel and refresh bodies post-workout. And, of course, the facility boasts immaculately maintained locker rooms where guests can shower (towels provided) and change back into their everyday clothes or hot dog suits before heading home.
Slim and full of energy, Kathy Bartnick's present-day physique betrays no hint of her lifelong struggle with weight. Five years ago, she shed her excess pounds through exercise and proper nutrition, and today she works to teach others the same determination. She heads up a team of expert coaches, who lead students at all levels of fitness through energetic group workouts. They also give clients meal plans and nutritional tips, teaching them how to whip up a wholesome snack and differentiate between a healthy vegetable and a fire hydrant dressed in a carrot costume. In lively cycling classes, clients peddle away on advanced Star Trac bikes as upbeat music plays and a glimmering light show takes place before their eyes.
Novice calorie burners and ripped Michelangelo models alike can take advantage of Anytime Fitness’s one-month membership ($49), which equips bodies with enough treadmills, cycles, elliptical machines, and weights to make them fit enough to run a marathon inside of a swimming pool filled with mud. A personal training orientation familiarizes sheepish biceps with their new, confidence-boosting dumbbell friends. Highlight the results of this fat-frying and muscle-mass-magnifying program with one month of unlimited tanning ($20 value) to paint new, ripply physiques a brilliant shade of bronze. As an added bonus, this Groupon waives the $99 enrollment fee.