Sifu Robert Rinas embarked on his martial-arts training at the age of 15. Now a level 10 gold-sash black belt, he opened Breakthrough Martial Arts & Fitness to bestow his knowledge upon others. Rinas and his team of instructors use two training rooms to teach Kickboxing Plus, yoga, and wing chun kung fu. They also teach self-confidence and fitness to preschool-aged children during the Little Ninjas program. The studio includes a pro shop stocked with uniforms, jedi master costumes, and safety equipment.
Bikram Hot Yoga is a melting pot of good vibes—almost literally, as the high temperatures required for Bikram yoga encourage muscle tension and toxins to melt away, allowing students to move deeper into each stretch. The 90-minute Bikram yoga series thus hones mental and physical stamina, activating the body's entire muscular system with its carefully ordered sequence of 26 poses and two breathing exercises. However, the venue also deserves to be labeled a melting pot because it serves as a hub where wellsprings of positivity coalesce.
One such spring is the supportive staff, helmed by owner David Tiviluk and comprised of such devotees as Denis D., whose Bikram-yoga journey helped him to regain movement after a devastating motorcycle crash. The teaching team helps newcomers and advanced yogis alike achieve the benefits of a long-term Bikram practice. They pose challenges—take four classes a week for one month, for example—that create an encouraging, communal atmosphere. They also schedule special events, welcoming visitors to seminars by guest instructors and candlelit cello performances.
Another agent of good vibes is the studio itself, which was built according to the advice of a feng shui consultant. Warm red and orange tiles line the desks in a lobby hung with paintings and pendulous lights. Signs of an eco-friendly attitude abound: the floor is recycled vinyl, the insulation in the walls is recycled denim, and there are no plastic water bottles; instead, students can purchase chilled water in glass jars or store water in their cheeks until they are thirsty.
ISSA-certified fitness trainer Chris Walker of Chris Walker's Fitness Bootcamp keeps clients in top shape by sharing his health expertise via online articles and regimens in addition to in-person fat-shedding exercise programs. His handpicked squad of personal trainers leads private workout sessions as well as specialized boot-camp classes, both of which aim to ease physiques into slimmer frames. Ever-varied routines combine drills from kickboxing, Zumba, and weight-loss calisthenics, with most programs supplemented by dietary tips and advice on how to properly dice pineapples with your fists. Chris's motivational strategies prioritize collaboration over competition to benefit clients of all fitness levels.
Joshua Webster attended the College of International Holistic Studies, where he studied acupuncture’s many different forms, including variants for the hands, ears, and cosmetic purposes. He showcases his skill set during communal acupuncture sessions inside The Healing Roots’ minimalist, wood-floored space. In addition to treating patients and scaring off parade balloons with his needles, he offers other alternative health therapies as well, including yoga, hot-stone massage, cupping, and herbal medicine.
Fitz is the owner & president of Vanderpool Fitness & Boxing in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
Ÿ Fitz facilitates fitness boxing programs in Waterloo Region schools in the Region of Waterloo, teaching the students fitness through boxing and inspiring them to be successful individuals.
Sandra Leelook and Shauna Judar have been creating their own exercise routines since they were 17. Sandra's inspiration grew from her struggle with her weight. Now 50 pounds lighter, she continues to conquer the scale by staying active and eating nutritious food. For more than a decade, Shauna has fought her own battles in the kickboxing ring while drawing on her muay thai training and sharing her knowledge with students.
After gaining personal-training certification through CanFitPro, Sandra and Shauna opened Xtreme Bootcamp, where they craft custom workouts that shock bodies into shape with strength training, cardio circuits, plyometrics, and kickboxing drills. Their refusal to do the same workout twice keeps students on their toes, and unique class packages offer commitments that range from eight weeks to one year. Each option includes a fitness assessment, nutritional support, and a schedule of classes held outdoors or inside a fully equipped gym. When they aren't molding groups of svelte soldiers for the impending donut uprising, they lead focused personal-training and small-group sessions.