Inside a room heated to a balmy 105 degrees Fahrenheit, a certified Bikram yoga instructor leads students through eagle, locust, and rabbit poses. These poses, part of a 26-asana sequence designed by yogi Bikram Choudhury, are intended to increase oxygen and blood flow through every inch of the body. Though the physical benefits of a stronger, more flexible body are undeniable, the good done to the mental and spiritual selves can only be described—a greater sense of peace, increased mental clarity, and the ability to tolerate people who talk about their night dreams. Eager to share its passion for the practice, the staff at Bikram Yoga equips new students with everything they need to succeed. Friendly receptionists hand students towels and mats before pointing them in the direction of clean, sleek changing and shower areas. The studio itself is constantly filled with purifying practitioners, as a deep bench of certified instructors teach both morning and evening classes seven days a week.
Longtime dance team Magda and Andrew began building their studio, Dancing for Dessert, from the ground up in 2005. The outfit has since moved into its own spacious facility, the heart of which is an elegant main ballroom. There, Magda, Andrew, and their staff of instructors maintain a warm and inviting environment in which dancers of all skill levels can explore a variety of different dance styles. From ballroom and Latin dancing to foxtrot, salsa, and tango, the Dancing for Dessert team consistently mixes up its offerings, and uncorks its wealth of knowledge during both private and group classes.
Fortified by its illustrious championship coaches, Revolution Martial Arts beats heart rates into buoyant tempos that celebrate the skill and style of combative athleticism. With the ten-class punch pass (a $150 value), roundhousers can discover the spiritual essence of Muay Thai boxing, the gentle grace of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, or the subtle punches that go into glazing a ham. The schedule supports novice ninjas, advanced strikers, and a ladies only kickboxing class twice a week. Healthy beverages flow from the spots of Revolution Martial Arts' juice bar, ideal for hydrating fist throwers after a sparring match, judo sessions, or for practicing signature moves like the scissor-kick spit-take.
In more than 200 locations in 25 countries, the staff at My Gym aims to nurture children's physical and mental development through engaging classes. Each gym houses small-scale fitness equipment with soft construction that inspires kiddies to play safely. Instructors lead kids in song, dance, jump, and exercise classes, all structured to fine-tune motor skills, critical thinking, and self-esteem. Children as young as 6 weeks can giggle and crawl in My Gym classes, which also include options for kids up to 13 years old.
Beyond scheduled classes, the gyms also host play sessions that discard lesson plans and encourage youngsters to cut loose. The gyms are also available for birthday parties, which include supervised gym-time, staff-led birthday games, puppets, rides, and full use of the facilities. Open play gives kids free rein of the gym's playground equipment while under supervision. During Parents’ Night Out events, the attentive staff watches over kids while parents enjoy a night of grown-up conversation or a chance to hone their Marco Polo skills for future family bouts.
For 19 years, the Sportsplex gym at Total Fitness—under one name or another—has provided a venue for locals to work out and be a part of a "true community gym." The private health club elevates heart rates and feelings of camaraderie in group fitness classes such as yoga, aerobics, or karate. Private trainers teach individuals custom routines, and nutritional experts revitalize and revolutionize diet plans. Blue pads rest on the white metal frames of machines, coordinating exactly with the paint colours on the walls. Wall-mounted televisions glow, interspersed among painted, empowering words and quotes, such as, “The most important thing about goals is having one,” spoken by Geoffrey Abert when describing the game of soccer.