Unlike fashion trends, one-hit-wonders, and tattoos that say “I voted for Nixon,” flat stomachs and well-defined muscles never go out of style. Fueled by Joseph Pilates's core-focused philosophy and signature workout regimen, the certified instructors at A Body in Balance Pilates Studio strive to keep abs and limbs toned, leading group classes, private sessions within a mirrored studio stocked with row after row of reformer machines and other equipment, and preparing new instructors for BASI Pilates certification. When not helping beginner- and advanced-level students increase their muscle definition and balance, the staff spends its time and money donating to national and local organizations such as Three Square, Positively Kids, Woman’s Club of Summerlin and local schools.
Carrie Rezabek Dorr founded Pure Barre in 2001, and it has since grown its low-impact, high-intensity, ballet-inspired workouts to locations across the country. Certified Pilates instructor Carrie Bristol—who has an MA in French language and culture—operates the Ann Arbor location. Here, she welcomes students to a total-body workout that blends isometric exercise with therapeutic stretching to burn fat and build lean muscle mass. Although a soundtrack of upbeat music lends rhythm to each session, the absence of jumping, bouncing, and jack-hammering prevents damage to joints. The only equipment is a ballet barre used for stability and the meditative focus that turns a single hour into a boon for the body's health.
Though Sue Harragan and Tawnya Christian discovered barre workouts on opposite coasts, a mutual love of fitness and their desire to help others achieve their "best self" brought them together in Las Vegas. The business partners now helm Barre Las Vegas, a studio that strengthens hearts, cores, and limbs with ballet-inspired barre workouts. Upbeat music fuels each session, during which students line up at the barre and perform a routine of precise dance-training moves that blend yoga poses, Pilates exercises, and orthopedic stretching. While patrons burn calories during bouts of fat-burning interval training, they also increase their flexibility and tone their muscles, making their bodies as lithe and lively as a break-dancing slinky. In addition to leading barre classes, the motivating instructors push students toward their fitness goals with workout-enhancing tools such as TRX suspension-training straps.
Bikram Yoga Westside's 14 instructors all have athletic or artistic backgrounds, which they use to inform hot-yoga classes taught for the studio's students of all skill levels. During each 90-minute session, instructors guide the class through Bikram yoga's 26 poses in a heated studio kept toasty warm at 105 degrees to help detoxify, increase circulation, and improve flexibility. After class, patrons can wash away their sweat in the studio's men's and women's locker rooms, which are outfitted with showers, electronic lockers, and hair dryers. The studio provides towel and mat rentals for students who prefer to use theirs as tasteful home furnishings. For safety and purity, the studio also runs double-filtered water through its showers and sinks.
Classes at Dahn Yoga integrate the ancient Korean practice of Sun Do along with the latest findings in neuroscience and behavioral studies to help students boost their overall health and well-being. In each yoga class, a passionate and experienced guru first limbers up yogis with 10–15 minutes of warm-up exercises. Pupils are then chaperoned through 30–45 minutes of stretches, strengthening postures, and meditation exercises, all while clearing cluttered minds and learning to master breath control like a black-belt sousaphonist. After 10 minutes of cooldown exercises, students and teachers mingle to quaff an aromatic cup of tea. Instructors regularly assess students’ strengths and weaknesses, recommending home exercises to complement in-class practices. Dahn Yoga also offers tai chi, meditation, vibration, intestinal exercise, and other special classes based on location.
The six reformers and two trapezes at A Body in Balance Pilates Studio are just the beginning of the studio?s arsenal. There?s also a Wunda Chair?a box, essentially, with one side mounted on springs which the user presses down. An Avalon armchair features resistance bands for the hands and feet.
Students learn to use this equipment in private and group workouts with the studio?s certified instructors, who know all the ins and outs of reformer usage and Pilates principles. Regardless of the lesson format visitors choose, the workouts aim to build long lean muscle and improve balance for overall wellness or a party trick that involves a crystal pineapple and a tightrope.