Director Kara Reibel helms a staff of instructors who help students tone core muscles with an arsenal of more than 500 mat and Pilates-machine techniques. Certified in Pilates by the PhysicalMind Institute, Kara and her instructors lead private, semiprivate, and small-group classes in a variety of Pilates methods, including reformer, Cadillac, Wunda Chair, and ladder-barrel training. To ensure that each individual gets personalized instruction during reformer sessions, Kara caps these classes at four students or one fitness-conscious octopus, and teaches students to use their body weight as resistance during mat classes that lengthen and tone core muscles.
Many know yoga's positive effects on tendons, ligaments, and general well-being, but few delve into the specifics of how yoga benefits a person's epiglottis and liver-bones. Source Yoga Center brings together a talented ensemble of certified instructors who practice yoga with an emphasis on graceful, flowing movements to induce physical and spiritual alignment. Classes take place in a large and spacious tranquility chamber with smooth wooden floors and pacifying aquamarine walls. When you arrive for your first class, you'll be registered to drop in for your two remaining sessions. You'll also get a chance to schedule your hour-long deep-tissue massage, which further rewards the body for all of its proactive yogaing through relaxing manipulations that increase blood flow and eliminate knottedness.
Along with owner Patrea—a two-time Ms. Fitness USA national finalist who holds a degree in exercise science—the instructors at 15 to Fit make their members a promise: if they're not stronger and more flexible after 15 weeks of the Pilates program, they'll get their money back. To that end, the instructors form positive relationships that encourage each student to stay committed as they climb the learning curve of using Pilates equipment. They coach everyone from first-time Pilates students to professional athletes during one-on-one Pilates sessions, duet sessions, and group classes. In addition to Pilates-focused sessions, the instructors help lengthen and strengthen muscles during yoga and ballet barre/TRX suspension training fusion classes.
Patrea and her team also offer niche services such as Pilates for golfers, chair Pilates for seniors, and ghost Pilates for poltergeists. On Sunday and Tuesday, massage therapist Heather Chaney pops in to put her decade of muscle-kneading experience to work, offering massages that include a unique variety performed on the Pilates barrel.
Inspired by their training with Swami Rama—the founder of the Himalayan Institute—Carol and Charles Crenshaw motivate students to deepen the connection between their bodies and minds at Inner Peace Yoga Center. At their nonprofit studio, Carol and Charles strive to honor Swami Rama by cultivating a sanctuary for relaxation and self-discovery through meditation and yoga classes. Six levels of yoga classes help beginners and experienced yogis alike to build strength and relieve tension, encouraging them to work at their own pace. During meditation classes, the focus is solely on the mind. Patrons drift into a meditative state to quiet anxiety over the day’s tasks or worries about dinosaurs re-emerging from extinction. A core focus on community drives the center, with community-centered events bringing people together for pasta cookouts, in-depth workshops, and community-service initiatives.
At Yoga Monkey + Fitness, Aleasha Sholes and Angie Howard want all of their staff and students to behave like monkeys. The co-owners covet the animal's playful spirit, physical poise, and social nature, encouraging guests to embrace these qualities with a variety of classes. Whether they are leading Vinyasa yoga sequences or kickboxing jabs in their two workout studios, their constructive attitudes boost both moods and heart rates. They continuously strive to redefine each student's limits, though they never lose sight of the ideal balance among work, play, and meditation dream duels. Their health-care backgrounds—Aleasha was a nurse, and Angie devises wellness programs for independent and assisted-living facilities—give them the anatomical know-how to customize their programs based on different strength levels.
With more than 75 classes each week and an expert squad of certified instructors, it makes sense that Nuvo magazine named Invoke Studio the best source for yoga and Pilates seven years in a row. At the downtown location, students strengthen cores in studios bathed in muted hues and accented by exposed ducts and gleaming hardwood floors. Meanwhile, on the north side, a 3,000 square-foot oasis plays host to yoga and Pilates classes, which help to increase range of motion with exercises performed on simple sticky mats. A ballet barre stretches across the wall of a large practice room, where students perform dance-inspired moves. The space glows with new bamboo floors while a two-sided fireplace creates a cozy sense of calm in both the yoga room and entryway.