As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Although yoga and Jiu-Jitsu seem like two very different practices, they share a common foundation: technique. This foundation of technique and form are central to the teaching philosophy at Tula Yoga and Jiu-Jitsu's. Their instructors teach two styles of yoga—vinyasa and hatha. In vinyasa yoga, students synchronize their movements and breathing through a flowing sequence of postures. The hatha sequence involves longer holds that challenge muscles and help students develop inner wisdom, all without having to eat the bark of a wise, old tree. Strong form and technique is stressed in Tula's yoga offerings, and that carries over to its Jiu-Jitsu program. There, blue-belt instructor Robert Slape maintains an unhurried pace so students of all levels can efficiently learn martial arts techniques.
When Bodhi Tree Yoga Studio owner Krista Risner first attempted yoga exercises along with a DVD, she wasn't impressed. The workout didn't seem strenuous or fruitful. But once she summoned the courage to visit a studio, she was struck by yoga's effect on not only the body but also the mind. Now a staunch devotee, she and her staff of instructors teach yogis of all experience levels how to become better attuned to their bodies and minds through flowing postures and breathing exercises.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
When M'ai Vox discovered yoga, she found peace, stillness, and a new life purpose. As the owner of Stellar Yoga—a Vinyasa-style studio—she teaches classes with diverse, flowing sequences and emphasizes the enrichment yoga brings individuals. True to Vinyasa style, the instructor cruises through poses at a relatively fast pace. This helps students build internal heat, which enhances flexibility and facilitates solidarity with coal-burning stoves.
M'ai helps students focus on yogic foundations such as proper alignment and breathing. Stellar Yoga's lineup also includes weekly deep stretch and PiYo, Pilates-yoga blend, classes. Additionally, the first Saturday afternoon of each month, the studio holds a free total beginners workshop, sponsored by Manduka.