At the age of 14, Baltimore Yoga Village founder Anjali Sunita traveled to India, where she discovered the joys of simple living mixed with the sorrows of yearning for a greater purpose. After years of expanding her education and worldview through reading and the guidance of a college mentor, Anjali found peace within the rigid discipline and spiritual focus of a South Indian ashram. Soon setting her mind to sharing the physical and mental benefits of yoga with others, she taught in private homes and underserved schools before opening her own pair of studios known collectively as Baltimore Yoga Village.
There, a team of certified yoga instructors oversees a supportive community dedicated to peace, health, and spiritual growth. Whereas many studios’ teachers spend too much time teaching students to knit their own mats, Baltimore Yoga Village’s programs focus on the ancient practice of Hatha yoga, which includes deep breathing techniques, yoga postures with attention to physical alignment, and guided relaxation. The staff also leads regular workshops in a variety of topics, from Thai-yoga bodywork to meditation through devotional songs.
After training clients for 15 years in outdoor boot camps, Mac Cassity finally figured out how to control the weather. He yearned for an improvement over sessions that were dictated by capricious rain, stifling heat, and the never-ending nuclear winter rather than by their instructors. So he moved the whole operation inside, transferring his campers and his 60-minute routines inside, where padding and various exercise equipment provide engaging and effective workouts.
Mac's one-hour sessions rely on positive encouragement and teamwork to motivate students, who forge strong social bonds in their quest for fitter physiques. The classes sync partner work and exercises that leverage body weight and utilize fitness equipment to burn off fat and build muscle?all to the beat of invigorating songs.To keep the slimming, toning programs lively, Mac holds contests for weekly and monthly prizes to provide extra incentive for patrons to drop unwanted pounds. For a more tranquil athletic approach, the center also hosts yoga classes that help students strengthen their cores, boost their flexibility, and center their minds.
At Commotion, the instructors embrace a full spectrum of movement-based activities and exercises by offering three distinct pathways for students to pursue. The dance teachers welcome attendees of all ages, either introducing newcomers to the fundamental footwork of ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, and breakdancing, or helping advanced students master more complex skills. When it comes to Pilates, the instructors practice the slightly modernized Stott method as they lead mat classes as well as apparatus sessions, which use the Reformer to add gentle amounts of spring resistance to the various exercises. The fitness-oriented offerings encompass everything from Zumba and Piloxing to TRX suspension training and barre workouts, toning muscles and increasing cardiovascular health.
High-energy beats from artists such as Flo Rida, B.o.B., and the Black Eyed Peas bounce forth from the spinning studio at Rock Creek Sports Club, where nationally certified trainers lead stationary cyclists through challenging routes. In addition to these pop-powered workouts, the studio hosts more than 50 other fitness classes, an array of options that prompted the editors of Bethesda Magazine to name the studio 2012’s Best Neighborhood Gym. Zumba classes encourage students to boogie away calories to latin beats, and boxing clinics incorporate one-on-one attention from Golden Glove winner Russell Davis. The team of trainers can also coach visitors through the weight-loss process, or helm small group workout sessions capped at eight participants. The gym also welcomes independent workouts, with equipment such as treadmills, benches, and weights awaiting a few breathless reps of their own.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 5 or 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
Thick battle ropes, hefty barbells, and TRX suspension cables create an unusual fitness playground at B-More Fit 4 Life’s private training gym. Personal trainer Jamie Reisinger helps students build muscle in the softly lit, warehouse-like space. Through personal training, one-on-one nutrition counseling, and whole life wellness classes to motivate and educate her clients, she shares the knowledge she gained as an exercise-science student at Salisbury University.