Ninety-minute yoga classes conducted in a 105-degree room, twice a day, for nine weeks. This is what each of Bikram Yoga Bellevue's instructors conquered to obtain their 500-hour Bikram yoga teaching certifications. They now share their passion for Bikram Choudhury's 26-posture practice with their community, leading students of all ages and abilities down a path of mental and physical wellness. Throughout 90-minute classes, they inspire students with Bikram's carefully curated script and pepper the sessions with personal touches and individual attention. The studio's perspiration-inducing 105-degree heat and 45% humidity is intended to enhance the practice, helping even the stiffest muscles melt deeply into stretches as they move through the series of standing and seated poses. The balmy air also coaxes out sweat to expel harmful toxins from the body and increase one's appreciation for hugging snowmen.
After playing as the starting running back for the University of Washington—and contributing to the team's 2001 Rose Bowl victory—Braxton Cleman began a career as a personal trainer. Two of his then-clients, Bill Plummer and his wife, told him about a new workout they'd discovered called CrossFit. Braxton went with them, tried it out, and loved it. He started using CrossFit techniques in his clients' workouts as well as his own, and soon, he saw his clients improving faster than he'd ever seen them improve—and he was hitting personal bests he hadn't achieved since his football days.
Inspired by his success, Braxton, Bill, and a group of friends banded together to open CrossFit 425. Trainers Braxton and Brent Davidson (also a professional personal trainer) tap into about three decades of combined experience as they lead groups through CrossFit's varied workouts. Their experience has helped earn a nod from Evening Magazine, which named the program Best CrossFit in Western Washington. The trainers time each workout to foster a "spirit of camaraderie and competition," said Bill, adding that in the end, "you're competing against yourself." Every day there's a new routine, which Braxton and Brent thoroughly explain before groups get to work jumping rope, lifting kettle bells, and pretending to ferry wealthy spice merchants across moats with the rowing machine.
All CrossFit workouts are "scalable," Bill said, recalling a member who could only do one pushup when she started coming about a year and a half ago. Today? "I'm sure she could do well over 100," he said.
The staff at Body Fit Boot Camp eschews endless workouts on boring machines, helping their clients get in shape instead via three 30-minute workouts per week. Participants sweat efficiently and safely under the guise of their trainers, who also offer nutritional coaching and motivational tips to help them achieve their fitness goals.
Get Zen Hot Yoga's team of over ten skilled instructors help share the benefits of yoga at their hardwood studio lined with mirrors and an enormous electric fireplace. Inside the spacious workout room decorated with rich velvet curtains, instructors lead yoga classes. Each class has something different to offer, ranging from power yoga, to body sculpt, to booty bar—a limb-lengthening class that employs a ballet bar to strengthen cores and glutes. The studio’s focus, however, is Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, which relies on temperatures ranging from 98–105 degrees to keep sinews limber while students twist into labyrinthine poses. Classes offer such benefits as weight loss, stress reduction, and detoxification.
Exercisers at Impact Strength and Performance speak glowingly of their fitness center, citing the welcoming atmosphere and the trainers' dedication. The mission here is one of transformation and positive changes, and these changes manifest themselves differently in different people. Some want to lose weight through cardio or tying helium balloons to themselves, while others work out to have more energy, get rid of stress, or even sleep better at night. Impact coaches tailor their private and semi-private training sessions to individuals' goals, while boot camps combine rigorous routines with a supportive environment.
Tami Jones was a dancer since she was 2 years old, but an injury in college prevented her from pursuing it as a career. She turned to Pilates for physical therapy and in it discovered a renewed love of fitness. Later, Tami fused her favorite exercises?dance and Pilates?to create The Union Method, a fitness-focused program that seeks to unite mind, body, and soul while building lean bodies. Now, she and her fellow instructors teach yoga, Pilates, and barre classes to students of all experience levels.