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.
Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers work to torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room, ideal for drenching annoyingly dry towels. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
Jack Coelho adds to 15 years of experience as he helps clients recognize and develop a deeper awareness of vital energy, known as prana or chi, to promote long-term health and vitality. Coelho—who is certified in Pilates, Gyrotonic, and power Vinyasa yoga—and his team of certified trainers forge stronger mind-body connections as they slim down waistlines through private and group Pilates, Gyrotonic, and functional-training classes. Between the warm crimson walls of the boutique studio, they focus on ramping up clients' core strength and flexibility through isolated movements on the Pilates reformers and mats, as well as on the Gyrotonic pulley tower. Trainers customize each workout to the needs and abilities of their clients, in the process cutting down on the number of injuries inflicted during attempts to dead-lift the building.
Dance with Joy Studios owner Rachel Lidskog strives to imbue her classes with the happiness she feels when dancing. Rachel has competed or taught in Argentina, Cuba, Holland, and Spain, among other countries, and her philosophy of uplifting people through dance is supported by the values of teamwork, creativity, and responsibility.
Along with a crew of professional instructors, she whisks fledgling hoofers around two hardwood-floor ballrooms, infusing their feet with the basics of Latin, country, and ballroom dance. She and her team identify private lessons, group classes or special workshops, and weekly dance parties as the best ways to learn to dance, superior even to dropping a family of ants into your overalls. They also organize wedding-dance lessons to ensure nuptial celebrations progress smoothly and cheerfully.
Community and inclusiveness are the cornerstones of the yoga practice that co-directors Bill Walters and Vilma Zaleskaite established at The Yoga Project. With more than 10 years of yoga practice each, Bill and Vilma now lead a seven-day schedule of sessions that offers traditional Level 1 and 2 yoga classes led by many instructors as well as sessions tailored to meet students' specific needs. Classes such as Easy Does It cater to a more senior crowd with lessons that run at a slower pace, and Patterns: Body & Breath combines traditional yoga poses with breath work to create a deeper experience. The center's most prominent claim to fame is instructor Vilma's brainchild, Yoga for the Larger Woman, which has gained praise from The Oregonian and The Bee. The supportive yet challenging 75-minute class uses props and poses to relax minds and slim silhouettes, aiming to improve participants' overall wellness. Each class at the studio has a similar goal, whether it's meant for beginner or advanced students.
Under the guidance of brother and sister duo Bill and Savonn Wyland, instructors lead yoga classes in more than a dozen styles that create a bending buffet catering to casual, first time, and experienced practitioners. Variations of Vinyasa yoga take place every day as part of the weekly schedule, with flow sessions acclimating students to basic pose-work paired with rhythmic breathing, and more advanced classes are designed to build endurance, strengthen cores, or rehabilitate Barbies broken by younger siblings. Candlelight Yin with Restoratives slows down mat-bound relaxation as yogis hold poses for longer periods in order to let go of deep-rooted tensions and target connective tissue around the hips and lower spine. For stretchercisers in search of a fitness-bolstering regimen, Yoga for Athletes shoots to pique muscular strength, flexibility, and lung capacity.