Hot yoga doesn't just help practitioners lose weight, increase flexibility, and tone muscles. It also helps them heal from life-threatening injuries. Bhakti Yoga South Jersey owner Ed Gergler is proof of that. After a near-fatal car crash, Gergler discovered hot yoga, which helped him treat his chronic back pain without surgery. It was so effective that he switched careers from a construction pipe worker to a yoga teacher and studio owner. Now he and his staff lead students through heated yoga classes that strengthen their cores and Warm Yoga with Nidra that helps them reduce stress and achieve peaceful mindsets. The teachers even offer up tips to new students, encouraging them to drink plenty of water and keep an open mind.
The teaching staff at The Sanctuary for Yoga fosters physical and spiritual well-being with yoga classes for kids and adults. The studio’s eclectic schedule explores a range of yoga styles, such as Hatha and Vinyasa, connecting minds and bodies without an inch of duct tape. For yoga newbies and yogis who’ve been on a break, beginner’s classes focus on structural alignment and the basics of yoga postures, imparting breathing-exercise techniques, modifications of basic poses, and other yogic building blocks. Vinyasa flow sessions create a dynamic moving meditation by leading students through a progression of poses, transitioning from one asana to the next with careful, balance-challenging movements and breath work to clear the mind of clutter. Instead of bolstering backs with glowing recommendation letters, yogalates classes fortify spines and torsos with yoga poses and the signature isometrics of Pilates.
Lorean, Open Center Yoga’s seasoned leader, sits crossed-legged on the glossy wood floor, focusing her breath before leading yogis of all levels through her lineup of flexibility-building classes. She guides students in setting their intentions—points of focus to transfer from yoga to day-to-day life, such as calming one’s mind, becoming more adaptable to change, or harnessing enough will power to finally beat Donkey Kong—to connect spiritually to the practice. The classes can include visualizing chakras and channeling energy. Throughout the 75-minute sessions, students build muscle and increase their flexibility while flowing through the fluid postures, and workshops offer a more spiritual experience in which students meditate using deep, even breaths to quiet anxious thoughts and assuage tension.
Fountain of Yoga's staff focuses on motivating its clients toward complete wellness through yoga, and tension- and pain-relieving therapies. In calming, subdued lighting, the instructors lead students through Vinyasa yoga classes in which they synchronize deep breathing to a quick, flowing series of poses. In each session, students can perform more challenging or easier movements based on their abilities, and the instructors walk around the classroom to offer slight modifications to help them to perfect their technique. Furthering their relaxation services, instructors soothe clients and assuage their aches with massage and reiki services by appointment.
Each visit to Royal Fitness shakes up workout routines with rows of equipment, an indoor saltwater pool, and group classes focusing on aerobics or mind and body cultivation. The center houses cardio gear from Precor and Cybex, and guests can climb stair masters or paddle away from imaginary anacondas on rowing machines. A dedicated strength-training center tones muscle groups with free weights, kettlebells and Nautilus machines, which can be used for self-prescribed workout routines or under the guidance of personal trainers. Trainers also lead more than 100 fitness classes each week emphasizing conditioning or a unification of the mind and body with classes such as tai chi. Additionally, the onsite youth center keeps an eye on tots while parents exercise or unwind with the help of massage therapy.
At Integrative Fitness Pilates, instructors Linda and Susan draw from decades of experience in yoga, fitness training, and Pilates to restore bodies to lithe, strong, naturally healthy forms. The studio places a special focus on holistic training, putting the body on a self-healing path through posture reeducation and therapeutic movements. Through specialized-equipment courses or simple mat exercises, students in Pilates can improve their range of motion, build a lean, powerful core, and forge a strong connection between body and mind. Restorative Pilates courses help clients overcome injury and chronic pain with 10 weeks of exercises and therapies designed to release tension and stiffness.