The expansive interiors of Axiom's three fitness centers are packed in endless rows of weight and cardio machines, group workout studios, pools, and basketball and racquet courts to help its diverse client base whip into shape. The knowledgeable trainers lead patrons in pumping their bodies on the fitness floor, and instructors helm more than 100 Zumba, yoga, water aerobics, and Les Mills classes each week. In their performance center, the trainers customize one-on-one or small-group programs, such as Ax-Fit, which helps firefighters, law-enforcement officers, and those in the military increase their power and endurance, and Sport Performance, which helps athletes train for their competitive physical pastime of choice. Kids aged 7 and older can hone their coordination and improve their athletic performance and growing up too fast in Kids Performance sessions that run hourly from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., and older adults can stay in shape in the Silver Sneakers program. After sweat sessions, patrons can recharge at the Fuel Center juice bar, which serves up crushed-fruit smoothies, and nutrient-infused coffee and chocolate shakes.
The instructors at Bikram Yoga Boise have no problem welcoming beginners to the practice. After all, each of them remembers the experience of their own first lesson. Some took part in a 60-day class challenge and some simply saw it as a new adventure in fitness, but all of them fell in love almost immediately with the benefits inherent in sweating and stretching.
It helps that the style accommodates all skill levels. Because students perform the 26 poses to the best of their ability, they needn't have any experience or a life-sized rubber stand-in to begin taking classes. The postures build off each other to stretch muscles, ligaments, and other tissues throughout the body as the surrounding heat in the studio—up to 105 degrees—makes them more pliable. The warmth also boosts circulation and the release of sweat, which helps to purge the body of built up toxins. As practitioners become accustomed to the poses, they can benefit from increased strength and range of motion.
During the 60-minute Stroller Strides outdoor class, moms and their babies tear up the trail for an hour. Participants mix stroller pushing and power walking with pit stops for resistance-band exercises that, taken together, bestow a total-body workout. Instructors provide everyone with exercise tubing and, in the event of a fussy-baby episode, will show you exercises you can do with your baby, such as the toddler-tickling squat jump or the nursery-rhyme and bicep-curl combo. Fit4Baby prenatal classes blend cardio and weight work for one hour of strength and balance training. The workouts help women at any stage of pregnancy stay fit and active while they adapt to their bodies' demands. All instructors are experienced in pre- and post-natal fitness. Indoor classes make use of sheltered venues, but apply the same principles as the outdoor sessions.
Students stand squarely on hardwood floors in Sumits Yoga's heated studio. Instructors lead them through 75-minute classes, fusing inspiration from Hatha and Ashtanga power-flow styles of yoga to create a dynamic and fluid practice. Sumits' two styles of hot yoga cover a sequence of balancing and energizing physical postures, called asanas, set to motivating music. The practice room's hot and humid atmosphere warms and relaxes muscles more effectively than a bear hug from an actual bear, helping yogis to reach deeper stretches.
Boise Yoga Center owners Vickie and Jerry Aldridge bring to the studio a combined 45 years of experience in the Iyengar method of yoga, having studied with the Iyengars in India multiple times. The Iyengar method combines asanas (poses) with prananyama (rhythmic breathing control) and is safe for people of all ages and shapes. Boise Yoga Center's certified instructors include James Burton, winner of Boise Weekly's 2010 "Best Local Yoga Instructor" award two years in a row. He and the rest of the staff enjoy working with students of all skill levels, from lowly human clerics with no physical agility points to full-on Dungeon Masters, to improve body alignment, strength, flexibility, and confidence.
Jon Page has been instructing eager instrumentalists on plucking, strumming, and everything in between for nearly four years. With training in a system devised by the Berklee College of Music and a history of performing in bands and on stage, Jon can tutor pupils of various ages and skill levels. Classes occur for a half hour weekly and incorporate music theory and technique. Check online for lesson availability.