Jill Dailey McIntosh has always been intrigued by the human body and how it moves—so much so that she graduated in 1991 with a kinesiology degree and soon thereafter decided to open her own Pilates teaching studio. But it wasn't until years later that this curiosity would manifest itself in a single question: "How can one aggressively transform the shape of their body while still maintaining proper alignment of the spine?" Eventually Jill began to examine her diverse fitness background, pulling low-impact movements from ballet, Pilates, and even orthopedic-exercise routines to create the basis for her fitness style, The Dailey Method.
Now, more than a decade later, Dailey's fitness routine has ballooned into studios sprawled across more than 10 states and gained praise from Self, Allure, FitPregnancy, and InStyle magazines. Regardless of the location, instructors remain true to Jill's mission of offering a diverse series of exercises that focus on toning and lengthening the body while lengthening the spine and building strong core muscles.
Colleen Patrino completed her master teacher certification studies under the direction of Jill Dailey McIntosh, and she brought the technique to Naperville, founding The Dailey Method's first location in Illinois. Shortly after opening, Colleen met Michelle Waranoski—a fitness enthusiast with more than 15 years of ballet training and Pilates teacher certification—and the duo became partners, eventually expanding with a second location in Wheaton. These two studios still embrace Jill's original vision for The Dailey Method, although each location also caters to its attendees' needs with amenities such as spa-like locker rooms, onsite childcare, and horse-hitching posts in the parking lot.
Anchored by owner and certified personal trainer Damon Burrell, Heaven and Hell Bootcamp's staff of workout wonks help clients conquer fitness goals in group boot-camp classes. With a regimen of 44 classes lasting 40?45 minutes, Heaven and Hell keeps chests heaving, heart rates thumping, and sequined leotards shimmering. The high-octane group workouts change each day, but typically feature agility training, calisthenics, cardio exercise, and core strengthening achieved by hoisting dumbbells, jumping rope, and stealing medicine balls from the nests of predatory birds of flight.
Divine Power Yoga is helmed by founder Mary Frances, who parlayed her ten-year stint of practicing yoga and her studies with famed yogi Baron Baptiste into the birth of her own studio. The soothing confines envelop students of all experience levels as they undulate through power Vinyasa yoga poses in rooms heated up to 90 degrees, building flexibility and endurance while introducing their minds, bodies, and spirits to each other through firm chakra handshakes. A smattering of classes stretch across each week, while intermittent events such as a Yoga for Two workshop or an all-day yoga boot camp help participants enhance their regular practices.
For more than fifteen years, Universal Spirit Yoga’s experienced instructors have taught yoga, curvy yoga, hot yoga, and meditation classes at their Naperville studio. Classic hatha yoga offers an introduction to alignment and basic technique. Several specialty classes target all age groups—there are Baby and Me, kid, and pre-teen classes as well as yoga sessions designed for those age 50 and above. During the Yoga Scents class, an instructor uses music and aromatherapy for a multisensory lesson that’s far more effective than yoga with periodic foghorn blasts.
Beginning in 2001 as a small fitness operation in the basement of an office building, Pure Barre has since blossomed into a widely acclaimed, widely publicized approach to exercise with a nationwide following. Dancer, choreographer, and fitness buff Carrie Rezabek Dorr founded Pure Barre more than a decade ago in Birmingham, MI. Since then, Carrie has traveled around the country, hopping from gym to gym demonstrating the innovative program that draws techniques from ballet. Much like angering a witch with a penchant for frog spells, performing the Pure Barre technique can be a fast and effective way to transform your body. Motivating music slices through the 60-minute workouts, each of which utilizes a ballet barre and small isometric movements designed to burn fat and tone muscles.
In a tongue-in-cheek tone, Thrive Integrative Wellness Center refers to itself as “one-stop shopping” for wellness seekers. The description is apt, as this wellness center strives to be a place where clients can come for all types of holistic healing and health services, from acupuncture, massage, and energy work to yoga and Pilates classes. In their soothing studio, clients lay back for a deep tissue massage under the skilled hands of a licensed therapist, stretch deeply in a Hatha yoga class, or feel a surge of life force energy during a Reiki or Healing Touch therapy session. Professionals at Thrive Integrative Wellness Center believe the body and spirit should be treated as a whole in order to be wholly healthy, happy, and stress-free, and are passionate about restoring balance to clients’ lives and tightrope-walking careers.