A brand-new yoga studio beckons stretchers seeking more than just sweat from their exercise regime, as a Chopra Center–certified yoga instructor helps guide disciples down the path toward physical, mental, and spiritual peace. Blending Hatha yoga and primordial-sound meditation—an ancient Vedic tradition designed to silence mental distractions—classes of up to 80 stretch, meditate, and practice turning invisible in unison. Sunrise yoga practiced at 6:30 a.m. Monday and Wednesday on the rooftop (weather permitting) gives yoga bears a chance to greet the sun personally, Hatha yoga classes at 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday give limber limbs a good workout, and relaxation yoga at 6 p.m. Monday and 6:30 p.m. Thursday helps purge stress leftover from the workplace.
Read on to learn exactly how fitness classes leave you with more muscle or better tone.
Bulky upper-body muscles might have hindered early humans who had to chase their prey across the plains, but it could help those who often had to climb trees to adjust their satellite dishes. That?s why the body builds muscle according mostly to use: do enough curls, and the biceps expand. As anyone who has experienced post-workout soreness could intuit, those curls are actually a form of controlled damage, making thousands of miniscule tears to the muscle tissue that beckon autoimmune cells to show up alongside testosterone and other hormones. The white blood cells help switch on satellite cells, which are similar to stem cells. Before they're activated, satellite cells aren't doing much?instead, they lie dormant around muscle fibers until they're called into action to repair torn tissue.
This isn't the only kind of cellular transformation at work in growing muscles. Long muscle cells, which contain several nuclei, can also begin to change type after a workout. Certain kinds of muscle fibers are equipped to handle brief bursts of effort but will quickly become tired if asked to do more intense work. These are the first to disappear as someone starts an exercise routine, as they're converted into fibers with more endurance. This principle is so dramatic that a sports scientist can generally tell whether someone is a professional athlete or a professional mattress model by examining a minute sample of muscle tissue.
In Pilates Fitness Center Norman’s sleek environment of pistachio-green walls and blond-wood floors, instructors lead Pilates, barre classes, and personal-training sessions tailored to experience levels as well as fitness goals. For instance, Pilates for Golfers is designed to improve asymmetry and shoulder motion, which can add power to strokes and make it much easier to maneuver the stick-shift golf cart around the course. Alternatively, the center's Therapeutic Stretch class helps undo the damage done by daily repetitive motions, targeting the neck, shoulders, and spine. Classes might also incorporate equipment such as Exo Chairs and Reformers to build long, lean muscles.
The team at Balance Yoga Barre knows a few things about the human body. For example: it's like glass. Heat it, and it becomes more flexible. That's why the instructors hold their yoga flow classes in a heated studio, where temperatures reach up to 95 degrees. The warmth helps enhance flexibility while students burn away calories. They can also opt for the studio's less-tropically-heated barre classes, which blend elements of yoga, Pilates, and clutching your porch railing. Students use the barre as a supportive prop during the classes, occasionally incorporating hand weights, stability balls, and other gear.
It?s apparent to anyone who watches ballet that female dancers must be extremely light. After all, they often have to be swept across the stage and effortlessly lifted into the air, and their steps must be as silent as a sneeze at the opera. Yet, as slender as ballet dancers are, they still possess bodies that look as if they were chiseled out of marble. That dancer look?a slim body with long, lean muscles?is what barre3 helps its clients achieve with a combination of ballet-barre work, yoga, and Pilates.
At locations across the country, barre3?s instructors use a three-step process that first focuses on deeply exercising muscles using isometric holds. The workout then elevates heart rate with low-impact movements before cooling down the body with a recovery stretch that also helps elongate body lines.
The workout has proved to be so effective that it has received multiple press mentions, including in the Huffington Post and In Style magazine, and it has even drawn in body-conscious celebrities such as Madonna. Mothers in particular flock to barre3?s classes, as many locations offer on-site childcare.
One could say that 1996 was one of the worst years of Sara Alavi’s life. Within the span of months, she lost sight in her left eye, was diagnosed with MS, and developed a heart condition. Any one of those conditions could have debilitated her spirit, but Sara always lived by the mantra of “gratitude toward the gift of life and being grateful for our loved ones' lives.” That devotion to celebrating life led her toward the mind-calming and body-strengthening practice of yoga. After continued dedication to the ancient art, her eyesight returned and her health began to skyrocket.
Now a certified yoga instructor herself, Sara uses her earth-toned studio to host the bodies and minds of her students. Her yoga classes aim to improve bodily health by increasing blood flow and releasing muscle tension while stimulating the mind for sharper concentration and funnier Mad Libs. In the studio’s flower-curtain-lined healing room, Sara performs the raindrop massage: a combination of essential oils and reflexive therapy. She balances disrupted energy flows with reiki healing and assists at-home meditation with a guided relaxation CD.