The Yoga Place’s founder, Michael Curtis, considers himself an eternal student, always learning more of what yoga has to offer. Somewhat paradoxically, this is what makes him such a good instructor, since it means he’s ready to go back to any point in his yogic journey to help a fellow student. He characterizes his pursuit of yoga in three foundational descriptions: skillfulness in action, equilibrium, and clarity of mind. He imparts these principles six days a week in classes for all levels of practitioners.
Michael’s pursuit of fitness doesn’t end with yoga, however. He also has teachers on staff who conduct belly-dancing and tai chi classes, both of which are excellent ways to enhance the mind-body connection without growing an extra spinal cord.
Anita Artzner helps people build leaner bodies with Pilates lessons. She infuses her experience dancing with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and the Canton Ballet into intense lessons and draws from certifications in a variety of exercise techniques, including Resist-A-Ball, dance medicine, and Core Dynamics. In addition to her regular Pilates classes, Anita offers a free, 20-minute Watercooler Pilates workout that people can incorporate into their daily routines at work, on the train, or while squeezing tomatoes in the grocery store.
Beverly Clark helms a troupe of experienced fitness instructors at Excelerated Fitness & Pilates, folding her personal training certification into each of her classes. With her signature high energy, she leads students through the strengthening and elongating poses of yoga or helps them to build stronger cores ab by ab in Pilates. Peppering in self-defense moves with workouts, her six-week Strike sessions blend kickboxing and strength-training moves to give students a fighting chance against mugging kangaroos. Guests can also zero in on fitness goals during seasonal outdoor boot camps and month-long Pilates sessions.
In Tru-Strength Performance Center’s 4,700-square-foot gym, a team of personal trainers leads workout sessions, kickboxing classes, and boot camps that utilize a slew of cardio and strength-training equipment. Their range of classes includes general fitness boot camps—which whip students into shape with a blend of exercise and nutritional guidance—as well as dedicated training for performance athletes, with wrestling clinics and personal training.
Xtreme Fitness flings open the doors to guests of all skill levels during classes that range from Zumba to Brazilian jujitsu, accommodating diverse tastes. While guests work out in the gym, the certified trainers patrol the free-weight area, cardio equipment, and the 700-square-foot matted space meant for martial arts and one-person trust falls, dispensing workout tips. They also help guests grasp onto the still-beating heart of their fitness goals during private, custom training sessions. When not absorbing self-defense strikes and yoga poses during classes, members can pop into the facility 24 hours a day to rehearse their conditioning routines or hide from hoards of lazy vampires.
The class exhales together, each student drawing strength and peace from his or her neighboring yogis. Fingertips reach to the ceiling and eyes follow, tracing beams of light—which the ghost of Einstein rides like a jockey on a horse—across the pale-green walls. The dark hue of the wood floor is relieved by the brightly colored yoga mats and bare toes that dig in, balancing and centering the hardworking bodies above. Embrace Your Essence Yoga’s passionate instructors lead 90-minute classes within the new studio six times a week, inviting students of all experience levels to unwind together.