Before finding her calling as a yoga instructor, Sylvia taught biology, Earth science, and general science for more than 25 years. Throughout her years in the classroom, she practiced yoga as a way to calm her mind and balance her body. In 2005, she switched gears—she trained for more than 1,000 hours and earned her E-RYT 500 certification. She specializes in Kripalu-style mindfulness yoga, which emphasizes self-acceptance and consciousness of the interplay between life and yoga. Although she primarily teaches multi-level classes, some sessions, such as chair or adaptive yoga, are intentionally geared toward those with limited mobility. At the beginning of class, she occasionally reads inspirational passages or practices levitation.
Soni Anderson has been a yoga enthusiast since infancy. As a baby in the Fiji islands, she received yoga massage from her grandmother while her grandfather danced and performed stories from ancient Hindu texts. Today, as a teacher and co-founder of SoniYoga, she strives to combine her grandfather's playful mindset with the therapeutic customs of her homeland, working with her husband and co-founder David, a fellow Yoga Alliance instructor.
Though SoniYoga's focus is on Hatha yoga, certain classes also incorporate restorative, Kundalini, and yin and yang postures. A serene atmosphere of acceptance welcomes students to challenge themselves each time they visit, whether they wish to push the boundaries of their flexibility with a more advanced pose or by practicing in a restrictive suit of armor. Soni also channels her holistic upbringing by offering ayurvedic counseling, products, and massage services which can help customize a wellness plan for clients based on their body type.
After seeing herself in photos from her sister's wedding, Amber Tiernan felt it was time to make a change. In a flurry of crumpled notebook papers, she began to draw up the very program that would help her lose 58 pounds, using her extra energy to become a Zumba instructor. As the founder and first client of Nu Image Wellness, Tiernan combines straightforward eating and exercise plans, a one-on-one support system, and supplies including protein supplements to help other people on the road to their weight-loss goals. The plan is based on the latest weight-management research, designed to promote healthy, sustainable results, and comes with a personal nutrition coach. The weight-loss guides tailor each program to a client's needs, and incorporate tips and strategies for dining out and grocery shopping, such as avoiding empty calories or challenges to eat your own weight in gummy bears.
When she’s not standing in front of an early morning boot-camp session, certified trainer and nutritionist Sue Meredith can be found hiking, camping, or crawling over rocks in her jeep. Her passion for the outdoors transfers into her fitness classes, where she inspires women to have fun and make friends while working toward better health. Designed for a diverse range of women—including those of any ability level—Sue’s four-week programs combine fitness instruction with nutritional guidance, as well as the motivation to help students breathe the outdoor air. Two trained experts back up Sue's services with their own work. Dr. John Spencer Ellis holds 15 fitness certifications, which makes him the most qualified instructor since Einstein potty-trained his sons. Kelli Calabrese also pitches in her talents, which include three science degrees and 23 fitness and wellness certifications.
Owner Jeremy Barnett and his trainers don’t sit back idly and simply recommend getting in shape with CrossFit exercise but also sweat alongside their patrons, furthering their own journeys to fitness. Phil Roberts—now one of Jeremy’s CrossFit¬-certified trainers—shed more than 100 pounds working his body with CrossFit and now inspires students to meet their own weight-loss goals. CrossFit Thoroughbreds’ staff believes that dull routines inhibit progress, changing the nature of the exercises they direct daily and always posting the current date’s workout online. Small groups battle calories and fat within the facility's stripped-down warehouse-like facility, which houses climbing ropes, free weights, and gymnastics equipment, building camaraderie as participants motivate one another while blasting through reps or levitating to the ceiling with only the strength of their minds.
After acting as Florida Gulf Coast University's director of fitness and intramural sports, certified personal trainer Jason Cobb channeled his passion for physical prowess into founding CrossFit Fort Myers. There, his fellow coaches bring fire-fighting and intensely athletic backgrounds to match his 14 years of strength and conditioning experience, leading specialized courses that challenge the mental and physical stamina of each client.
CrossFit's catalogue of functional movements—actions that recall real-life motions such as lifting, jumping, throwing, and pushing—provide an adaptable base for classes focused on mothers, football players, and exercise newbies. Though the gym's patrons come from all walks of life, they must demonstrate an unwavering devotion to personal betterment and an ability to lift weights with their minds before entering its exclusive ranks.