The trainers behind Look Good Naked aim to get people comfortable in their skin. They have a slew of shared resources, such as nutritional guides, progressive measurements, and a weekly newsletter filled with exercising facts, meal ideas, ongoing coaching and support, and testimonials from clients. All these augment the core of the operation—the 12-week boot camps where both trainers and fellow students repurpose the benches, jungle gyms, and stairways of parks and public spaces during four, hour-long sessions each week. The sessions teach guests a slew of functional training maneuvers that require little or no equipment, helping them not only to slim down, but build up a skill set they can carry with them as they leave the camps.
CorePower Yoga founder Trevor Tice knows yoga is much more than a tool for increasing physical strength. "We've seen first hand emotional breakthroughs, physical improvements, and most of all, a new found confidence and balance our students carry from the studio into their daily lives," says Trevor. To further their holistic efforts, CorePower provides additional services and programs across various locations. Some outposts house spas where visitors can quiet their minds with a massage or facial, while others host Karma Yoga events wherein teachers lead free classes for cancer survivors, and students share home-cooked food with homeless youths.
But yoga resides at the heart of CorePower's mission to inspire as many people as possible, so each studio boasts a range of classes that accommodates all experience levels. Truly serious students can conjure pensive expressions as they enroll in a yoga-teacher-training program, and all patrons can take comfort in knowing their studio was built from recycled materials and equipped with energy-efficient fixtures.
Refreshment is the ultimate goal at YogaFresh, a community-focused, earth-toned studio, which won Woodbury magazine?s Best Yoga Class award in 2011.
This serene backdrop gives way to the intense, heated poses and breathing exercises of the studio?s dance-like Vinyasa classes, which build the delicate balance of strength and grace required to bench-press a killer whale. Several other classes such as Yin Yoga, Warrior Sculpt, and more, unfold in a studio heated to a sweat-inducing 99 degrees?all the better for loosening tight muscles and quarters lodged behind the ears. Ballet and Pilates inform Barre Burn sessions, which combine yoga poses, isometric exercises, and weightlifting to sculpt the limbs and core.
Yoga Alliance?certified instructors lead each class, emphasizing form and safety as students stretch and align their bodies. After class, peruse the studio?s boutique, which teems with workout-friendly apparel and eco-friendly yoga mats from brands such as Alo, Manduka, Beyond Yoga, Karma Wear, Vimmia, Rese, Manduka, Yogitoes, and YogaFresh Brand.
Lara Olson was unhappy with the quality of art education her children were receiving in school. Taking matters into her own hands, she decided to open Kidcreate Studio as a place where youngsters can exercise their creative muscles while practicing the visual arts in a fun learning environment. The studio?s curriculum immerses students in the kaleidoscopic world of art through professional lesson plans, incorporating media ranging from watercolor paints and pencils to clay and cloth. Birthday parties at the studio keep children thoroughly engaged with hands-on activities and themed projects, and play groups lasting up to three hours give kids enough time to make new friends or think up at least a dozen more imaginary ones.
Gayle Winegar founded SweatShop Health Club to help guests find time for fitness and combat the notion that exercisers simply want to enhance their looks. Instructors focus workouts on Stott-style Pilates instruction, helping students sculpt strong torso muscles on spring-loaded reformer machines, wunda chairs, and mats during classes filled with isometric exercises. Certified instructors and personal trainers shower students with one-on-one attention, helping cultivate more motivation and positivity than a piñata filled with protons. The teaching team rounds out the schedule with boot-camp-style short-burst training, dance-fueled Zumba routines, and other calorie torchers, learning their craft at the studio's Stott Pilates training center, which transforms advanced exercisers into effective teachers. The studio also offers childcare during selected classes, helping busy parents release stress and pent-up balloon animals.
Built upon the core principles of compassion, awareness, integrity, and tolerance, St. Paul Yoga Center provides a community-oriented environment in which students of all ages and abilities can further their knowledge and practice of the yoga tradition. Drawing from teaching certifications, stints spent studying abroad, and decades of experience, the team of 16 instructors strives to make yoga accessible to practitioners of all income levels—with pay-what-you-can donation-only classes—and skill levels, leading stretch sessions from beginner to advanced. All classes emphasize body alignment, balance, and mindful-breathing techniques. Even the rustiest of tin men are accommodated with a class designed specifically for the not so flexible, as are children in a kids' yoga class for ages 7–12.