Something’s making the temperature rise at Bikram Yoga Chesterfield. Perhaps it’s the thermostat, which hovers near 105 degrees during workouts filled with bends, balances, and twists. It could also be owners Farky and Timi Fuszfas, who radiate warmth and excitement along with a staff of certified instructors. Under their guidance, students of all levels build strength and flexibility using the 26 health-focused Hatha poses of yoga master Bikram Choudhury. Coupled with two focused breathing techniques, these exercises pump oxygen through the bloodstream to promote head-to-toe wellness. The heat complements the process, easing muscles into deep stretches while driving toxins from their hiding places. Since classes entail 90 minutes of sweating, students should bring a large bath towel, plus bottled water or a portable glacier.
Valley Vinyasa’s experienced and certified instructors guide aspiring contortionists through a relaxing gauntlet of flexibility-boosting poses that encourage synchronizing breath with movement. Each five-class card is valid for three months, and the 60–75 minute classes are available during the day throughout the entire week, making it all the easier to get one’s "om" on. The beginner-level class is appropriate for beginning body benders and moves at a comfortable pace while focusing on breath and alignment. More advanced classes offer a higher-paced flow and include basic arm balances, inversions, and binding postures that aspire to stretch participants like a game of Twister without the awkward eye poking. Modifications are always offered for students to individualize their sessions and cater poses to suit their needs while still providing a challenge.
Experienced staff at Quick Tone Fitness & Tanning Center takes over solar duties with a variety of services to bronze skin. During spray-tanning sessions, specialists cloak physiques in even coats of paraben- and perfume-free Sun FX potions brewed from purified water and natural ingredients. Sun FX tanning solutions react with the amino acids in skin to leave a tan with the even gold hue of King Midas' stress ball. In traditional UV-tanning sessions, guests may swaddle complexions within Level 3 beds or high-intensity Level 6 beds with 360 degrees of glowing rays. Patrons gain evening access to Quick Tone Fitness & Tanning Center, which requires only a personal security code that doubles as a Morse-code theme song.
The Studio's team of dedicated Pilates and yoga instructors promote health and wellness by guiding students through 25 dynamic exercise classes per week. The studio’s robust schedule boasts lessons in four varieties, accommodating a range of skill levels from experienced to novice. In introductory mat classes, budding fitness buffs learn the 10 basic Pilates principles designed to build a strong foundation for future workouts. All of the beginner-friendly classes emphasize proper alignment and mindful breathing techniques during a series of standing postures and hip and shoulder openers, leaving challenging inversions, arm balances, and sun salutations to the sticky mat ninjas populating intermediate sweat sessions. Students can try equipment-based Pilates classes and utilize a system of ropes and pulleys to add more resistance to core-strengthening moves and help increase limbs' range of motion. They can also head to morning Pilates mat classes for an early-light fitness buzz, where they work toward building long, lean muscles capable of reciprocating bear hugs from an actual bear.
The sound of thumping bass greets guests at ZFit Studio, where instructors lead a slew of high-energy fitness classes. Sessions are overseen by a diverse staff of experienced instructors who boast backgrounds in dancing, yoga, and Zumba instruction. Outdoors or on their gleaming studio's hardwood floors, instructors lead a variety of heart-pumping classes, including Latin-dance-infused Zumba workouts and energizing yoga sessions. To keep their patrons engaged in exercising, they strive to develop workouts that are both fitness enhancing and exciting, much like doing arm curls while skydiving.
When thinking of gym equipment, most people imagine whirring treadmills and racks of free weights. The names of Pilates machines are more innocuous—chair and barrel, for example—but to the uninitiated, these tools might seem more like pieces in an art gallery. Thankfully, the certified instructors at The Pilates and Yoga Center of St. Louis help to demystify them. They guide clients through exercises that enlist the gliding platform of the Reformer, or the malleable ring that is the Magic Circle, hosting group and private classes for all skill levels.
Owner Karen Prechtl and her team ease new clients into a Pilates practice by customizing their guidance and keeping class sizes small. They emphasize the importance of breath work, proper form, and body awareness during each lesson, helping students to achieve a leaner, more bendable physique without simply telling them to "be the rubber band." For those who prefer a highly personalized approach, one-on-one training utilizes weights, kettlebells, and mat-based floor exercises in addition to the Pilates equipment.