Brazilian jujitsu’s main tenet, “minimum effort for maximum efficiency,” could evoke laziness; however, one look at jujitsu practitioners sparring with each other and executing signature takedowns allays that misconception. The self-defense style stresses ground fighting, which can neutralize an opponent’s size advantage for a more interesting physical match. The self-defense style stresses ground fighting, which is a technique that can help neutralize size or strength advantages, evening the odds in a match, and allowing a modern day David to defeat a Goliath without the use of a sling. But at Gracie Barra, the primary emphasis is a philosophical one.
The jujitsu school values perseverance and discipline. It helps prepare students to succeed not only in physical combat but also in life, helping them to gain focus, increase fitness, and perhaps meet new friends. Gracie Barra's four black belt instructors complement their jujitsu instruction with alternate fitness styles, such as kickboxing and mixed martial arts. Each location also boasts expansive views: the Salmon Arm branch is situated riverside, and the Vernon branch’s huge bay doors showcase views of the mountains.
With more than 40 years of yogic practice between them, Sonya and Jeff Thomlinson teach the methodologies of Kripalu yoga, which focuses equally on physical and meditative elements. Together, they run Trinity Yoga Center's teacher-training program, sharing the lessons they learned from many internationally recognized yogis such as Stephen Cope, Ana Forrest, and Shiva Rea. During daily classes at Trinity’s two locations, the teachers, in turn, reach out to beginning practitioners, aiding them in achieving perfect postures even as they reflect inward. Individual sessions focus on aspects of yoga such as core power, stress reduction, and candlelit meditation. Students leave class with calmer, more focused minds and increased levels of energy that occasionally result in them sneezing lightning bolts.
The certified instructors at Excel Fitness lead exercisers of all ages and fitness levels in lively group training sessions, including yoga, cardio, and cycling classes. A presale variety-pack punch card grants access to five sessions led by a fleet of experienced fitness instructors. RealRyder classes let students race their shadows on modern stationary bikes, and Krankcycle cardio machines give arms a chance to pedal for upper-body toning. The machine’s bench and cycle mount design allows for multiple directions of exercise as well as full participation from wheelchair-bound fitness seekers. Bellyfit classes, meanwhile, fuse belly dancing, African dance, interpretative polka, and Bollywood styles with yoga, Pilates, and meditation for a holistic cardio cabaret. Step360 uses a round, versatile, floor-mounted device for enhanced step routines that can build balance, strength, and better hoverboarding skills.
Vernon Yoga's three-woman team of yogis combines backgrounds in athletic training, hot yoga, and Ashtanga to help folks get in shape or train for specific sports. In addition to leading traditional classes, including sessions designed to help people unwind or rebuild their cores after a pregnancy, the trio offers a slate of disciplines unique to their studio. Beginners and seasoned yogis alike can enlist in the 40 Day Challenge, designed to break down negative habit patterns and get clients flat out fit. There are also a slew of one-off events, such as the yoga marathon where practitioners will pull off 108 sun salutations to celebrate the summer solstice.
Kees Tae Kwon Do's stylized logo, depicting a man driving his leg through a circle, is actually based on a photograph of Grandmaster Kee Ha performing a flying split kick. The graceful move?which as a logo represents the drive to aim for goals beyond immediate objectives?exemplifies the philosophies and techniques that Ha and his masters and instructors teach to students in a range of tae kwon do classes for children and adults. Teachers guide students through the mentally and physically demanding journey from white to black belt, introducing skills that discipline their bodies and prepare them to fend off assailants or demolish their front doors if they forget the keys. They also instruct students in other martial-arts styles, such as kick-boxing.
At Inner Light Yoga and Wellness, each class is a physical journey toward enhanced self-awareness. Sessions begin with breath work, helping to synch the lungs with the rest of the body as the instructor directs one’s focus inward. Mid sessions are devoted to the practice of Asanas, or poses, used with varying breathing techniques to help both stretch and strengthen the body, relieving stress and creating balance in both the body and mind. Sessions conclude with focused relaxation, allowing the cessation of thought that frees up the consciousness. The dynamic wellness center also offers sessions in guided meditation, Reiki, Pilates, and belly dancing.