A community presence in Ottawa for more than 140 years, YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region remains true to its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages across all seven of its facilities. Staff members uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, acceptance, and fairness as they invest in their community’s children and strengthen family bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. They pump up adult fitness regimens with aquatic fitness and boot-camp classes, personal training, and full gymnasiums outfitted with equipment for basketball, soccer, and rope skipping. They’ve also filled their fitness centres with free weights, cardio equipment, and weight machines. When they’re not helping adults trim down waistlines during yoga, boxing, and salsa-dance classes, staff members are getting back in touch with their inner children. They stimulate imagination, mental development, and growth as they lead children’s day camps, after-school programs, birthday parties, and outdoor education.
These YMCA-YWCA outposts are dedicated to helping all members of the community. They provide those in need with emergency and youth housing, employment services, and domestic-violence support programs. They further strengthen and unite the Ottawa community through the YActive Assist program, which adjusts membership rates to help families that can’t afford the full cost of any of YMCA’s progressive programs.
Honking cars amble through down the bustling streets of restaurants and boutiques in the surrounding Golden Triangle neighborhood, but the interior of the Santosha Yoga studio is an oasis of calm and tranquility. Sunlight gleams down on the hardwood floors, where a rotating cast of certified instructors lead classes in a variety of yoga styles throughout the day. In the mornings, instructor Robin Russel Hosein teaches Hatha yoga, guiding students through traditional poses and breathing exercises to build strength, spinal alignment, and breath awareness. Later on, Laura Conroy directs students through the movements of vinyasa flow, the yoga modality most favored by rap artists. When Jane Baird takes over for hot yoga classes, she cranks up the temperature in the studio to encourage detoxifying perspiration and increased flexibility. All instructors strive to maintain a peaceful and focused energy during the classes, requesting that participants turn off cellphones and refrain from chitchat.
Dr. Luke began his commitment to good health after his father's heart attack moved Dr. Luke to recognize the importance of exercise and healthful eating. Armed with the knowledge that losing weight is more obtainable with a support system, simple nutritional tips, tiny magicians, and energizing, creative workouts, Dr. Luke developed a simple and effective weight-loss program. Each training session challenges muscles and brains with fun, interesting workouts, ensuring no fussy muscle ever gets bored and starts counting sheep in the middle of your workout. You can expect to hit the ground running with muscle-building, fat-burning, and stomach-flattening exercises from day one, and your membership entitles you to attend both weekly sessions, though you are welcome to attend just one.
Steps from the hustle and bustle of Parliament Hill lies an oasis that swelters even in the depths of winter. Though it teems with cool, filtered water and the occasional potted plant, this place isn't a tropical rainforest or the pied-à-terre of a wealthy goldfish. It's Bikram Yoga Ottawa, where sultry temperatures and ancient exercises join forces to foster wellness. Here, students of all skill levels practice 26 Hatha-inspired poses sequenced by Bikram Choudhury, an athlete who used yoga to mend a serious knee injury. Muscles become extra pliable in the heat, easing into stretches that foster flexibility, stamina, and strength. Pores oust toxins throughout the 90-minute routine, which summons sweat with toe stands, forward bends, and deep-breathing exercises. After class, students can steam away stress in the studio's showers.
Empower Me Yoga's crew of 16 instructors guides students through gentle, moderate, and intense yoga courses. Budding yogis and those that prefer a relaxed approach can try the Yoga for Everyone session, during which a guru guides students through the basic precepts of meditation, breathing, and postures. Moderate classes build on these foundations, and yogis who want to oust toxins along with tension can sweat through a slightly heated take on the classic version of Hatha in warm yoga. Marla Ericksen, the studio's program director, also mints brand new yogis in programs that take place at the studio's Teacher Training Academy.
The instructors at Patenaude Martial Arts embody fang shen do, or "way of survival" with several types of classes: kung fu, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, and self-defense. These experts combine Eastern philosophies to teach the finer points of martial arts in classes for men and women. For self-defense, the also bring in kids or the full family. In all of these classes, the training doesn't focus entirely on fighting. The classes also teach things applicable to all areas of life, both inside and outside class, such as confidence, self control, and how to wear a belt with impeccable style.