Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be flexible to do yoga. Rather, the flexibility—both physical and mental—comes along with the practice. At Studio Om, students with any or no experience are welcome to try a variety of yoga classes. Class options include styles ranging from gentle or chair yoga to more vigorous Vinyasa yoga, depending on whether students seek a relaxing or invigorating session. The studio also holds Pilates and yoga fusion classes, as well as Holy Yoga sessions, which combine biblical Christian study with an all-levels yoga flow sequence.
Since 1990, Power Shack Fitness Centers have fostered a casual, low-stress ambiance at its four locations, eschewing the large crowds and intimidating vibes of many mainstream gyms. A retinue of nationally certified personal trainers is on hand to craft custom workout plans for members, acquainting them with the gym’s array of free weights, cardio machines, and functional training equipment. Group fitness classes are also led by nationally certified instructors. Offerings include barbell conditioning, yoga, spinning, dance, and power grunting. Depending on the location, you can also take advantage of tanning amenities or pick up nutritional supplements.
Next Level Fitness fosters a nurturing family environment by fielding a supportive staff, furnishing a host of up-to-date equipment, and gearing training toward each visitor's individual goals. Cheery yellow walls augment the gym's welcoming vibe, which is less intimidating than a puppy playing soft jazz on the piano. The 7,000-square-foot workout area brims with both machines and free weights. Treadmills direct their glare toward mounted flat-screen television screens and holograms of canteens situated just out of reach. A cadre of certified trainers—all of whom were college or pro athletes—impart their kinesthetic wisdom during one-hour personalized sessions, and group classes and boot camps spur wholesome bouts of perspiration with spinning courses and core-bolstering moves. Next Level specializes in athletic-performance training for all ages and sports, having run players from the NFL, NBA, and MLB through their paces in a 12,000-square-foot turf field house. Amenities such as batting cages, pitching cages, and cages containing surly pythons can sharpen clients' speed, strength, and evasiveness for upcoming games. Next Level even rents out the field house for sundry other inertia-obliterating purposes, such as games of dodge ball, rugby, football, and track and field events.
At GnG Music Instruction, accomplished instructors introduce fertile young minds to euphonious basics in one-hour classes once a week. Aspiring rock stars aged 8–11 who already possess Eddie Van Halen's skill at signing autographs can also acquire his shredding ability during guitar classes. Piano lessons build a sense of camaraderie between fellow ivory ticklers, and the booming percussion curriculum creates child-size drummers capable of keeping solid 4/4 beats. These three classes welcome beginners aged 8–11 as well as those 12 and older.
The kitchen can seem bewildering to a child peering up at the many colanders, peelers, and skillets on the shelves, but a lesson from the trained cooks at Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna quickly demystifies kitchen utensils and cooking techniques. Weekly classes introduce kids to culinary concepts that vary each month, and full-day camps explore the culinary traditions of different countries and time periods. Weekend events highlight exotic dishes or take children on cartoon-themed picnics. In addition to kid-friendly offerings, the academy hosts team-building exercises for adults and businesses, pitting friends and coworkers against one another in Iron Chef competitions with all food, recipes, and English overdubs provided.
Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.
At Victory Fitness Center, members pump iron in the weight room and pedals on the stationary bikes before giving weary muscles respite in the whirlpool or sauna. Besides providing fitness coaching to keep everyone on the right track, the gym also provides an environment free of intimidation with men- and women-only workout areas. To supplement those workouts, the staff designs easy-to-follow weight-loss programs, and certified trainers lead group classes such as Zumba, boxing, and boot camp.