The state-of-the-art equipment, convenient amenities, and variety of exercise classes at Courthouse Racquet & Fitness's six locations earned the club several of Jackson Free Press's Urban Living awards in 2011 and 2012, including Best Fitness Center/Gym and Best Yoga Instructor. Visit the flagship Lakeland location to swim in a pool of professional athletic proportions. Explore the 13,000-square-foot Madison 51 facility's yoga, spin, and boot-camp classes or the Northeast center's indoor and outdoor tennis courts.
The newest location in Brandon boasts more than 100 treadmills, elliptical machines, rowers, and other pieces of cardio equipment. Women can take advantage of the Downtown site's ladies-only cardio area. Three locations offer childcare, and the Byram facility has launched an afterschool program, where kids can do arts and crafts and engage in healthy physical activities in an environment devoid of teddy-bear drill instructors.
Inside the brightly-lit confines of Fat Cat Ceramics, shelves brim with bare-bisque pieces in the form of plates, mugs, and bowls. Visitors wield non-toxic, lead-free glazes and paints, embellishing items with designs such as flowers, abstract squiggles, or a squirrel's handprint before accommodating staff members fire the pieces, readying them for everyday use. Not just a paint-your-own pottery studio, Fat Cat Ceramics offers specialty sessions such as Clay Day, where participants learn to make their own pottery pieces, and summer camps, where campers delve into daylong or weeklong projects such as creating a mosaic plaque, building flower pots out of clay coils, and making clay jars to store one’s nosehairs.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
At 11,000 square feet, Sky Blue Soccerdome ranks among the biggest indoor soccer facilities in Mississippi. Inside, players learn to master the beautiful game on a state-of-the-art synthetic turf pitch through training, camps, and leagues. Skills come easy under the tutelage of Manchester, England–born founder Tom Cosgrave. Tom combines his honorable-mention All-American collegiate experience and his degree in sports medicine to drop knowledge on students of all abilities. The soccerdome also includes a performance gym for improving fitness, reducing injury risk, and learning that "pumping iron" doesn’t involve lifting vitamin bottles.
Oasis Therapeutic Massage and Yoga Center welcomes students of any skill level to yoga classes that challenge or relax with gentle stretches and held poses. Meeting on either Tuesday or Thursday evenings, the four-week beginners' series prepares fledgling yogis for more advanced classes by illuminating step-by-step, fundamental yogic poses, stretches, and breathing exercises. Students who already boast foundational knowledge can expand skill sets in Vinyasa Sculpt sessions, where pupils learn to intensify Vinyasa yoga poses including sun salutations and limbo pose by adding manageable free weights. During Slow Deep Stretch sessions, instructors incorporate supportive props including blankets, blocks, and straps into a series of sustained poses that leave bodies as ache-free as a migrating bird with a jetpack.