Bikram Yoga Sugar Land's brand of Bikram yoga sends impurities cascading from the body in high-temperature 90-minute classes offered up to six times each day. Turning up the studio’s heat to promote deeper stretching and mimic the climate of the volcano rims where yoga was developed, an experienced instructor guides students through a smooth sequence of 26 postures that systematically arouse stiff or snoozing joints and muscles. As each pose presents a challenge based on one’s personal abilities, students of all yogic stripes can build strength and stockpile reserves of qi at their own pace. With regular practice, students can stretch their way toward toned muscles, expanded lung capacity, and joints that slide as smoothly as melted butter on a dance floor.
At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
Sometimes it seems that timeless movies and holiday meals are the only way to simultaneously entertain three generations at once, but CrossFit Caveman adds a third activity to the mix: going to the gym. There, certified coaches engage entire families in fun workouts, scaling movements to suit everyone from grandparents to 3-year-olds. Each CrossFit routine incorporates exercises modeled off of real-life actions: pushing, jumping, running, and changing a monster truck’s tire, for example. Students master these techniques during introductory sessions before reporting to mainstream classes that hone their form and tone muscles through weightlifting, gymnastics maneuvers, and calisthenics.
Owners Sharon and Ray welcome clients of all sizes to their "cave." They and their staff—which includes sports enthusiasts, a Navy drill instructor, and a CrossFit Havoc Strongman competitor—push their students to achieve milestones that once seemed incredible, such as completing a series of chin-ups or using a kettlebell for something other than a parking-space saver. In addition to their regular curriculum, they host classes for kids aged 3–12, as well as sport-specific regimens and women-only sessions.
Dahn Yoga integrates Korean Taoist philosophies and holistic Korean Oriental medicine into a form of yoga that strives to forge stronger connections between mind and body. The certified instructors at Dahn Yoga adhere to these ancient practices and help students of all ages and fitness levels develop core strength, which, according to Dahn philosophy, is the basis of physical, mental, and spiritual health. Through classes, private lessons, and workshops, students learn to link postures with breath control, ultimately developing greater bodily awareness. Besides improving flexibility, strength, and posture, instructors also emphasize the brain's role in overall well-being. They lead brain exercises that challenge and sharpen the mind to develop more productive habits and levitate pennies out of mall fountains.
Dahn Yoga's founder, Ilchi Lee, also built a comprehensive brain-development program—called Brain Education—from the principles upon which Dahn Yoga is founded. Combining physical, emotional, and cognitive exercises with guided imagery and games, Dahn Yoga's instructors develop emotional control, improve communication between the brain's hemispheres, and inspire guests take decisive action. This program has five progressive steps that can be applied to a dedicated yoga practice as well as everyday life.
When Southwest Houston Adventure Boot Camp’s owner and head trainer, Stacy Agee, chose her team of certified personal trainers, she knew she would need a deep bench. As a former college and semipro basketball player and a two-time MVP on the Houston Energy women’s football team, she understood the value in building a team with diverse skill sets that play to the strengths of the others. To that end, she recruited Kim, a veterinarian turned certified trainer and rehab specialist; Darrin, a father, marathon and triathlon runner, and boxing instructor; June, a yogi and tai chi practitioner; and TJ, a trainer with a love of plyometrics.
These coaches draw from specialized backgrounds in personal training, Pilates and yoga instruction, massage, and mixed martial arts to design a range of workouts that change constantly, much like every encyclopedia once time travel is invented. In each of their four-week outdoor fitness programs, comprised of 20 one-hour sessions scheduled for early morning, mid-morning, or evening, they train participants of all genders, ages, and fitness levels. They foster a noncompetitive, support group atmosphere with a personal training feel.
“At birth we are given natural ability; our life’s purpose is to build on it.” So goes the motto at BONA Fitness and Wellness. A strategically designed member’s-only workout space, both the Westheimer and Katy locations house a staff of certified personal trainers, “cheerleading” receptionists, and a crew of trainer assistants, each essential to helping clients transform themselves. The expert instruction and team environment makes BONA’s personal training sessions fun and inspiring. But the studio’s true draw is its signature cross-training class, BLAST (Building Lasting Awareness, Stamina, and Tactics). Each BLAST session marries speed, agility, and plyometrics, core and weight training, resulting in one intense heart pumping full-body workout. BLAST classes are for all ages, fitness, and athletic levels. Kid-friendly instructors dole out fun and informative nutritional information at the onsite Kid Zone, putting kids on the right track for a healthy, happy lifestyle. BONA even has its very own nonprofit foundation, dedicated to helping overweight kids discover the joys of healthy habits.
Aerobifit Fitness founder Susan Magee has enough experience for several fitness instructors. She holds over a dozen certifications, including ACE personal trainer, Stott Pilates Reformer, and Bosu balance trainer, and runs more marathons than a cheetah looking for a challenge. Her driving force is simple—passion for staying in shape, and inspiring others to do the same.
Magee shares her enthusiasm in Aerobifit’s cozy studio, leading a team of licensed personal trainers and instructors as they give guests one-on-one attention and personalized high-fives. The staff guides clients through the use of cardio equipment, TRX suspension-training gear, and Pilates mat reformers, and leads energetic group classes ranging from post-natal workouts to Zumba. But even while visitors are toning muscles during barre fitness classes or breathing into yoga asanas, the teachers share the spirit of the studio’s owner by emphasizing fun just as much as flexing.