When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. MetaBody created a real-life version of that ticket with the MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
Jazzercise, a funk-fueled, head-to-toe regimen, sculpts muscles, boosts energy, and sheds pounds during 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching. It incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Class formats vary too, including special Jazzercises geared to sculpt your bod or literally make you slightly better at saxophone playing. As for the ittie-ditties, childcare is available during select times at many locations.
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. 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.
Young Brothers Tae Kwon-Do was founded in 1968 and has a deeply rooted history in the art of Tae Kwon-Do. The two brothers who opened the training facility are both ninth-degree black belts who studied in Korea and have been practicing Tae Kwon-Do for more than 50 years. Check out the different schedules to determine which classes you can attend.
Dominique Ponko sits at the head of the class, leading yogis through muscle-lengthening postures with the steady flow of her deep, rhythmic inhales and exhales. It’s been a long journey for Dominique. She first sought out yoga at the age of 26 to help her cope with life-threatening seizures and a slow-growing brain tumor. Yoga comforted her through three difficult years, welcoming her into a space for healing spiritually before she was able to find the proper medicine to help her heal physically. Though still a little shaky, Dominique has triumphed and opened four yoga studios—voted Best of the ‘Burgh in 2010—to inspire her students to ease their ailments, build strength, and find inner peace.
During her studio's heated Vinyasa-flow classes, an enthusiastic and supportive instructor guides students through a series of strengthening postures that work to increase flexibility and build muscles. Warm, balmy air courses through the studio, pricking beads of sweat on brows to help detox bodies and loosen stiff muscles into deep, soothing stretches.
Brilliant Physical Health's Sidmar hydro-massage table soothes tense muscles with pulsating jets of water and relaxing heat. Clothes, bodies, and ornate hair pieces stay dry as the water within the table does its work, easing pain and stiffness during 30-minute sessions. The serene relaxation fests, held in private rooms, allow for quiet, calm, and the mental space necessary to understand nuclear fission. Work toward further body bolstering with a 30-minute wellness consultation, during which one of the center's qualified staffers floats possible strategies for weight loss, pain management, and treatment for weak joints and muscles.