At Wake Up Yoga, practicing yoga moves far past the physical benefits. And while the physical benefits of yoga are significant—improved flexibility, strength, and endurance, to name a few—here, yoga is also meant to benefit the mind and heart. The studio hosts Vinyasa flow and yin classes, both of which help release anxiety and stress in different ways. Through the movements of yoga, students can take a break from the never-ending to-do list in their brains and instead focus on the breath and body.
As a certified shiatsu practitioner, massage therapist Robert Sprinkle bases his massage strokes on the same meridian points used by acupuncturists. Doing so allows him to achieve what he considers the ultimate goal of any massage: to return the body to its natural state of relaxation. Tapping into more than 20 massage modalities, he customizes strokes to accommodate a range of bodily needs, such as relieving localized pain, migraines, and low immunity.
The “Str8Beasting” workout is geared toward bringing out your inner beast––and failure is not an option. This isn't as nefarious as it sounds. It means that Str8Beasting Fitness takes an integrative approach to fitness. By combining traditional exercises such as calisthenics and cardio with nutritional advice and life counseling, trainers can help improve your overall lifestyle and attitude––and that's how you become a beast.
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.
Charla Okewole's lifelong dedication to yoga ignited in one of the most unusual places—a Manhattan conference room. Since discovering asanas against the Big Apple skyline as part of a corporate wellness campaign in 2002, she's studied beneath several yoga and Thai yoga massage experts, including the creator of Yoga Babies, Gail Silver. Charla, a busy mother herself, infuses the unflagging energy of children into her practice, filling sessions with encouragement, laughter, and fun.
She leads a diverse team of instructors who help students of all abilities and experience levels awaken their inner spirits and sing lullabies to their inner demons during Power Yoga classes heavily influenced by the Baptiste tradition. Instead of expecting students to defy their bodily limitations, instructors blend aspects of Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Bikram yoga to create custom classes that are both challenging and uplifting. The studio's diverse lineup unsurprisingly includes children's classes, yoga integrated with dance and martial arts, and restorative yin yoga.
Become Yoga's instructors spread the good word beyond the walls and alligator-filled moats of their own yoga studio. They hold weekly community classes, the proceeds of which support local and international charities, including The Africa Yoga Project.
Kickboxing classes deliver a knee to the face of fat, burning up to 860 calories an hour with the high-energy striking moves of martial arts and boxing. All four limbs get in on the bag-bludgeoning action at iLoveKickboxing as each class (a $15 value per class) provides a full-body workout that tones arm, leg, and tentacle muscles while tightening the body’s core and improving balance. Hitting the heavy bags won't skin your knuckles once you don the included boxing gloves, which also double as excellent spring-loaded props for re-creating Three Stooges gags.