As a teenager, Sarah Heward suffered two herniated disks, which left her literally crawling out of bed throughout her teenage years until she was 30. Because her demands as a mother of three young children made it impossible to take time off for surgery, she sought an exercise modality to help heal her damaged back. Sarah found Pilates, which brought her fast relief from the years of pain. Now completely rehabilitated, she leads students of all fitness levels in finding physical wellness at her own studio in both small-group classes and private lessons.
The studio is lined with Pilates machines including reformers and springboards, designed to build patrons’ strength without adding bulk by utilizing the practitioner's own body weight as resistance. She also translates the exercises to mat-based routines, where students need nothing more than willing abdominals and their lucky spandex ascot to complete the full-body-toning regimen.
At Emoria Studios, the staff believes that laying a foundation of dance skills early can boost a child’s self-esteem for years to come. They also teach dance as an outlet for kids to express themselves through their movements. Babies get their first tastes of dance and social interaction in Mommy and Me classes that lead into to predance combo classes, where instructors teach preschoolers, elementary schoolers, or preteens the foundations of tap, ballet, jazz, and tumbling. These sessions then funnel into focused classes in jazz, tap, modern, ballet, or cheer meant to teach fundamentals as simply as possible.
The skilled instructors of Sundari Yoga stretch and flex aspiring yogis to more enlightened states of mind and body. A legion of ligament-loosening classes awaits students of all abilities and rubber compositions, including beginner yoga, which eases new students into the poses, intricate three-part harmonies, and breath work of the yogic arts, as well as the more advanced Ashtanga class, a physically demanding fusion of postures and strenuous flows to boost endurance and increase balance. Those looking to shed stress and fluff stiff think pillows can join Zen flow, a sinewy session focusing on dynamic stretch work and meditative Zen philosophy and techniques. Though some of Sudari Yoga's classes are for all levels, other sessions require a certain amount of proficiency; students can assess their skill level by consulting with Sudari's instructors.
"What Type of Athlete Are You?" GCMC poses this question to its clients, because it operates under the philosophy that everyone leads an active, demanding lifestyle. Though GCMC caters to professional and recreational athletes, it also addresses the stressors of "industrial" athletes—those who spend ample time in a car and function on little sleep—as well as "domestic" athletes—parents who spend their time tending to kids or hormonal teenage guinea pigs.
No matter which kind of athlete you are, the instructors at GCMC can help you get in shape or recover from injuries. Fitness instructors lead classes such as Beach Body Burn and core-strengthening Matwork Flow Pilates. Additionally, GCMC's therapists and chiropractors address a range of issues, from ankle sprains to postsurgical rehabilitation.
Gibsons Fitness Health & Wellness spans two floors and a slew of specialized areas, from the Upstairs RPM Spinning Room to the dedicate nutrition store downstairs. The gym's owners pack the floor with Cybex or Nautilus machines, and dedicate their classrooms to yoga, Les Mills Bodypump, or Zumba. Meanwhile, personal trainers make use of both types of areas, creating customized programs to help clients reach personal fitness goals such as losing weight or bench-pressing an actual park bench. The whole team strives to make trips to the gym easy by offering extra services such as child care, an on-site apparel shop, and lockers for personal belongings.