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.
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.
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.
Easton Yoga's staff invites yogis of all bendabilities to explore the challenging and rewarding practice of yoga in a colorful and calming studio housed in a remodeled 19th-century townhouse. An unlimited punch card grants muscle manipulators access to 24 open yoga classes per week, which can help improve circulation, alleviate stress, and grant the flexibility necessary to doff one's cap using a pinky toe. A beginner basics class lays a solid foundation for budding yogis, and flow classes encourage students to explore new postures and bolster strength. Classes run 75–90 minutes in length, and students are encouraged to bring their own mat, although studio mats are available for rental ($2).
Founded by Pilates master Susan Fox, The Core Center is a 4,500-square-foot facility featuring a large space for group classes and two areas for equipment classes. Along with select members of her staff, Fox holds a license in Fletcher Pilates, a variation of the original Pilates method that emphasizes movements that emerge organically throughout the routine. The center also plays host to Zumba, Yamuna, and dance classes, all of which welcome students with two left feet as long as they bring their own pairs of left shoes.