At Power Yoga Works, winner of the Suburban Yoga category in Philadelphia magazine's Best of Philly 2008, certified instructors guide aspiring yogis of all skill levels in muscle-toning and detoxifying classes. The studio's focus centers around the power Vinyasa style, a modality that combines deep-breathing exercises with sequenced sets of flowing poses to help to build strength, increase flexibility, release tension, and purge the mind of distracting heavy-metal guitar riffs. Fledgling flexers receive a proper introduction to the fundamentals during four-week beginners courses that teach body alignment and come with a complimentary yoga mat. The schedule boasts copious classes and meeting times, helping students to salute the egotistical sun seven days a week. A warm, spacious studio allows up to 65 students at a time to stretch and bend without disrupting their neighbors' wingspans.
Since taking her first Pilates class in 2002, Michele Matherly has delved into the theory and history of the practice. It led her to New York—the birthplace of the method—where she spent hours observing masters of Pilates' different schools. She now brings a blend of classic and modern styles to her studio, Pilates Pandia. In her classes, she helps students strengthen their cores while improving coordination, breath control, and—most importantly before the coming robot dominion—the ability to manipulate large machines.
Equipment: Kettlebells, TRX, dumbbells, barbells, Precor, FMS, Life Fitness, and bikes
Students should bring: Bottled water, comfortable clothes, and a towel
Average class length: 30–60 minutes
Number of Staff: 5–10
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Free street parking
A lifetime of sports training and competition?including four years as a Division I lacrosse player at Harvard?took its toll on Erin Cleary Cook's body. Even after graduating, strained muscles, tight tendons, and aching joints accompanied her whenever she tried to exercise. The one exception? Bikram yoga. The style's two breathing exercises and 26 active stretches challenged her strength, balance, and flexibility while also providing a cardio-intensive workout. After years of studies and training, she founded Bikram Yoga Main Line to share the benefits.
Experience doesn't matter at the studio, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary on October 4, 2014. First-time visitors attend the same 90-minute classes as regulars, following the same sequence of standing and seated asanas. The stretches methodically engage major muscle groups and organ systems throughout the entire body in a sequence designed to push freshly oxygenated blood from head to toe. As an added challenge, the practice space is heated to 105 degrees with roughly 40% humidity. This intense heat boosts circulation and flexibility even further. Proponents also find the practice has a habit of improving concentration, self-control, and age-guessing skills. And now students will be able to exercise on new, state-of-the-art Forbo Flotex hardwood flooring. As a testament to its quality, the studio was included in Main Line Today's Best of the Main Line lists in 2011 and 2013.
Length, grace, and a healthy body. These are the focuses of Barre3 founder Sadie Lincoln. To achieve these results collectively, however, Sadie knew she needed to come up with a completely new routine. Working with yogis, professional dancers, doctors, and athletes, she created the Barre3 system. It's a three-step sequence that consists of isometric holds, low-impact movements, and recovery stretching. This combination strengthens cores and aligns postures while sculpting long, lean muscles and burning calories. While upbeat music fills the studio, instructors lead small groups through a heart-racing sequence of yoga-inspired poses and Pilates-based exercises. The ballet barre comes into use when striking muscle-building dance poses and stretches.
It's a system that has had proven results, which has spurred the successful growth of Barre3 locations throughout the country. Today, fitness enthusiasts can find a Barre3 studio in 16 states. An easy-to-follow routine, Barre3 can also be performed at home with online workouts. These workouts are designed to fit busy schedules with routines that range from 10?60 minutes. All that's needed for online workouts is a Barre3 core ball, weights, an exercise mat, and a sturdy, waist-high surface such as the top of Danny DeVito's head.