Hot yoga, krav maga, Pilates, women's self defense, and premiering body pump in September?just reading through the list of classes at Evolve Fitness Club probably counts as a workout. The roster is so expansive, that the gym needs two separate studios to contain it. Studio 1 focuses on cardio and flexibility with three types of yoga, Pilates, and BarreLean. Studio 2 aims to arm folks with self-defense classes, including ground fighting, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and a course designed to help folks disarm attackers. Despite the diversity, all these classes have a few things in common: they're each led by certified instructors in comfortable facilities designed to help clients reach their fitness goals.
Run by a dedicated husband-and-wife team, Studio 731 Fitness prides itself on being an alternative to mega gyms. This intimate fitness center offers small-group classes?including hatha yoga, P90X Full Body Cardio classes, and Zumba?all led by experienced instructors. With upbeat, calorie-burning classes and no attitude, Studio 731 Fitness provides a quiet, community-based place to shed fat and build muscle while having a good time.
Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be flexible to do yoga. Rather, the flexibility—both physical and mental—comes along with the practice. At Studio Om, students with any or no experience are welcome to try a variety of yoga classes. Class options include styles ranging from gentle or chair yoga to more vigorous Vinyasa yoga, depending on whether students seek a relaxing or invigorating session. The studio also holds Pilates and yoga fusion classes, as well as Holy Yoga sessions, which combine biblical Christian study with an all-levels yoga flow sequence.
Fueled by Joseph Pilates' belief that exercise should enhance and support the natural machinery of the human body, instructors lead students through a tapestry of intense, focused moves that draw from weight training, aerobics, yoga, and tai chi. In addition to leading group mat classes aimed at boosting core strength, they stock their hardwood studio with machines such as Cadillacs, ladder barrels, and reformers that rely on handles, ropes, and pulleys to heighten the workouts. The staffers offer semi-private and private lessons that focus exclusively on these reformer machines, which each face their own mirror so practitioners can perfect their poses and James Cagney impersonations simultaneously. To liven up the floor routines, they sometimes combine elements of TRX suspension training or ballet-barre workouts, both excellent complements to the intense core work of Pilates.
Michele Mangione thought she might never dance again after a car wreck smashed her skull and fractured four fragile vertebrae. By practicing yoga, she regained her mobility and acquired a new passion: helping others find health and happiness through movement. To this end, she eagerly studied the mind-body connection, earning a PhD in the topic from Ohio State and an advanced teaching certification from the Yoga Alliance. Armed with extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and philosophy, she founded WiseWays, a studio that blends Hatha yoga with healing arts, such as tai chi, structural integration, and the Feldenkrais method of somatic education. Here, students of all skill levels build strong bodies, centered minds, and spirits as buoyant as the studio's suspended-wood floor. Yoga instruction takes place in one-on-one sessions and small-group classes, where pupils hone poses that gently unlock hips, shoulders, and safes filled with middle-school-era diary entries. As strength and flexibility increase, students progress to sun salutations that cultivate balance, focus, and a pervasive sense of calm.
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. Adele Fridman, founder of MetaBody, created a real-life version of that ticket with her 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.