Though they each come from different backgrounds––including training in various types of yoga––the certified instructors at Totally Yoga share a dedication of getting their students enthusiastic about yoga. To accomplish this, they foster an encouraging and convivial atmosphere at their studio, where students of all skill levels participate in Vinyasa workouts held in a heated studio. With regular practice, they help them to achieve a boost in flexibility, athletic performance, and weight-loss efforts.
At Pure Fitness for Women, a peaceful garden sits on top of a bustling gym. When guests conclude their workout, they can head to the verdant setting for a hot-stone massage, soothing muscles that have just labored on strength machines or the floor of the aerobics studio. The symbiosis between spa and gym is part of an atmosphere based on comfort—owner Kim Gregory wanted to create a space where women of any age and fitness background could conquer their wellness goals without judgment or intimidation. Today, her gym hosts personal-training sessions and group classes from Zumba to Pilates, preserving an inviting ambiance through the efforts of a warm staff and special community events.
Instructors at the female-only W.O.W. at Bodies R Us lead Zumba, spin, yoga, and kickboxing classes designed to strengthen and tone the bodies of their students. Gym members may also opt to use the strength training equipment in the weight room or cardio machines after dropping off children at the in-house daycare center.
The YMCA Adventure Warrior Race gives kids and adults a chance to prove themselves against ropes courses, mud, water obstacles, and other unexpected mental and physical challenges—all while supporting a good cause. Amid the breathtaking views and tranquil waters of Lake Tris, runners maneuver around trees and carry heavy objects up the sometimes snow-covered Laurel Highlands mountains, climbing up to 1,000 feet as they go. Warriors aged 16 and older make a 4-mile circuit, whereas younger participants run age-appropriate distances of a half mile or a full mile. Trophies and the respect of all the woodland creatures are awarded to the top male and female runners, top male and female teams, and top co-ed team. According to the Daily American, funds raised from the race provide camp scholarships that allow kids to attend residential and day programs at the 263-acre YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles.
Since 1984, Three Rivers Rowing Association has become one of the largest community-based rowing and paddling clubs in the country, converting neophytes into boating lovers and helping experts hone their form. With the use of two boathouses located on the Allegheny River, the club is home to crews from three local colleges and nine high schools and was named the 2002, 2010, and 2013 Club of the Year from USRowing. In addition to winter and summer rowing leagues, the club runs amateur dragon-boating leagues and sponsors the Pittsburgh Paddlefish, a dragon-boating team that competes at the international level.
At Yoga on Fremont, confidence and self-knowledge spring from ancient poses and breathing exercises. Encouraging instructors explore the yogic spectrum through several different disciplines, including gentle, relaxing yoga nidra and sweaty, athletic hot power yoga. Each instructor draws upon at least 200 hours of teacher training, helping beginners build a foundation as sturdy as a cast-iron exoskeleton.
From time to time, the studio hosts workshops that cater to the needs of kids, families, and cancer survivors. A rousing hula-hoop workshop pairs yoga’s bends and balances with gyrations that help slim and strengthen the core.