Black Megaformer machines line the sunny studio as trained instructors guide students through core-strengthening Pilates classes. Drawing inspiration from the strength and flexibility of bamboo, the instructors format the classes to push all muscle groups to capacity. They strive to achieve muscle failure, a process that stimulates a great number of muscle fibers and steps up the body’s metabolism. In addition, the instructors teach students to perform slow and controlled movements at a consistent level of tension in order to build the most muscle possible. They place emphasis on the rest needed to reap maximum benefit from the session, encouraging new students to stick with two or three classes a week in order to avoid overloading and metamorphosing into a muscle-bound butterfly.
At Sunstone Yoga, students radiate calm and self-awareness as they practice ancient poses designed to stretch, strengthen, and purify the body. Instructors complete 500 hours of training in yogic techniques, teaching, and physiology before leading classes, so they can hand out researched, tested tips on safety and alignment. Most classes come in 30-, 60-, and 90-minute varieties and focus on energy or restorative relaxation. A two-class introductory series welcomes beginners with basic standing poses, and the popular fire series explores up to 34 poses in a 99-degree room that loosens muscles to facilitate deeper stretches as it ousts toxins. Filled with soothing music and 90-degree temperatures, the water series cultivates more serenity than getting a massage from a singing whale.
Nestled inside the ultra-modern Willow Bend Fitness Club, Equipt Pilates borrows moves from yoga and strength training to create effective Pilates-fusion workouts. The studio’s six instructors maximize the muscle-toning impact of the Pilates regimen by incorporating specialized equipment, including Pilates reformer machines, TRX bands, and ladder barrels. Group classes corral four or fewer students per session to ensure each participant scores an ample share of the instructor's attention. Those unfamiliar with any of Equipt Pilates' accouterments must enlist in an introductory course to acquaint them with each of the apparatuses' functions and preferred snacks.
No one is born into yoga, not even yoga instructors. Having entered into their practice gradually is something many of The Yoga Factory’s instructors have in common, and something they bring to their classes: an empathy that everyone starts at the beginning. They’re serious about welcoming people of all experience levels, and to meet that goal, they cultivate a friendly, supportive atmosphere throughout their 60-, 75-, and 90-minute classes. Weekly basics classes also help get beginners up to speed and address fundamentals, such as alignment and yoga-mat origami. Throughout the year, the center also hosts workshops that blend knowledge about meditation and nutrition within a support group-style structure.