One can look behind every stationary bike or beneath each treadmill, and never come across a man at American Woman Fitness Center. They will, however, find a swimming pool, rows of cardio machines, and a studio that hosts more than 50 fitness classes. Because the health club only admits women at its two locations, gals can feel more comfortable and confident as they break a sweat on elliptical machines and weight-training equipment.
The all-female staff leads a slew of group fitness classes, including CrossFit, Corebar training, Zumba, and yoga classes, some of which take place in the swimming pool and can result in highly desirable dolphin abs. In addition to classes, they offer personal-training sessions along with weight-loss and nutritional counseling tailored to female physiques. While ladies are working out, they can rest assured that their wee ones are looked after, as the staff also provides childcare services.
Few yoga studios can say that they've created their own styles of yoga, but at Highland Yoga, Anelyn and Stephen Tortorello did just that. With the help of their instructors, these yogis developed Yogacarya, which marries Western yoga postures with the introspection, meditation, and self-realization encouraged by the Yoga Sutras. The open, clean studio hosts a rotating gallery of local artists' paintings and photography to inspire reflection.
Their 32 weekly classes—available in beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels—also embrace the widely popular Vinyasa and Hatha methods along with the lesser-known Kripalu and Kundalini yogas. To further foster mind-body connections, the studio's licensed massage therapists ease muscular stress, taut muscles, and uptight grizzly bears with myofascial, Swedish, and Thai yoga bodywork.
CKO Kickboxing founder Joseph Andreula's knowledge of exercise goes beyond creating effective workouts. It also helps guide the Fitness Standards Council, a nonprofit advisory panel of doctors and certified personal trainers, and provides the basis for the articles he’s published in Exercise for Men, Men's Health, and _Men's Fitness Magazine. But his true passion lies in the innovative fitness classes he created at CKO Kickboxing gyms. Since 1997, these gyms have housed Andreula’s exercise classes, which use basic kickboxing techniques to lead students toward powerful strength and greater endurance. In contrast to other kickboxing routines that have participants kick the air or invisible schoolyard bullies, students in CKO Kickboxing sessions strike hanging heavy bags to help them tone more muscle and burn up to 1,200 calories in a single class.
After Lisa Usherovich had her first baby, she discovered yoga as a way to get back in shape and relieve stress. She eventually founded MiMi Yoga for Everyone, a welcoming studio where prenatal classes help keep expectant women comfortable, as well as post-natal classes that let mothers and babies practice yoga together. A full schedule includes other types of yoga, from a fundamentals class to an iyengar session that uses props to help bodies stretch to new limits and practice new stand-up routines. In all classes, Lisa and her team invite more experienced yogis to set up in the front row so new students can hang behind and follow their lead.