At 10,000 square feet, No Limits Gym is one of the largest martial-arts facilities in Baltimore. Each of the instructors on staff is equipped with a black belt, a stunt double, and extensive training in a variety of fitness and combat styles. In addition to teaching karate, their specialties include jiu jitsu, muay thai, boxing, MMA, and TRX suspension training.
When doctors recommended surgery to treat Jennifer Heinstadt's painful scoliosis—a condition in which the spine forms a lateral "S" or "C" curve—she began researching alternative healing methods to avoid going under the knife. Her search led her to Elise B. Miller, a yoga guru who focused specifically on treating scoliosis. Miller taught her how to get in touch with her body through the ancient practice of yoga, helping her to arrest the spinal curve, correct postural misalignment, and diminish the pain altogether. Heinstadt was so affected by these techniques that she wanted to share her positive experiences with patrons suffering from similar afflictions, eventually following in Miller's footsteps and studying yoga for scoliosis.
Today, she and her staff lead pupils of all ages, skill levels, and body types through a wide range of therapeutic yoga styles, including shanti flow, yin yoga, and Vinyasa. Amid a tranquil ambiance, each class centers around gentle movements, and many include meditation practice to help free students' minds from the 21st century stresses of working long hours and raising families of bionic androids.
Designed by founder and renaissance woman Lynne Brick and her accomplished husband, Victor, Brick Bodies and Lynne Brick's health clubs share a fitness cornucopia of group classes, personal-training sessions, and women’s health tips. They stock their workout facilities with premium cardio and strength-training equipment, as well as offer amenities that may include pools, childcare services, and volcano-free saunas. Each of the seven locations sports its own personality, including the Owings Mills and Belvedere facilities, which operate as all-female communities.
The Brick's also employ a team of certified instructors, who lead more than 30 types of group fitness classes, allowing students of all skill levels access to sessions that range from low-impact workouts, such as BodyVive, to more intense courses, such as the kickboxing-inspired BodyCombat classes.
Though she became a hypnotherapist to beat smoking, Katie Evans soon realized that her goal was a half-measure. She recognized a potential for weight loss in hypnosis that she hadn't seen in her several dieting attempts, which had all petered out due to lack of motivation. By harnessing the power of suggestion, she established a program that works by treating clients from within the subconscious, rather than by trying to dictate their actions from the outside.
The Living Lite weight-loss program in the Baltimore area is now run by nurse practitioner Sue Ouellette, a successful user of the program who uses her 35 years of experience and a humorous style to help other students. In doing so, the program strives to adjust how participants view and plan their meals. The soothing hypnosis sessions combat resigned attitudes and familiar cravings, aiming to replace them with confidence and an intuitive preference for wholesome foods. The seminars also serve to debunk popular myths about hypnotherapy, including that it causes amnesia or that it was invented by the first grandfather clock. The center's catalog of stress-reducing CDs endeavors to help smokers, expectant mothers, and those suffering from insomnia as well.
Xpose Fitness transforms its students into fit, confident divas with sultry exercise classes that have been featured on TLC and CNN. Certified instructors lead 50-minute workouts for all fitness levels, pairing muscle-lengthening stretches with isometric exercises to build strong, svelte muscles throughout the body. Floor and chair sessions blend yoga and Pilates poses into a dance routine that makes sexy props out of everyday objects such as desk chairs, loveseats, and throw pillows shaped like Grover Cleveland's moustache. In pole-dancing classes, the teacher imparts basic spins with step-by-step instructions and a steady stream of encouragement. Exercise modifications are available at each workout, helping new exercisers and injured participants move safely and comfortably. Consult the class schedule for times, and visit the FAQ page for a list of items to bring along.
The volunteer-based school banks on the enthusiasm and passion of its dedicated instructors. Located in Baltimore County in Owings Mills, Maryland, the 3,000-square-foot studio features two training rooms plus changing areas for men and women. Calligraphy and paintings line the wall space of the spirited studio. Its Tai Chi program also emphasizes the Tien Shan Pai motto, "Virtue, Wisdom, Humility, Martial Arts," and is suited for students of all age and skill levels. Group classes are offered Saturday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday evenings. View a complete course schedule here. Studies have shown the unhurried exercise can help prevent or ease aging ills and may be beneficial for an exhaustive list of medical conditions including heart problems, high blood pressure, and arthritis. Call ahead to schedule your first session.