Kyle Brandt and his team of fellow trainers?who include his wife Sarah?are, of course, fit. But they don't believe in exercising for exercise's sake. Instead, at Brandt Fitness & Self Defense, they offer what they call "functional fitness for life." This belief, which also serves as the company's motto, manifests in two ways. First, it means that by focusing on martial arts, Kyle and his team can coach students of all skill levels?first-time exercisers, four-year-old martial arts novices, professional athletes?to defend themselves from danger. The second function they ascribe to fitness? Community. They believe working out should be fun and social. Fridays' happy hour workouts encourage as much gum-flapping as they do deadifting. And like the martial arts classes, Brandt's CrossFit sessions welcome a diverse array of attendees. The gym even hosts holiday parties, which are very popular, although their papier mache pi?ata full of kettlebells never quite got off the ground.
Under the watchful guidance of founder and yogi Brynn Byrne, the dedicated instructors at Elemental Yoga: North Texas Yoga Therapy help students boost core strength and detoxify bodily systems with their schedule of yoga classes. Classes vary based on skill level and intensity, with meditative flow easing practitioners into centering poses and advanced posture sessions helping seasoned students progress on their yogic journeys. No matter the class, instructors embrace the tenets of holistic healing, crafting sessions that can improve respiration, sharpen mental faculties, and restore energy lost during attempts to power the television with a stationary bike.
The thermostat reads 105 degrees. Sweat pours off your body. A dull ache spreads through your muscles. No, it's not a form of torture—it's a form of release: Bikram yoga. At Bikram Yoga Fort Worth, the "hot room" is where sweating takes place. The heat furthers workouts by warming muscles until they're extremely pliable. This means deeper, safer stretches and more intense detoxification during yoga classes.
Born in the late 1930s, Sri Dharma Mittra studied the eight branches of yoga under guru Sri Swami Kailashananda, the man largely responsible for introducing the healing practice of yoga to the Western world. Through years of selfless teaching, and focus on building a community of healthy, spiritually-centered yoga practitioners, Dharma Mittra developed a devoted following of students throughout the United States.
Arlington Yoga Center's instructors stay true to the yogi?s teachings by welcoming pupils into an oasis of soothing pastel-colored walls and an airy practice space, guiding students through a roster of classes for all skill levels. A quick perusal of the studio's schedule yields ample opportunities for rejuvenation in a variety of sessions, including the restorative sequences of Gentle Dharma, which invigorates minds and bodies alike with gentler, less demanding poses. Targeting the muscles that support the spine, Dharma 1 and 2 sessions incorporate the eight limbs and 40 phalanges of the style's philosophy into a series of asanas that promotes stamina, graceful flexibility, and the ability to imitate a statue. More advanced classes bump up the thermostat to 80 degrees in order to ensure a more invigorating workout with deeper stretches. As a precursor to attending yoga classes, Arlington Yoga Center requires all new students to fill out a waiver and leave their pet howler monkeys at home.
Before heeding the call to a life as a certified yoga instructor, Diana Roehl helped companies to cultivate corporate talent as a human-resources specialist. Now she helps individuals to discover the strengths that lie within. Roehl steers students toward these revelations with Hatha yoga, whose deep breaths and focused poses center the mind as they fortify the muscles. Natural light and calming blue walls envelop group classes at her studio, casting a soothing glow on shiny wooden floorboards where students practice shoulder stands and bridges. Roehl also brings her yoga teachings to local offices, showing employees how to dislodge stress and impossibly jammed printer paper with graceful movements and powerful exhalations. Between classes, she leads Thai bodywork sessions, which combine acupressure and ayurvedic medicine through assisted yoga poses.