To overcome a tragedy that almost ended her life, Carrie Muchaw turned to yoga. As she delved deeper into her practice, she become more and more inspired to share yoga's mental and physical healing abilities with others, thus, Yoga on the Brazos was born. The studio now leads students of all ages and abilities on a path to improving their physical and mental health, touting their motto "Yoga heals, pass it on." Muchaw promotes athletic well-being with a flowing series of poses during the rigorous Vinyasa, which uses channeled breaths to link each movement more naturally than a semaphore ellipsis. During Hatha sessions, the instructors help students practice sustained postures, offering modifications throughout so attendees can safely challenge themselves by pushing stretches further. Community members can also take advantage of recently added belly-dancing classes and take in their tots for development-aiding kids' yoga.
Karen Mones's passion for fitness began at a young age, exercising to Jane Fonda videos with her mother. She went on to play softball, earn her bachelor's in exercise and sports science, and obtain six instructor certifications in everything from yoga to strength training. She founded Houston Adventure Boot Camp to share her knowledge and passion for fitness with as many people as possible.
She and her trainers create different regimens each day, taking advantage of the city's natural spaces and natural forces to enhance their workouts. They challenge gravity by having students lift their own bodyweight or free weights. Students plow through the heaviest friction the air can throw at them in sprints, and they hold up under constant pressure from the sun to nap in the middle of a field.
When dance class commences at Move Dance and Fitness Studio, kids aren't the only ones expected to get moving. There's a fitness room located just beyond the studio's viewing windows with a modest collection of ellipticals and treadmills awaiting parents, who can work out for free while their kids are in class. They can even commission a personal trainer (for an additional fee) to help create a customized workout or send the treadmill to bed without dinner if it's pushing everybody too hard. This fitness room exemplifies Move's commitment to keeping the community fit and in motion, no matter the method. Of course, the studio's main draw is dance classes for kids, which range from ballet and jazz to hip-hop and tap.
But the dance classes represent just half of what the studio has to offer. It also holds dance-inspired fitness classes. For example, at Soma Forma barre classes students lean on the ballet barre as they perform small isometric movements designed to sculpt muscles that rival a ballerina's.
After obtaining three fitness certifications and training for years at the YMCA and LA Fitness, Kathie decided it was time to open up her own studio. So, in 2008, the fitness expert welcomed health seekers into Body Designer Fitness Studio, where today she continues to help everyone—from athletes to quadriplegics—work up a sweat. Hourlong boot-camp classes held four times per week put every muscle to work with high-intensity cardio and resistance-training exercises, supplemented by nutritional tips such as fat-loss meal plans and how to eat cake while running. Kathie also enlists the Theraplex unit in her studio, allowing clients to recline and absorb the system's passive motions that quell stress, improve sleep patterns and mood, and aid in cardio training and weight loss.
At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.