Upon entering Go Cycle Studios, it might feel like you’ve accidentally walked into a club: hip-hop, rock, and dance music streams from the expansive sound system, reverberating off the exposed brick walls and polished concrete floors. The cycling and fitness center’s owners, Jimmy and Lisa, use this atmosphere to set the mood, but they’re serious about exercise. They and the other instructors tailor spin classes and other fitness programs to challenge riders of all levels, from beginners to those who want to work up to jumping a police barricade. Under their instruction, riders sweat astride Keiser stationary bikes, each outfitted with monitors that display RPMs, heart rate, approximate calorie burn, and miles covered. Before or after class, students can head to the back patio to sip coffee in the fresh air or furtively discuss ways to hasten the comeback of handlebar streamers.
At Living Tradition Yoga, instructors honor the rich tradition and teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar. Developed in the 1970s, the Iyengar style of yoga emphasizes precise body alignment, a specific sequence of postures, and a deep connection between body and mind. At Living Tradition Yoga, director Chris Briney cultivates a space for physical exploration, and draws from an extensive academic study of the form and Guruji Iyengar’s teachings. Props such as blankets, yoga blocks, and straps can be used to help adjust poses, or can be tied together to play group jump rope at the end of class. The school also offers training intensives with certified Iyengar instructors, as well as workshops such as “‘Power Yoga’ Redefined” and “Fly the Friendly Skies-Inversion Workshop.”
Ashtanga Michigan's founding instructor Matthew Darling preserves the roots of Ashtanga yoga through private, individually paced Mysore-style classes. Students unfurl their own mats and spend 45-minutes linking continuous Ashtanga postures with calm breaths and visualized Twister mats. Open class times allow students the freedom to arrive and practice until progressions are complete at any point during the 2.5-hour session. Suited for all levels of practitioners, yogis devise their own individual posture flow during each session, while the expert instructor supervises, offering postural adjustments as needed to ensure students get the most out of their practice.
If it's difficult to keep track of the various techniques that characterize Kuk Sool Won, that's because it incorporates some part of every Korean martial art: jabs and kicks, throws and grappling, locks, falling, and general body conditioning—even animal-inspired moves and combat with weapons. In addition to the sparring methods, Kuk Sool Won also emphasizes ancient Eastern healing techniques—such as acupuncture, acupressure, and meditation—as ways to build confidence before and after combat. At Kuk Sool Won of Madison Heights, instructors lead classes for all levels, even families.
Yogi Jason Schramm, inspired by the daily struggles of the city he loves, named his yoga school in its honor. Within the school’s three locations, he draws upon more than 10,000 hours spent teaching to show students how to find inner peace and use it to effect change. The instructors use ancient yoga poses to propel pupils inward, and Schramm lets subtle influences from his martial arts training shine through in some courses. Ashtanga classes summon sweat with vigorous poses that build strength and flexibility, and Vinyasa techniques weave movement, stillness, and deep breathing into a fluid sequence that changes daily.