Shanti Yoga Studio’s experienced instructors lead a variety of fitness-boosting classes peppered over a schedule of several morning and evening sessions. Beginning students can contort their way through Gentle Yoga, a slower-paced, stretch-heavy class, and patrons looking to safely shed a few pounds while sweating to a mirror-perfect sheen can enroll in Hot Yoga, a heated yoga session guaranteed to keep the towel industry afloat indefinitely. Popular among portmanteau buffs, Yogalates combines the stability of Pilates with the flexibility of yoga for a muscle-toning full-body workout. Hatha pairs postures and breathing techniques to help practitioners achieve a healthy balance between mind, body, and artificially implanted alien conscience.
At downtown Toronto's Fit Factory Fitness, voted Top Fitness Club of 2013 in Toronto by Top Choice Awards, former US Marine Corps drill instructor and Fit Factory co-founder Tony Austin mimics the intense training regimen he completed during his military days. Along with his fellow instructors, Tony uses his 22 years of fitness experience while donning a military-style olive cap to lead exercisers of all fitness levels through more than 120 diverse classes, including personal training, boot camp, and boxing. One week, exercisers might jog with buckets full of water on the shores of a lake or swing sledgehammers into the sand, and the next, they might head indoors to drag heavy bags across the astroturf. With Tony's military background, the exercisers receive training and regiments like those practiced by the U.S. Armed Forces. Instructors also teach boxing boot-camp classes, in which patrons pummel heavy punching bags until they agree to personally train them.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.