Experienced staff at Quick Tone Fitness & Tanning Center takes over solar duties with a variety of services to bronze skin. During spray-tanning sessions, specialists cloak physiques in even coats of paraben- and perfume-free Sun FX potions brewed from purified water and natural ingredients. Sun FX tanning solutions react with the amino acids in skin to leave a tan with the even gold hue of King Midas' stress ball. In traditional UV-tanning sessions, guests may swaddle complexions within Level 3 beds or high-intensity Level 6 beds with 360 degrees of glowing rays. Patrons gain evening access to Quick Tone Fitness & Tanning Center, which requires only a personal security code that doubles as a Morse-code theme song.
Something’s making the temperature rise at Bikram Yoga Chesterfield. Perhaps it’s the thermostat, which hovers near 105 degrees during workouts filled with bends, balances, and twists. It could also be owners Farky and Timi Fuszfas, who radiate warmth and excitement along with a staff of certified instructors. Under their guidance, students of all levels build strength and flexibility using the 26 health-focused Hatha poses of yoga master Bikram Choudhury. Coupled with two focused breathing techniques, these exercises pump oxygen through the bloodstream to promote head-to-toe wellness. The heat complements the process, easing muscles into deep stretches while driving toxins from their hiding places. Since classes entail 90 minutes of sweating, students should bring a large bath towel, plus bottled water or a portable glacier.
Valley Vinyasa’s experienced and certified instructors guide aspiring contortionists through a relaxing gauntlet of flexibility-boosting poses that encourage synchronizing breath with movement. Each five-class card is valid for three months, and the 60–75 minute classes are available during the day throughout the entire week, making it all the easier to get one’s "om" on. The beginner-level class is appropriate for beginning body benders and moves at a comfortable pace while focusing on breath and alignment. More advanced classes offer a higher-paced flow and include basic arm balances, inversions, and binding postures that aspire to stretch participants like a game of Twister without the awkward eye poking. Modifications are always offered for students to individualize their sessions and cater poses to suit their needs while still providing a challenge.
The sound of thumping bass greets guests at ZFit Studio, where instructors lead a slew of high-energy fitness classes. Sessions are overseen by a diverse staff of experienced instructors who boast backgrounds in dancing, yoga, and Zumba instruction. Outdoors or on their gleaming studio's hardwood floors, instructors lead a variety of heart-pumping classes, including Latin-dance-infused Zumba workouts and energizing yoga sessions. To keep their patrons engaged in exercising, they strive to develop workouts that are both fitness enhancing and exciting, much like doing arm curls while skydiving.
When thinking of gym equipment, most people imagine whirring treadmills and racks of free weights. The names of Pilates machines are more innocuous—chair and barrel, for example—but to the uninitiated, these tools might seem more like pieces in an art gallery. Thankfully, the certified instructors at The Pilates and Yoga Center of St. Louis help to demystify them. They guide clients through exercises that enlist the gliding platform of the Reformer, or the malleable ring that is the Magic Circle, hosting group and private classes for all skill levels.
Owner Karen Prechtl and her team ease new clients into a Pilates practice by customizing their guidance and keeping class sizes small. They emphasize the importance of breath work, proper form, and body awareness during each lesson, helping students to achieve a leaner, more bendable physique without simply telling them to "be the rubber band." For those who prefer a highly personalized approach, one-on-one training utilizes weights, kettlebells, and mat-based floor exercises in addition to the Pilates equipment.
Having practiced since 1997, training under leaders in the field, and serving as the sole yoga instructor for the Kashi company in 2008, owner Brigette Niedringhaus opened Southtown Yoga with the goal of bringing a unique approach to the city yoga-studio concept. In doing so, Brigette built up a schedule replete with a variety of classes held in a warm and welcoming environment for students of all skill levels. The Riverfront Times recognized her efforts by naming Southtown Yoga its Best Yoga Studio in 2008. The staff that helped earned that award features 11 highly trained instructors who guide students through a series of poses during 45- to 90-minute group classes. Slow-paced Basics courses pave the way for Mixed Level sessions that expand on the fundamental concepts, and rooftop classes enable students to mix up the workout scenery, like lifting weights in a phone booth. Classes are available seven days a week, with some sessions beginning as early as 6:30 a.m. and as late as 7:30 p.m.