Yoga in The Hill


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No matter how different their students’ lives may be, Yoga Six’s teachers tease out common threads and knit them into a sense of community. Registered by the Yoga Alliance, they pursue goals such as freedom and intelligence while guiding yogis of all levels toward physical and emotional well-being. Whether leading group classes or private sessions, instructors impart pose modifications and gently adjust body alignment to promote safety and personal growth. Students bend and balance inside a pair of classrooms filled with warm, indirect light and tatami-mat flooring made from recycled, nontoxic materials. Instead of distracting classes with a rousing air-horn concert, the heating system quietly cultivates 102-degree temperatures for hot yoga routines. In addition to making muscles extra pliable, the heat helps bodies to sweat out toxins. Room-temperature classes range from slow and mellow restorative sessions to Y6 Barre workouts, which pair basic yoga poses with ballet-inspired isometrics and interval-training techniques. After class, students can socialize in a cozy lounge, unwind in private showers, or browse a boutique filled with yoga apparel, coconut water, and BPA-free water bottles.
5700 Oakland Avenue
St. Louis,
MO
US
The crowd's roar flooded the streets of Chicago as Darcy Zenker crossed the finish line of her first marathon, clocking in at 3:35. After she had been running for years—placing among the top finishers at four half-marathons and competing on the Southern Illinois University track team—she decided she needed a break. She then immersed herself in a new athletic pursuit—group fitness instruction. Three years later, she became the head trainer of her own boot-camp fitness program, NowFitness, where her years of athletic training and certification in fitness instruction shine through in her workouts. In parks throughout the local area, she and her staff of fellow trainers lead groups through high-intensity workouts that take advantage of their surroundings. She motivates patrons to scale stairs, do crunches on benches, and hoist planks across grassy fields. The trainers also offer a stroller-based boot camp for moms, in which participants blast through cardio and strength-training exercises that incorporate their stroller with baby or a watermelon they've dressed up to look like a baby in tow. In addition to hosting classes, NowFitness pairs patrons with certified lifestyle and weight-management coach Amanda Bickel for a comprehensive five-week nutrition program.
5600 Clayton Ave.
St. Louis,
MO
US
To join a class at Urban Breath Yoga is to join a family of fellow students and encouraging mentors. The studio's blog tells you just how tight-knit the community is: birth announcements alternate with featured member bios, and the vibe is always congratulatory. And, far from being isolated, the group seeks out new practitioners with lessons that cater to yoga beginners. There's a yoga basics class that covers the fundamentals of hatha poses, a beginner series that meets for four weeks, and even a free two-hour intro session. From these classes, students can progress to more advanced hatha and vinyasa techniques, such as inversions and folding your mat into an origami swan. The studio also hosts specialty workshops on prenatal yoga, as well as teacher-training classes, children's classes, and immersive yoga weekends.
1220 Tamm Ave.
St. Louis,
MO
US
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.
3719 South Kingshighway Boulevard
Saint Louis,
MO
US
High-energy Zumba classes and relaxing hot-stone massages collide at This Way Ladies Fitness & Wellness Center, a one-stop shop for women looking to release sweat and tension. Fitness instructors lead strength-building kettlebell classes only a stone's throw from the spa room, where specialists perform facials and ensconce feet in warming paraffin. Outdoor boot camps take the action to Francis Park, where participants test their speed, agility, and ability to resist roving hot-dog vendors.
3714 S Kingshighway Blvd
Saint Louis,
MO
US
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.
1015 McCausland Ave
Saint Louis,
MO
US
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