Valley Vinyasa’s experienced and certified instructors guide aspiring contortionists through a relaxing gauntlet of flexibility-boosting poses that encourage synchronizing breath with movement. The studio's packed weekly regimen of 60- to 75-minute classes allows patrons to limber up without compromising work commitments or nightly high-stakes Chutes and Ladders games. Jump-start mornings with a 6:30 a.m. Early Bird Yoga class or eschew the midday routine of splitting a sandwich with your computer monitor during a 12 p.m. Lunchtime Yoga class. The beginner-level class fosters nascent body benders by moving at a comfortable pace and focusing on the basic precepts of breath and alignment. More advanced classes offer a faster-paced flow and include arm balances, inversions, and binding postures designed to challenge the most stretchable participants. Though classes are constructed for particular subsets of yoga experience, instructors readily improvise modified routines so students can individualize their sessions and alter poses to suit their needs while still providing a challenge.
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.
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.
The Studio's team of dedicated Pilates and yoga instructors promote health and wellness by guiding students through 25 dynamic exercise classes per week. The studio’s robust schedule boasts lessons in four varieties, accommodating a range of skill levels from experienced to novice. In introductory mat classes, budding fitness buffs learn the 10 basic Pilates principles designed to build a strong foundation for future workouts. All of the beginner-friendly classes emphasize proper alignment and mindful breathing techniques during a series of standing postures and hip and shoulder openers, leaving challenging inversions, arm balances, and sun salutations to the sticky mat ninjas populating intermediate sweat sessions. Students can try equipment-based Pilates classes and utilize a system of ropes and pulleys to add more resistance to core-strengthening moves and help increase limbs' range of motion. They can also head to morning Pilates mat classes for an early-light fitness buzz, where they work toward building long, lean muscles capable of reciprocating bear hugs from an actual bear.
The instructors at YogaSource strive to make yoga accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability. To meet that goal, they offer eleven types of classes split between two studios, which are kept at different temperatures to accommodate those who prefer to stay calm and cool during practice, as well as those who like to sweat as they stretch. Yoga basics and intro to Hatha classes lead newcomers from pose to pose to build a foundation for future practice, and may incorporate props such as straps, blocks, and donuts that dangle just out of reach. Advanced options include power Vinyasa, where students flow through rigorous poses in 90-degree temperatures believed to help increase flexibility and promote detoxification, as well as the open-level class—known as The Practice—in which instructors and students attempt handstands and other challenging feats.
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.
Rather than relying on awkwardly long hugs, Urban Breath instead welcomes yogis of all ages and skill levels with a variety of classes taught by knowledgeable instructors in a downward-dog-to-earth neighborhood studio. Yoga Basics lets absolute beginners take a crack at yoga for the first time and stretch the cobwebs out of their most haunted joints. From there, take the next step with Hatha yoga, which mines the deep core muscles—increasing flexibility, strength, and balance. For a more-meditative discipline that tightens the body, focuses the mind, and dispels the daily stress of being surrounded by chain-smoking coworkers at the fireworks factory, try Kundalini yoga. The Slow Flow Vinyasa class will lubricate squeaky muscle doors and top off your body-fuel tank with basic meditations, whereas the Happy Hour Yoga class uses upbeat music to energize and boost the mind with Vinyasa-style yoga that makes use of breath-synchronized, flowing poses. Classes take place several times a day, with most lasting 75 minutes. Although you can drop in at any time once you've registered, Urban Breath's WebScheduler lets you check for the latest bad-weather cancellations, teacher-rescheduling changes, and minotaur attacks.