When she dances, Sarah Murray doesn't just use a pole?she incorporates more than 15 years of ballet and modern dance training. And as the owner of Impulse Pole Dance & Exotic Fitness, she doesn't just dance. She and all her instructors have gone through pole safety and training certification, which they use to teach sultry, graceful routines in the studio's pole dance sequence. It starts with basic spins and transitions in the mandatory Intro to Pole Dance class, then progresses to more complex inversions and tricks such as The Phoenix, in which the dancer burns down her pole and builds a new one. In business more than five years, Impulse Pole Dance & Exotic Fitness was voted Best of the Bay 2011-Pole Fitness, and caters to women of all dance and fitness levels.
Unlike traditional gyms that take a laissez-faire approach to fitness, letting clients fumble through their own workouts, Orangetheory leads exercisers in innovative personal group-training sessions that run through four distinct steps. Inside the warm, citrus glow of each facility, dozens of treadmills, rowing machines, free-weight sets, and Trx suspension systems await the next interval changeover. Music sends electric currents of energy through the atmosphere as patrons sweat out calories, and personal trainers patrol the aisles, giving pointers for touching up form and blinking out motivational words in Morse code. Clients keep an eye on their heart-rate readouts to ensure they're in the peak range for burning fat and building muscle. After an hour—during which guests complete a 10- to 30-minute interval at each of the four stations—the "orange effect" sets in and jump-starts metabolisms, possibly for days after the workout has ended.
Orangetheory Fitness has been highlighted in the New York Times for its seminal workout plan, which was designed by Florida fitness expert Ellen Latham to help people to turn their workout plateaus into springboards. With more than 50 classes per week at each location, members can capitalize on the gym's personal-training vibe and stimulating group setting at their leisure.
Sunder Kaur first discovered yoga on her path to fulfill a lifelong dream: to find her true self. Now, as a certified yoga instructor, she strives to nurture her students' spirits while incorporating the scientific understanding of the human body she gained from her degree in pharmacy. With a friendly demeanor, Sunder and her team of over 30 instructors create a welcoming community as they lead students of all ages and abilities through asanas and breathing exercises that increase strength, flexibility, and balance. They teach these techniques during a variety of classes, including children's, prenatal, and hot yoga. Outdoor classes are available at A Yoga Village's Sunken Gardens location, allowing students to melt away stress while enjoying the fresh air. To further enrich their students' lives, the staff leads specialized workshops that emphasize meditation or improving household communication with storytelling, song singing, and game playing. These dedicated instructors also push budding yogis along the same noble path down which they boldly trod during teacher-training courses.