Under instructor James Brown, all of the teachers at the YogaPoser studio are graduates of the YogaPoser Teacher Training, where they learned how to excel at tailoring their attention and tips to the particular needs of each practitioner, helping students to cultivate self-awareness, stability, and strength during classes offered seven days a week. The studio's schedule of classes includes offerings to help ease beginners into yoga practice, including foundations classes, which steadily equip attendees with the yogic knowledge needed to master an array of standing, twisting, and inverted poses while reciting the Bill of Rights backwards. Students flow through poses in the Total Poser class with instructor's help, or attend the hybrid AssKicker class, which blends yoga, cardio, and plyometrics. Poser Tech workshops taught by senior teacher training faculty, and open to all, deepen students' understanding of a particular type of pose. Classes take place in a Santa Monica studio, rendering sessions relaxing and cozy as up to 24 visitors stretch out on yoga mats (may bring their own or have one provided) and mortgaged floorboards.
Upon entering YogaHop’s boldly colored confines and hearing vibrant pop and hip-hop tunes blasting from the classrooms’ speakers, exercisers know they’re not in a typical yoga studio. At both the Pasadena and Santa Monica locations, students immerse themselves in energetic classes that, like the Taj Mahal after hours, blend the ancient practice of yoga with pulse-pounding dance music that forms a workout InTouch magazine dubs “insane” and Maxim calls “inspiring” and “spiritual.” No matter the ability level, students find their stride thanks to patient and effervescent instructors who lead them through a continuous flow of poses, stopping only to gently correct a position or ask occasional student Reese Witherspoon for her autograph.
Waves crash rhythmically, as Cinch Fitness founder Nicole Currie leads small groups through core-tightening moves in the salty open air amid an oceanside park. Her master’s degree in dance from New York University informs her graceful instruction style during the studio’s signature Pilates fusion classes. During each class, instructors spend 90 minutes familiarizing students with the workout routine, which combines short bursts of calorie-torching cardio, the weight-bearing exercises of Pilates, deep yogic stretching, and abdomen-flattening trips through an oversize pasta maker. During most sessions, instructors corral between 10 and 30 participants or two fitness-minded giant squids just flopped in from the surf.
Circuit Works' more than 10 trainers subscribe to the Zig-Zag theory, which states that to get in shape, one must rotate quickly between engaging fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers. The nationally certified, acclaimed instructors teach fast-paced circuit-training exercises that alternate between aerobic and anaerobic exercises in minute-long intervals. These engage both kinds of twitches and are a step up from the more ancient method of covering someone in bugs, then covering them fewer bugs. The staff changes exercise routines weekly, fending off not only mental boredom, but the plateaus that can arrest physical progress.
While taking a barre fitness class, Ashley Walters Kanter noticed that her fellow students were struggling to perform the more difficult movements. Already the owner of Elite Movement, a fitness studio specializing in Pilates Reformer classes, Kanter decided to create a barre routine that was easier on the body. She quickly partnered with barre guru Brookelin Gottlieb, and the pair created EMBarre, a series of ballet, Pilates, and cardio exercises that work each muscle group instead of overworking one or two. Elite Movement's barre fitness classes round out their schedule of Pilates and Reformer classes.
Fitness Together’s team of certified personal trainers helps guests achieve their fitness goals with three customizable personal-training systems. The first, Aspire 8, takes guests through an eight-stage lifestyle transformation with the camaraderie and accountability that comes with working with a personal trainer. The other two programs—Cardio Together and Nutrition Together—work with the same philosophy but specialize on helping guests improve heart rates and endurance or make wise nutritional choices.