Founder and head instructor Bryan Kest aims to help his clients tone their muscles and increase their flexibility through intentional yoga practice. At his spacious studio, he and other certified instructors teach Power Yoga Vinyasa Flow classes, constantly changing yoga classes that help invigorate the entire body and awaken the mind. In a quiet, yet social atmosphere, students learn to connect their minds, bodies, and spirits during challenging 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.
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.
At the end of a fruitful career that led her from the Cincinnati Ballet to the Sacramento Ballet, Jennifer Williams funneled her dance savvy into creating the barre-inspired exercise system taught at Pop Physique, a 2013 CityVoter finalist for Best Gym. Her fleet of handpicked and personally trained instructors pairs graceful ballet moves with other low-impact exercises in order to chisel cores without injuring muscles. Deep stretches further preserve tendons and leave each student more relaxed than a tortoise moseying past a state patrolman with a radar gun. Sessions run multiple times a day, seven days a week at an expanding network of SoCal locations. The roomy studios are lined with sprung dance floors and design accents that lend each location a distinct personality and a chance to forget its past as a storage room for defective food processors.
Trapeze School New York’s expansion west meant Angelenos no longer had to cross the country to join the circus. At their outdoor studio on the Santa Monica Pier, highly trained instructors teach beginner, intermediate, and advanced maneuvers during classes on the flying trapeze, aerial silks, lyra, trampoline, and Spanish web. All of Trapeze School New York’s countrywide facilities in New York, Boston, Washington, DC, Chicago, and LA hold themselves to high safety standards that account for everything from equipment to instructors and safety belts. In an effort to bring their flying-trapeze instruction to surrounding communities regardless of funding, the school also gives lessons through their nonprofit branch of operations.
Perhaps the only thing as impressive as Roy Elghanayan’s reign as a two-time Israeli Krav Maga National Champion is the students with whom he’s shared his incredible skill. He first was hand-chosen to devise the Israeli Special Forces’ training program. In 2011, the Argentinean Marines enlisted him to teach the sport to their soldiers. He even trained actress Jessica Chastain for her role in the movie The Debt. Today, he continues to travel the world to teach Krav Maga and works out of his studio, Krav Maga L.A. | REKM.
Krav maga is a more rigorous form of self-defense developed by the Israeli military when they realized that ancient martial arts would translate to modern battlefields. Roy and his staff helm classes for both adults and children as part of a six-day schedule that divides students by their skill level. Beginners’ classes corral 18 participants or less so that instructors can easily oversee technique while still having enough bodies to build a human pyramid if morale is low. With continued practice, the instructors at Krav Maga L.A. | REKM hope to imbue their students with the physical and mental skill to escape threatening situations should they ever arise.