Helmed by Patricia Valenti, a certified personal trainer and Bikini Pro athlete, Evolution Fitness Club helps members sculpt their physiques daily from 6 a.m.–midnight. The club’s friendly workout facility teems with opportunities for running, lifting, and pounding one’s chest to indicate a dominant social status or demonstrate a new dance move. As their feet trace low-impact circles on an elliptical trainer, exercisers can wrap their minds around a favorite program on a nearby television. Fitness machines overlook Main Street, letting gym-goers wave at friends below or cheer on growing grass from the edge of a cushy bike seat. Infrared saunas invite steam-free sweltering, and hot showers wash away the aftermath.
Art in the eyes of Cara Levitt isn't only about aesthetics––it's a powerful tool of personal expression that can be used to heal unseen emotional wounds. A board-certified art therapist with six years of experience working in the mental-health field, Levitt established Draw It Out Art Therapy to help visitors grapple with life's obstacles while learning to problem solve, regulate their emotions, and create original works of art as a tangible form of catharsis. Her programs for singles, groups, families, and children take on a variety of issues, including low self-esteem and anxiety, and encourage participants to redirect their energy into completing a number of projects such as paintings, worry jars, and piñatas made of papier-mâché pink slips.
When Yvette Bernosky applied for a part-time job at the Sarasota Bath and Racquet Fitness Club, she didn't realize she was taking the first steps toward what would become a 23-year professional career in the fitness industry. Encouraged by her boss, Yvette began to work with clients individually before taking on a role as one of the club's aerobics instructors. She began travelling internationally to participate in fitness programs and events and earned more than 14 fitness and wellness certifications—including qualifications as a personal trainer, fitness camp instructor, and nutritional counselor.Today, the fitness aficionado owns her own private, fully equipped training studio where she helped Miss Florida International get into sashaying shape. Her staff of qualified instructors lead group classes, including outdoor fitness camps and personal training sessions throughout the week. Amidst spinning cycles and whirring cardio machines, fitness-seekers of all ages bustle through boxing classes, TRX training, and total body conditioning classes.To spirit guests away from their stressors and diet-busting triggers, clients can commission personal trainers to accompany them on fitness retreats.
Yoga SRQ's experienced instructors lead students through creatively sequenced poses with a packed schedule of Vinyasa Flow classes. Take limbs for a test run in a Vinyasa class, which focuses on proper alignment and mastering combinations of synchronized breathing and vigorous movements, or blend cardio and yoga in the one-hour Energy In Motion session, which pairs sweat and inner peace more effectively than meditating inside an active volcano. Students can also expand yogic horizons in one of Yoga SRQ's non-Vinyasa classes, or nix sneaky stressors with Gentle Energy Yoga's soothing Hatha poses.
An experienced team of soul-stretching yogis guides bodies into soothing formations with a seven-day schedule of various class styles for all skill levels. Newcomers can reach a state of tranquility typically reserved for Walt Whitman's pet dove during the Slow Flow class, which unites controlled breathing, proper alignment, and meditation techniques in a balanced trifecta of peaceful bliss. Ashtanga Blend sessions throw a spiritual curve ball to shake regular students out of their normal yoga routines, exploring different posture groups during a flowing one-hour practice. Advanced students in the Power Vinyasa class submerse themselves in a sultry labyrinth of creative, challenging techniques, for which strenuous exertion and high-energy muscle movements are the keys to survival. From the moment students arrive at the center’s colorful, gated garden, they can immediately hear the soft rippling of fairies holding hoop-dance classes.
The quote “Everything seems impossible … until it’s done!” adorns the walls of Apple Jelly Studios, inspiring the women within the private studio to achieve their fitness goals. Drawn together by a shared love of pole dancing, a quartet of women decided to spearhead the private studio, where they continue to teach dancing and fitness classes today alongside a handpicked crew of certified female instructors. Reflected in wall-to-wall mirrors, they teach students of all shapes and sizes to twirl around eight chrome poles during beginner, advanced, and intermediate pole-dancing and pole-trick classes, boosting confidence, toning muscles, and burning calories. Certified instructors also lead a variety of yoga, Pilates, and boot-camp classes upon the studio’s hardwood floors.
The studio rents its facilities out for private events, providing pole-dancing instruction, sultry red lighting, and a professional sound system for bachelorette parties, birthdays, and brazen knitting circles.