While almost everything else that is five millennia old has fossilized, the ancient practice of yoga remains relevant. At The Yoga Studio of Shelby, teachers with a minimum of 200 training hours teach students the age-old art, which builds strength, enhances flexibility, and aids with stress management. The studio’s classes range from hot Vinyasa, which is a flowing style taught in an 85-degree room, to Hatha, where meditations help to clear students’ minds without making them forget their Social Security numbers. Expectant mothers can stretch with low-impact poses in prenatal-yoga classes. Studio workshops on partner yoga, meditation, and other specialty topics round out the schedule.
Level Health & Fitness builds fitter bodies with group classes and top-of-the-line cardio and weight-training equipment. Morning and evening fitness classes mold muscles, as instructors guide hip swivels in dance-based Zumba classes and full-body sweat sessions during boot camp. Solo exercisers can increase their heart rate on ellipticals, treadmills, bikes, and step mills or build sinewy strength for boulder-hurling season using racks of free weights, balls, and bands. Postworkout, Level's contemporary Café Bar reenergizes spent frames with smoothies, protein shakes, and energy drinks. The complimentary Kids Club childcare keeps little ones busy with supervised games and arts and crafts while parents get their daily dose of burn. Separate bathroom facilities offer private lockers to stash valuables, towel service, and showers to wash away workout resin.
At their old gym, founders Dave Chisholm and Jim Dockeray sometimes intimidated fellow members who were unaccustomed to the duo’s intense, committed workouts. So the well-chiseled compadres decided to open 586 CrossFit Asylum, a challenging yet encouraging environment for hardcore, functional-movement-based exercises. Dave and Jim take students of all fitness levels under their muscly wings, teaching newcomers Olympic weight movements that form the basis of subsequent intensive workouts.
After protégés display a competence in squat, press, and deadlifts, they jump into the fun and furious WOD—or Workout of the Day—which blends body resistance with kettlebells, box jumps, and gymnast rings. Classes convene as early as 5:30 a.m. and promote enthusiasm and inspirational competition between members. With a wall-length spray-paint mural of their straight-jacketed mascot, 586 CrossFit Asylum harbors an alternative vibe, and its instructors sometimes pause workouts on Fridays to reenact scenes from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Garnering accolades from numerous athletic associations and websites, Life Time Fitness’s area locations offer various multi-use sports arenas, fitness centers, family recreation areas, and spas for gym-goers of all sorts. Basketball courts, volleyball nets, and racquetball matrices provide tangible barriers to determine out-of-bounds abuses, while audible battle cries on the indoor climbing wall and poolside water slide release workday tension. Calorie burning and muscle building options abound with Life Time Fitness’s impressive array of cardio machines, free weights, and resistance training equipment. Night owls and sleep-swimmers alike will appreciate Life Time Fitness’s 24/7 open door policy. Complimentary lockers and towels sweeten the experience with storage space for your keys and a new patch for your perspiration quilt. Post-work out, relax in the sauna or get pampered at the LifeSpa & Salon.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
When Prem and Cheridy Mukherjee got married in 2001, they didn't know anything about creative wedding photography. Prem's interest in taking photos had been piqued during his travels in Sydney, Australia, but it wasn't until after he had met and married Cheridy that his interest flourished into a real talent. Cheridy soon picked up the camera herself, and together the husband-and-wife team became Arising Images, expertly capturing shots for weddings, engagement announcements, and family-portrait sessions. In 2009, with more experience under their belts, the couple wanted another shot at their wedding album. They once again donned white attire, along with a colorful pair of sneakers, and posed for artistic, playful shots that truly captured their joy—something they strive for in their own photography sessions.
Prem, who has shared his expertise at national conventions, passes along his camera-friendly knowledge to budding photographers during starter and intermediate classes. He spends the sessions educating students on the functions of their own cameras and the fundamentals of editing images with Photoshop Elements, eschewing the traditional method of going over photos with a ballpoint pen and masking tape. Private lessons shower all the attention upon one participant, while a tag-along on a photo shoot or wedding allows students to view Prem and Cheridy in their professional environment.