The multiple YMCA locations in metropolitan Chattanooga serve more than 37,000 members a year and fulfill the mission of uniting guests regardless of gender, age, faith, background, abilities, or income. Founded in London in 1844, the YMCA spread to its Chattanooga home in 1871 and continues to operate with help from local community volunteers as stalwart as I Love Lucy syndicators. Each location caters to the needs of children, teens, seniors, and families with afterschool programs and fitness-based activities. Cardio machines pump hearts, racquetball courts host fun competitions, and pools allow goggles to fulfill their original purpose: snapping the face with their elastic band to make a diver jump off the blocks faster. A sauna and steam room heat clients up after they cool down in the pools, and parents can drop their young children off at the nursery before participating in group fitness classes.
At Movement Arts Collective, co-directors Tara Phillips and Stacey Nolan spread their love of dance and movement to visitors of all ages through yoga classes, belly-dancing lessons, and creative movement classes for toddlers and children. Specialized yoga conditioning for belly dancers classes blend Phillips and Nolan's two specialties, through yoga lessons that focus on the hips, core, and spine. Conventional Vinyasa yoga classes introduce participants to various postures and breathing exercises. In creative movement classes, kids explore dance using hoops, balls, and ribbons.
Initially established as a social outlet for aspiring exercise participants, Scenic City Boot Camp has since successfully coached hundreds of un-trained students of all ages prepare for major fitness events. During one-hour classes, which are held indoors and outdoors, weather permitting, a seasoned instructor guides students through an ever-changing routine of moves inspired by methods such as interval training, proper breathing, running, and recovery techniques. To keep campers accountable and motivated, some classes offer nutritional food plans, track their progress with before-and-after measurements, and occasionally test their reactions to sneaker-shaped inkblots.
As its name implies, My Massage Inc. focuses on customizing massages to treat the individual, with a staff of therapists well trained in a range of modalities. Therapists may utilize the broad, relaxing strokes of Swedish massage to relax musculature, or deep-tissue and trigger-point methods to target kinked up muscles. Sports massages and orthopedic therapy also help therapists lessen client discomfort—specifically injuries sustained while playing sports or chasing away kids who are treating decorative lawn flamingos like an ad-hoc hurdling course. Alternatively, during cupping-therapy sessions, therapists utilize gentle suction to facilitate lymphatic drainage and detoxification.