The pressure was starting to get to Karoun Charkoudian, much like a teakettle when an entire family stares at it impatiently. She had completed grad school and was looking for a corporate gig, and this new phase in life was causing her a lot of confusion. But all of that went away when a friend brought her to a Bikram yoga class in 2003. There, she discovered newfound peace and clarity. In the years that followed, Karoun completed teacher training for several types of yoga, including Vinyasa flow and Iyengar, and became heavily influenced by the meditative movements of Chinese qi gong.
Now she shares her expertise within the bright green walls at Karoun Yoga. The intimate, modern studio is also home to other experienced instructors who approach yoga from the realms of fitness, rehabilitation, dance, and spirituality.
At Second Wind Yoga, students unroll their mats in a carpeted studio lit by soft lamps. Instructors walk them step by step through the poses and breath work of various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, and gentle yoga. They also offer chair yoga and hot yoga, whose high temperatures induce sweating to help flush out bodily toxins.
Backed by years of experience in the fitness industry, Karen Ollari opened Knock Out Fitness to provide a welcoming space for people to get fit while having fun. Within a studio flooded by natural light, she and her team lead up to 30 students in Pilates, boot camps, and kickboxing. Dance fitness instructors, meanwhile, teach the basics of Middle Eastern movements in belly-dance classes and lead Latin-inspired routines in Zumba sessions set to global party beats. Alternatively, personal training is available for clients who prefer a one-on-one approach to getting fit.
The studio also throws high-energy ZumbAtomic birthday parties for kids aged 4–14, offering a healthy alternative to traditional celebrations that involve candy-filled piñatas and frosting-filled dunk tanks.
Voted best physical therapy clinic in Valley Advocate's 2011 Best of The Valley Readers' Poll, Attain Therapy + Fitness trains and conditions members to help burn fat, build muscle, and improve athletic performance. A team of skilled trainers with extensive experience in sports and personal conditioning motivate customers in a well-maintained workout facility, which includes Olympic lifting platforms, squat racks, balance-boosting slide boards, Keiser performance equipment, and life-size Rube Goldberg machines. During the one-hour adult strength and conditioning classes held every weekday morning and evening, plus Saturday mornings, a skilled coach guides pupils through a foam roll massage, static stretches, and dynamic warm-ups to facilitate blood flow and decrease the risk of injury. Participants can turbocharge metabolism with boot-camp-style circuit training, which, like a boulder-toting ballet, mixes energetic aerobic movement with power-based exertion.