Carrie Rezabek Dorr founded Pure Barre in 2001, and it has since grown its low-impact, high-intensity, ballet-inspired workouts to locations across the country. Certified Pilates instructor Carrie Bristol—who has an MA in French language and culture—operates the Ann Arbor location. Here, she welcomes students to a total-body workout that blends isometric exercise with therapeutic stretching to burn fat and build lean muscle mass. Although a soundtrack of upbeat music lends rhythm to each session, the absence of jumping, bouncing, and jack-hammering prevents damage to joints. The only equipment is a ballet barre used for stability and the meditative focus that turns a single hour into a boon for the body's health.
Having taught various styles of yoga—including Bikram and Vinyasa—at other studios, Sumit Banerjee decided to branch out and forge his own style. Fusing Bikram, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga-inspired postures with enervating heat, he created the restorative experience of Sumits Yoga. Classes emphasize deep stretches, performed in a 105-degree studio whose heat intensifies the effects of each pose. Classes are set to motivating music, and emphasize the fusion of breath, body, and still-nascent gills.
Bikram Yoga Westside's 14 instructors all have athletic or artistic backgrounds, which they use to inform hot-yoga classes taught for the studio's students of all skill levels. During each 90-minute session, instructors guide the class through Bikram yoga's 26 poses in a heated studio kept toasty warm at 105 degrees to help detoxify, increase circulation, and improve flexibility. After class, patrons can wash away their sweat in the studio's men's and women's locker rooms, which are outfitted with showers, electronic lockers, and hair dryers. The studio provides towel and mat rentals for students who prefer to use theirs as tasteful home furnishings. For safety and purity, the studio also runs double-filtered water through its showers and sinks.
Calling out for sanctuary is futile when constrictive shoes silence your toes, and that's why Barefoot Sanctuary encourages freedom of the soul and the sole. Barefoot is the first and only yoga studio to reside amongst the fresh produce and organic wares of a Whole Foods Market. Barefoot Sanctuary’s inspirational classes bring together Cirque du Soleil performers, certified yoga instructors, and famous workshoppers to expertly guide you through the fun, body- and mood-altering movements.
Yoga practice is about more than physical expression at The Grateful Yogi. Here, the instructors emphasize an approach that promotes inner health and wellbeing, while helping students discover their connection to the larger community. The schedule includes classes for visitors of all skill levels and interests, incorporating flowing Vinyasa sequences, mindful breathing exercises, meditation, live kirtan music, or deep yin-style stretches, depending on the class's particular focus. Although the physical asanas can help students develop strength and flexibility, their goal is more focused on instilling a sense of calm and inner peace.
Classes at Dahn Yoga integrate the ancient Korean practice of Sun Do along with the latest findings in neuroscience and behavioral studies to help students boost their overall health and well-being. In each yoga class, a passionate and experienced guru first limbers up yogis with 10–15 minutes of warm-up exercises. Pupils are then chaperoned through 30–45 minutes of stretches, strengthening postures, and meditation exercises, all while clearing cluttered minds and learning to master breath control like a black-belt sousaphonist. After 10 minutes of cooldown exercises, students and teachers mingle to quaff an aromatic cup of tea. Instructors regularly assess students’ strengths and weaknesses, recommending home exercises to complement in-class practices. Dahn Yoga also offers tai chi, meditation, vibration, intestinal exercise, and other special classes based on location.