Armed with equal parts passion, dedication to the practice, and wisdom gained through teaching certifications, Blissful Yoga Studio's instructors help students achieve lithe, flexible bodies with classes catering to all activity levels. Introductory classes help beginners pay special attention to their alignment and breathing, and hot Vinyasa-flow classes challenge the mind as well as the muscles with a continuous series of empowering postures performed in a room that's heated up to 97 degrees. Instructors also incorporate the studio's specially outfitted wall, using its system of straps to sink students into deeper supported postures during yoga wall stretch sessions, which help them better impersonate the lowercase letter q. In addition to classes, the studio hosts workshops for seniors and those recovering from injuries that cover the basics of the yoga sutras.
Although Bikram Yoga Avondale’s classes always cycle through the same 26-pose sequence, the practice is anything but boring. The repetition gives practitioners a pretty clear point of reference when it comes to tracking their progress over time, and the addition of sweltering heat challenges even the most adroit yogi. The heat of the Bikram studio boosts the heart rate, so the sessions function as cardio workouts, and the poses stretch and strengthen every major muscle group. Some even maintain that it boosts the immune system and improves focus. Since its inception, its grab-bag of benefits has attracted the admiration of high-profile adherents such as Shirley MacLaine and President Nixon.
The instructors at Bikram Yoga Avondale infuse each lesson with their personality, adding a touch of variety. The new facility, which also offers massage services, features a state of the art heating and ventilation system, new waterproof and anti-microbial carpets, along with larger changing rooms and additional shower facilities. To keep boat-loads of fresh oxygen coursing through circulatory systems, the staff deep cleans the facility with ardor, and deploys a state-of-the-art ozone air purifier.
Daisy Anten loves fitness so much that she came out of retirement to teach it once again—even after a long career owning two fitness centers. With her business partner, licensed professional counselor Donna Peck, she opened Women's Fitness with Daisy: a women-only gym where Daisy could teach Pilates, yoga, circuit training, and her newfound passion, Zumba.
The center creates a supportive environment for women not only through group classes, but also through nutritional counseling and massage therapy. A mother-daughter membership program fosters fitness across multiple generations better than a pull-up bar bolted to a family tree.
After earning a degree in kinesiology in 1991, Jill Dailey McIntosh gravitated toward Pilates. She began training other teachers and helped run a personal-training and Pilates business, but she wasn't completely satisfied. She wanted her clients to be able to shape their bodies more aggressively without losing the proper alignment and form in a classroom-like setting. After visiting New York several times and training under Lotte Berk instructors, Jill was inspired to create her own fitness modality. Combining her background in kinesiology, personal training, and dance, she developed The Dailey Method. Today, her method has spread to more than 40 locations throughout the United States, Canada, and France.
A blend of Pilates, ballet, and yoga, The Dailey Method helps students strengthen and stretch the body's major muscle groups. Jill designed the low-impact classes to challenge bodies, minds, and spirit animals alike as students build their cores, align their spines, and tone lean muscles. Instructors help students master the proper form for each motion, whether they're swinging dumbbells or bellying up to the barre to work their quadriceps.
Jenny and Rachel spent years trying workout programs ranging from running to Tae Bo, but they couldn't find an exercise regimen they actually enjoyed. That is until Jenny stumbled across Pilates+. She was immediately hooked by the innovative workout program, which fuses Pilates, cardio, and strength training, and it wasn?t long until Rachel jumped aboard too. Today, the duo helms The Body Lab, where they and their staff of certified trainers spread the word about their favorite workout regime, which has been written up by numerous members of the press.
Each 50-minute Pilates+ class uses a machine called the Megaformer?a modern take on the traditional Pilates reformer that is designed to strengthen and tone both the upper and lower body. Performing slow, controlled movements, students move through a series of more than 50 exercises per class, exercising multiple muscle groups ?to failure? each session to produce quicker results than traditional Pilates sessions. The Body Lab also leads group classes a la carte, as well as monthly memberships and one-on-one training for clients.
Metta Yoga?s Zuzana Kolinkova, star of the popular DVD The Art of Flow Yoga, helms a staff of seasoned instructors that spans two studio locations and leads indoor and outdoor classes steeped in several yoga traditions, including Hatha, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa. Metta Yoga offers a variety of new and unique classes such as Yoga Walk, Yoga Therapy, and Aqua Yoga at the Phoenician Pools. Classes at The Phoenician Spa?s Centre for Well-Being often take place outside, where students can exhale stress as they admire a relaxing landscape of palm trees, fountains, and spanish-tile rooftops. Spring-green walls and lush potted plants line the Phoenix studio, helping students enjoy nature and prevent shouting matches with raindrops.