At Prairie Athletic Club, fitness is not dependent on the weather. No matter their sport, players can find a space to enjoy it while avoiding wind, rain, and snow. The club boasts an indoor soccer field, track-and-field space, racquetball courts, and basketball courts. Swimmers can dip into the family pool, the six-lane lap pool with deep water, or the 90-degree warm-water pool. And after a cardio workout, exercisers can build up muscle strength in the weight room or dip into the adult and family whirlpools and infrared saunas to relax tense muscles.
The instructors at Kaivalya Yoga believe that, like yoga practitioners themselves, the rules of yoga should be highly flexible. They pioneer fresh approaches to Vinyasa techniques inside their University Square studio with the aim of inducing kaivalya—a state of freeing personal enlightenment. Heated and nonheated classes cover fluid posture transitions that synchronize breath with stretching rather than having students take one long breathing break halfway through class. Each session aims to eradicate the body's toxins and boost mental clarity, whether students are attending a free beginners workshop or hefting small weights during Power Sculpt.
Many of the teaching staff joined the yoga movement to combat physical ailments, such as slipped disks or chronic migraines, and now they deepen their practice through Kaivalya's inventive curriculum. They inject posing sequences with pieces of individual flair—Hally Marlino's classes embrace freestyle Vinyasa set to music, and director of teacher training Alex Pfeiffer leads groups through spiritually focused, dance-like routines. Certified massage therapists are also on hand to work muscles into an even noodlier state with Swedish, deep-tissue, and sports modalities.
Kaivalya Yoga's central location is no accident. Owners Dave and Tim met at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1998 and maintain ties with the school as an employee and a graduate student, respectively. They've engineered their venue and schedule to suit the student population: classes provide a meditative escape close to home, scheduling never interferes with Wisconsin Badgers games, and the boutique carries chic headbands, T-shirts, and hoodies from their exclusive Mad Yogi clothing line, ideal for moving from dorm to dining hall to yoga studio in comfort.
When the team at Inner Fire Yoga says they "care profoundly about the well-being of individuals and the greater community," that's not an empty sentiment. Since opening in 2002, they've raised over $79,000 for causes both near and far, from the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin to the relief effort for the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. They also sponsor a scholarship program that awards a three-month unlimited membership to a deserving nominee who otherwise couldn't afford it.
The latter effort speaks to Inner Fire Yoga's inclusiveness?most of their award-winning classes are open to students old and new, advanced or just beginning. Their compassionate staff are there to guide students on a smart yoga path. All of the classes are heated, some are gently warm, and some will dial up the cardio factor.
Length, grace, and a healthy body. These are the focuses of barre3 founder Sadie Lincoln. To achieve these results collectively, however, Sadie knew she needed to come up with a completely new routine. Working with yogis, professional dancers, doctors, and athletes, she created the barre3 system. It's a three-step sequence that consists of isometric holds, low-impact movements, and recovery stretching. This combination strengthens cores and aligns postures while sculpting long, lean muscles and burning calories. While upbeat music fills the studio, instructors lead small groups through a heart-racing sequence of yoga-inspired poses and pilates-based exercises. The ballet barre comes into use when striking muscle-building dance poses and stretches.
It's a system that has had proven results, which has spurred the successful growth of barre3 locations throughout the country. Today, fitness enthusiasts can find a barre3 studio in 16 states. An easy-to-follow routine, barre3 can also be performed at home with online workouts. These workouts are designed to fit busy schedules with routines that range from 10?60 minutes. All that's needed for online workouts is a barre3 core ball, weights, an exercise mat, and a sturdy, waist-high surface such as the top of Danny DeVito's head.
Amid inspiring hues of gold and fuchsia and a polished hardwood floor, yogis at Jewel in the Lotus Yoga invigorate their bodies and minds with expressive postures and meditative practices. Jewel in the Lotus' teachers bring a diversity of experience levels, certifications, and specialties as they lead daily classes spanning a wide range of yoga traditions, such as Vinyasa and Ashtanga classes, Prana flow classes that combine breathing, meditation, and movement,
as well as two-hour master classes for the truly dedicated yogi. Creative director Aubree Saia also offers in-depth sessions to help students to heighten their physical and spiritual practice, with themes including acroyoga, transformational breathing, and learning to massage your head with your feet.
Every Friday, Bliss Flow Yoga hosts a happy hour yoga class with healthy treats that accompany poses. It's all part of the comfortable, beginner-friendly environment created by owner Angela Gargano, whose work has been featured in the press by the likes of the New York Times and the Wisconsin State Journal. Angela heads a staff of supremely qualified and certified instructors, each of who boasts a minimum of 200 hours of training. Together, Angela and the Bliss Flow team distribute their talents across a packed schedule, which includes daily classes aimed at many levels and regular workshops designed specifically for newcomers.