With 30 years of teaching experience and a background in dance, athletics, and intensive care, owner Virginia Nicholas founded Moving Breath Pilates in 1995. The clean, serene space, which is also home to the Pilates Core Integration teacher-training program, offers a variety of 55-minute sessions priced according to size and instructor. The specialty group classes focus mainly on mat exercises, not equipment, making them ideal for beginners. Moving Breath schedules approximately nine of these classes per week (with each course able to accommodate 6 to 8 people) and staffs a teacher in training to give students personalized attention. View a schedule here.
Jim Keegan, the founder of Yoga Nirvana, draws on his studies in kinesiology and biomechanics to help visitors obtain inner peace and healthy bodies. Before opening his own studio, he served a nine-year stint as the head yoga teacher at Arizona State University and continues his teaching career through international workshops. Jim and his fellow instructors guide students through classes such as Ashtanga for beginners, Kundalini yoga, power yoga, and mediation. Sore students can ease their tired muscles by scheduling an appointment with the studio's licensed massage therapist. In addition to group classes, Jim offers private lessons and whisks pupils away on all-inclusive yoga retreats.
Students should bring: Large towel and water
Average class length: 60?90 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Please arrive 15 minutes before class time.
Exercise is challenging, and people frequently give up on their fitness routines. How do you keep clients motivated?
We encourage clients to dedicate at least two weeks to consistently (three to four times per week) going to Sumits Yoga Tempe. That time frame allows them to feel and see some of the benefits of hot yoga.
Do you run your gym according to a particular exercise philosophy?
Take each class at your own pace?there is no competition and no judgement. Each person should listen to their own body and take breaks as needed during class.
When and how did you first develop a passion for fitness?
I discovered the gift of Sumits hot yoga several years ago. It changes your body for the better and serves as an excellent stress reliever to calm and refocus the mind.
TenPoint5's founders, Sarah Carlstrom and Christa McCormick, don't believe in the mythical perfect 10. Rather than focusing on attaining a certain weight or dress size, they stress the importance of constantly challenging yourself. This very idea is what prompted them to create their barre fitness workouts in the first place. Based on the Lotte Berk method, TenPoint5 classes blend barre moves with Pilates and yoga, intensifying the classic barre workout without setting the barre on fire. The intensity remains customizable, however—students can tailor moves to fit their fitness level.
As part of the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, a private college that educates holistic healthcare providers, Spirit of Yoga focuses on self-restoration and self-empowerment. The classes here range from traditional Vinyasa yoga, which combines poses into a continuous flow, to more creative sessions on a “yoga wall”. But all emphasize more spiritual practices, focusing on movements and breath work that provide therapeutic benefits. Meditation is offered as part of many of the sessions. That’s not to say Spirit of Yoga doesn’t have fitness-oriented classes as well; if you want to get your heart rate up, take Hatha Tone, which uses body weight training techniques for a muscle toning workout.
The schedule here is accommodating, covering a variety of disciplines and skill levels. All classes are drop-in, though some request reservations. Check out the Soy Shop while you’re in the studio if you want to pick up some yoga-related gear, books, or jewelry.
Before settling down in Arizona, Tracy McDonald made her home all over the world. She spent time in Senegal while volunteering for the Peace Corps and lived in Madagascar while participating in a coral-reef sustainability and diving expedition. She also studied yoga in India and went on to become a yoga instructor, as well as a board-certified polarity instructor, a cranial-sacral therapist, and an expert in issues related to weight and body image. She now uses her expertise to help clients revamp their lives inside and out with such services as Ashtanga yoga sessions, cranial-sacral sessions, and lifestyle coaching.