At Sunstone Yoga, students radiate calm and self-awareness as they practice ancient poses designed to stretch, strengthen, and purify the body. Instructors complete 500 hours of training in yogic techniques, teaching, and physiology before leading classes, so they can hand out researched, tested tips on safety and alignment. Most classes come in 30-, 60-, and 90-minute varieties and focus on energy or restorative relaxation. A two-class introductory series welcomes beginners with basic standing poses, and the popular fire series explores up to 34 poses in a 99-degree room that loosens muscles to facilitate deeper stretches as it ousts toxins. Filled with soothing music and 90-degree temperatures, the water series cultivates more serenity than getting a massage from a singing whale.
The star and choreographer of 18 Buns of Steel exercise DVDs, owner Leisa Hart has well-documented experience. She leverages it to teach yoga and Pilates classes, and also offers pampering treatments that soothe sore muscles. She and her staff lead many classes with scalable exercises, intensifying Pilates routines with the addition of a ballet bar or providing asana modifications to gently strengthen physiques with injuries. Her video-production history informs her entire classroom experience, from the upbeat tenor of her instruction to the subdued tones of her studio?s walls and the space marines shooting lasers in the background?an homage to her work with James Cameron.
Despite her background as a dancer and fitness instructor, Salena Quinlan-Shults was always hesitant to try yoga. It was only at the urging of a friend at the University of Central Oklahoma––where Salena was studying kinesiology––that she decided to give yoga a chance and found herself immediately hooked by the mind-body connection that the practice offered. Convinced that she had found her true calling, she went on to earn certification through both YogaFit and Purple Lotus teacher training before trading her stressful corporate job for a peaceful occupation as the owner of Yoga on Main.
Today, Salena and her fellow certified instructors lead students through tranquil poses inside the intimate and earthy studio, which they keep warm to facilitate effective stretches. During power-yoga classes, they turn up the heat even higher to release toxins and aid weight loss, and so they recommend that students arrive wearing garments made with wicking capabilities or sewn from bags of frozen peas. Prenatal classes teach techniques that can help expectant moms cope with labor pains and keep them healthy after their bundles of joy arrive, whereas a lineup of ever-changing workshops includes topics that help kids develop healthy habits and teach adults how to clear their chakras.
The barre3 system creates dancer-esque bodies through a combination of ballet barre work, yoga, and Pilates exercises set to upbeat music. Every workout consists of isometric holds, small, one-inch movements, and functional, dynamic moves that involve a larger range of motion. This signature three-step sequence has been proven to burn fat, build muscle, and fuel weight loss. The workout is appropriate for everyone, elite athletes to brand-new moms, and no dance or fitness experience is necessary.
Before toning arms and legs, strengthening cores, and lifting seats, clients can drop off their little ones at barre3's onsite childcare (most of the more than 70 studios offer it). If they can't make it in to a barre3 studio, they can take advantage of online workouts. All that's needed is a barre3 core ball, weights, an exercise mat, and a sturdy, waist-high surface, such as the top of Danny DeVito's head. The online subscription also includes access to combine exercise and nutrition programs, as well as seasonal recipes.
Under the direction of studio owner Leisa Hart, the instructors at HARTFit get bodies in shape through a combination of energetic classes and soothing treatments. Though Leisa is best known for her Buns of Steel videos, her private yoga sessions, barre, and Pilates classes give exercisers another option for weight loss and muscle toning that combine challenging poses and cardio. Meanwhile, massage sessions soothe sore muscles and energy healing sessions relieve stress after intense workouts. The studio also offers nutrition counseling and chiropractic services.