Though the certified instructors at Zen in the District – Yoga each lay claim to different style specialties—Hatha, Vinyasa, Sanga, and Amrite among them—they share the aim of heightened self-awareness. Their classes cater to all fitness levels, focusing on introspection more than flawless posing technique or perfect nostril positioning during breath work. Whether they are inside the studio or on the courthouse lawn across the street, the teachers strive to downplay stress with caring vibes. They also apply their compassion to community projects, demonstrating yoga for interested Girl Scout troops and regularly donating to the Seagate Food Bank.
As his students move through each Vinyasa pose in 90-degree heat, master yogi Brent Coldiron offers up optimistic and philosophical thoughts. Rather than the soft thrum of a gong or the soothing sounds of trickling water, he punctuates his poses with an eclectic mix of tunes from bands such as Led Zeppelin. Coldiron leaves the intensity of his classes up to each student, which allows him to accommodate clients of virtually any age, fitness level, or combustibility.
At Japan Karate Academy, karate isn't the only art students learn—the veteran instructors also teach kickboxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and traditional sword work. Helmed by Master A. K. Geelani, a martial artist certified by the World Karate Federation, the team of sensei also integrates strong values into their self-defense classes, such as perseverance and discipline.
For more than 40 years, the high-tech equipment and interactive classes at Super Fitness have kept its members fit, strong, and healthy. Visitors tone muscles and reduce stress with laps in the aquatic center, build powerful cores and upper bodies with circuit training, and jump-start their metabolisms with exercise sessions on more than 300 pieces of cardio equipment. In addition, the fitness center has a designated area for women's only workouts, as well as a supervised exercise space for kids.
A cardio workout at Fitness 19 doesn’t just mean elevating your heart rate—it means choosing among state-of-the-art Life Fitness cardio machines, which range from treadmills and ellipticals to stair climbers and freight elevators. Free weights, such as plate-loaded Hammer Smith equipment, enhance the traditional strength workouts, and the squat machine and other weight apparatuses allow for more structured lifts. A team of personal trainers helps clients incorporate these fitness tools into personalized regimens, and workout classes such as the Silver Sneakers sessions for seniors.
Caring for oneself is a necessary part of caring for others, according to Joe Sparks, the former triathlete who helms Hot Yoga With Joe. To encourage others to devote more time to their health and loved ones, he and his staff of certified instructors fill fitness classes with both fun and restorative relaxation. Joe channels more than 10 years of teaching experience to lead hot-yoga workouts featuring gentle yet powerful poses that aim to forge cast-iron muscles capable of hurling a paper airplane into orbit. The 95- to 100-degree temperatures unspool tight ligaments and encourage sweat glands to flush toxins out of the nearest pore. New students prepare for their first sessions by completing a mandatory waiver and hydrating themselves thoroughly beforehand.