The Chinese Shao-Lin Center's masters teach the ancient Chinese art of Shao-Lin kung fu, a mixture of self-defense and meditation that's considered essential for health and longevity. Inside a peaceful, welcoming space, students ages 12 and up of all fitness and skill levels are invited to enlist in various classes in the external arts and internal arts. Learn to defend yourself against aggressors, or send a message to threatening mannequins in one of various kung fu classes. Or find peace between muscle and mind in a tai chi session, which connects gentle, flowing movements with breathing exercises. The center's specialty classes, available two to three times each month, cover a range of topics designed to empower bodies, minds, and cinder blocks' rights activists and might focus on kicking techniques or meditation.
For more than 20 years, Yoga Connection's classes have focused on stretching, strengthening, and breathing techniques—but founder and director Priscilla Potter isn't afraid of yoga's more holistic side, either. When she's not teaching, she's an astrologer and a meditation instructor, and her multifaceted perspective on yoga shines through in the studio's schedule. Sessions range from bouts of yin yoga to chakra yoga, which explores the body's seven energy centers.
Before getting married, Tony and Marcy Brown both held impressive fitness records. Tony moved from a personal-training career to teaching yoga, and Marcy—a seasoned law-enforcement officer and former owner of a personal-training studio—kept her finger firmly on the pulse of gym trends. The pair decided to captain CrossFit Purgatory after becoming convinced of CrossFit's superiority over other popular health regimens. Now, they welcome guests of all ages and abilities to participate in their WODs (Workouts of the Day), emphasizing the values of community and commitment for those trying to rewrite their physical limits.
CrossFit Purgatory rejects superfluous furnishings in favor of a tough, minimalist vibe, decked out in functional training equipment such as kettlebells, Olympic rings, medicine balls, and mammoth bones. The gym's industrial feel is offset by the warmth of its occupants, who welcome new members to tackle the day's routine with open, sweaty arms. Because CrossFit maneuvers are universally scalable, anyone can adjust them to suit their strength level—the coaches have guided patrons from sports competitors to complete newbies to 2010 Biggest Loser contestant Jessica Delfs.
A partner gym of Rocks & Ropes, The Bloc climbing + fitness is a 20,000 square-foot, air-conditioned rock-climbing destination. Inside, a dozen autobelays allow visitors to make high, harness-assisted ascents. Or, you can test your bouldering skills on a 7,000 square-foot wall. In addition, the gym offers yoga, meditation, and pilates classes in its 2nd-story heartSTONE studio, welcoming both beginners and experts. The gym also includes cardio and weight equipment for those looking for a vigorous exercise or a heart-to-heart talk with a treadmill.
Tucson Yoga's wide variety of classes caters to community members of all ages, ambitions, and aptitudes. Basic Yoga and Gentle Yoga introduce beginners to proper breathing techniques and fundamental asanas like Downward-Facing Dog, Unreliable Narrator, and Kneel Before Zod, while Vinyasa offers a higher-energy workout to accommodate experienced students and human kegs of Red Bull. If you are a new mom, bond with your freshly baked bundle while working off excess insulation in an hour-long Mama and Baby class. These sessions feature gentle, relaxing movements that help mothers release pregnancy-related tension in their hips, back, and neck while their pre-crawling companions learn how to cope with the imminent stresses of SAT prep and chopstick mastery. Yogis of all skill levels are invited to stretch their stiff mind-muscles using the more meditative techniques of traditional yoga in Mindfulness Yoga.
O2 Modern Fitness helps clients of all fitness levels and walks of life reach their full fitness potential—including current mayor Jonathan Rothschild, who promotes physical fitness city-wide. With his days packed full of rich lunch meetings and countless hours at the desk, Rothschild spends his mornings pedaling away calories.
Now a tried-and-true fitness emporium, O2 Modern Fitness began when Susan Frank realized the key to keeping her genetically high cholesterol low: cycling. Today, helping clients achieve strength and conditioning through cycling (CYCL) and Cross Training (CROSS) are the primary goals of O2, thanks to self-paced group training. Yet beyond the bike, certified staff members lead students though high-intensity interval training that includes body-weight exercises plus the use of kettlebells and sandbags within the CROSS conditioning classes that heighten core strength and mobility.