OptimalFit Pilates Studio proprietress Vilija Conley has amassed a wealth of health and fitness credentials—she holds a Level 5 certification in Romana Pilates, a Level 4 certification in YogaFit, and a personal-training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Armed with the six principles of Pilates, Vilija guides students through a series of movements that lead to physical well-being, better posture, and a level of body awareness that's like a vivid dream about fighting your doppelgänger.
Yoga teacher Peter Calin adds his 30 years of experience in Hatha, Ashtanga, power, and Bikram yoga to the studio's arsenal of classes and techniques. In addition, Vilija and Peter invite visitors to shape and tone muscles with specially designed equipment from spin bikes to sophisticated Gratz ladder barrels, spine correctors, and Wunda chairs.
With lots of windows bringing in natural light and amber-colored wooden flooring inside the studio, Corpo Yoga Studio screams relaxation. Or, rather, whispers it, with classes that emphasize both the physical aspects of regular yoga practice and its spiritual inner message. Under the direction of Cybele Chamas, the studio provides a wide selection of classes in different types of yoga as well as a yoga basics session for beginners. Regardless of which yoga style you profess to love, the studio’s emphasis is on its three basic components – poses, breathing exercises and meditation/relaxation, which are near-universal principles. Yoga classes run, 60, 75 or 90 minutes, though the studio does offer private sessions and special workshops and events.
As a community, Green Monkey is thriving. Across its three locations, it's taken on dozens of instructors who lead more than 36 types of classes, including meditation classes that rely on breathing techniques and silent affirmations to quiet the mind. As if all those class varieties weren't enough, the instructors also put together frequent workshops, many of which teach specific skills such as handstands and inverted backbends.
Located in the newly restored historic Coral Gables Country Club, Liberty Caffe serves freshly baked pastries, crisp salads, and local Florida orange juice. Behind a lit glass case stuffed with crisp salads and buttery croissants, baristas pour foamy cappuccinos at the coffee bar and scoop cups of house-made gelato made from traditional Italian recipes and garnished with fresh strawberries and hazelnuts. Diners can slide into tables facing a row of open, arched windows overlooking the country club's manicured landscape of green grass, swaying palm trees, and fist-shaking groundskeepers.
The certified instructors at Physiocore Pilates sculpt and contour their clients with a robust schedule of classes that bolster flexibility, endurance, and core strength with precisely controlled exercises. During semi-private core cardio circuit sessions, between four and six students work through a dynamic routine that employs Pilates equipment including jump boards and cardio trampolines, rotating students from machine to machine like a fat-burning game of musical chairs. Heart rates rise and muscles tone up during challenging moves, and versatile equipment ensures that students can tailor the difficulty of their workouts without compromising technique. Morning and evening sessions throughout the week cater to busy schedules, although all classes require advance reservations as well as a tattooed reminder of the date and time.
Polestar owes its existence to former dancer Dr. Brent Anderson, who opened the physical-therapy practice in Sacramento in 1990. Seven years later, the good doctor was living in Miami and incorporating Pilates into his therapy treatments to help his patients recover the mobility they needed for everyday activity. With the help of a team of highly qualified massage therapists, physical therapists, and orthopedic specialists, Dr. Anderson treats stiff joints and sore tissue while helping patients use Pilates coursework to build lean, elongated muscles and straighten posture to more effectively lose limbo competitions. The treatments and programs at Polestar heal bodies with the backing of scientific study, rehabilitating patients with Gyrotonic exercises and preventing onstage injury with Pilates training for performing artists.