Michele Mangione thought she might never dance again after a car wreck smashed her skull and fractured four fragile vertebrae. By practicing yoga, she regained her mobility and acquired a new passion: helping others find health and happiness through movement. To this end, she eagerly studied the mind-body connection, earning a PhD in the topic from Ohio State and an advanced teaching certification from the Yoga Alliance. Armed with extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and philosophy, she founded WiseWays, a studio that blends Hatha yoga with healing arts, such as tai chi, structural integration, and the Feldenkrais method of somatic education. Here, students of all skill levels build strong bodies, centered minds, and spirits as buoyant as the studio's suspended-wood floor. Yoga instruction takes place in one-on-one sessions and small-group classes, where pupils hone poses that gently unlock hips, shoulders, and safes filled with middle-school-era diary entries. As strength and flexibility increase, students progress to sun salutations that cultivate balance, focus, and a pervasive sense of calm.
Balanced Yoga’s two dozen passionate yogis lead daily classes that stretch and lengthen limbs through various yoga techniques. As the sun streams in through the wide windows and refracts off the shiny hardwood floors, the instructors flow with students through different poses designed to strengthen muscles and center minds. They lead classes that focus on the different traditions of yoga: Vinyasa yoga for a fluid progression of heat-building poses, Ashtanga yoga that challenges stretchers with vigorous, fixed postures, and prenatal yoga that teaches babies to om in utero. With fingers reaching toward the patterned ceilings, teachers and guests together create a community of relaxed, patient, and strong yoga enthusiasts.
Within the temperature-controlled interior of what used to be a warehouse, students flow from sun salutations to standing lunges before rising into rigorous poses. At the head of the class stands the studio's founder, Julie Verhoff Pipes, relaying the athletic blend of yoga and aerobics that she personally developed from a combination of Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Bikram yoga techniques.
Though softened by woven curtains and hanging lanterns, the studio's raw, industrial feel remains. The Spartan decor increases focus since the studio possesses no distracting pictures or traditional yoga clowns.
With a pass to Zumba or Nia dance classes, you get a six-pack of entertaining group classes that harness the expressive power of dance to fuel cardio fitness, weight loss, and newly jazzed hands. If a heavy bag killed your parents, avenge them with the six-week intensive kickboxing cardio class, which, along with boosting the cardiovascular system, lends extreme strength to the muscles required for fist pumping during shredding guitar solos. To target the heart, the whole heart, and a bunch of tubes attached to the heart, take kickboxing to the next level of socially sublimated violence with a duo of Cardio Blast sessions. These high-intensity, 20-minute sessions are one on one and supervised by a trained bag-handler who ensures the use of proper techniques and keeps bags from unleashing their arsenal of hurtful jokes about your mother. Check out the schedule of classes to catch the group wave for cardio classes or group fitness dance sessions.
Yoga on High serves as the focal point for a growing community of yoga enthusiasts dedicated to diverse, yet related practices. The studio caters to such a wide range of interests by employing more than 30 instructors. Each instructor possesses a unique yoga philosophy that complements the studio's overall goal of creating a welcoming environment for students of all ages and skill levels. Additionally, Yoga on High's comprehensive teacher-training programs swell the studio's community by fostering the next generations of impassioned instructors.
At Yoga on High, the instructors embrace three core styles of practice. Iyengar-based Hatha classes emphasize physical alignment and mind-body awareness. Ashtanga sessions invigorate students with more active poses and a heated studio space that can reach 80 degrees. Vinyasa classes teach attendees to link breath with movement, creating seamlessly transitioning asana sequences. However, the studio doesn't limit itself to these three styles. In addition to aerial yoga and Pilates, the schedules include specialty classes that explore different aspects of yoga?meditation, breathing techniques, prop-assisted recovery poses?in greater depth.
Since their near-simultaneous invention in the 1930s, yoga and Pilates have been locked in the smiling ferocity of mortal frenemy combat, each vying for wellness superiority. Today's deal brings the two sides together and seals the pact with a massage. For $49, first-time clients get a two-class pass ($50) and one 60-minute Yamuna Body Rolling (YBR) massage ($60) at Focused Fitness, a $110 total value.