AE Fitness Montclair offers more than a typical workout experience, but rather a roadmap to a comprehensive healthy lifestyle. Their gym corals the usual suspects such as cardio machines, strength training machines, and free weights, and supplements them with a posse of classes ranging from yoga and Zumba to Pilates, and Burn 30 Weight Loss. They also employ a team of certified personal trainers that design a customized workout plan for each client.
Inside Boone Studio, exercisers follow the lead of energetic instructors as they bend, bob, and stretch their way to stronger, more flexible physiques. During barre workouts, participants alternate exercises that build long, lean muscles with the help of body weight, weighted gloves, and resistance bands. These workouts can also take place in a room heated to 85 degrees, which helps loosen muscles, flush systems, and improve the deep isometrics and contractions of each session. The ballet barre also plays an important role in many of Boone’s other classes, helping yoga and Pilates students emphasize alignment as they bend, breathe, and grind their skateboards.
For the past 25 years, Starseed Yoga & Wellness has provided a space for guests to get in shape and relieve anxiety through yoga and meditation. The staff understands that starting yoga can be overwhelming, so they offer more than 25 classes each week to suit students with different levels of experience or rebellious students who refuse to salute the sun. Students can participate in vigorous Vinyasa sessions or gentle restorative yoga, or head to mind-body workshops held at different times throughout the year.
Bodily alignment can help create order in the mind and heart as well, according to Omni Kitts Ferrara, the professional dancer who owns Yoga Montclair and sister studio Yoga Morristown. At the Yoga Alliance approved 200 RYS and 500 RYS studios, she and her team of Yoga Alliance–certified teachers shepherd students toward the peace and goodness that lie within using flowing movements and moments of meditation. They welcome students of all experience levels and walks of life, inviting them to stay "as long as the conversation intrigues [them]." To cultivate physical and metaphysical strength, classes pair inspirational words with poses as playful as a puppy fetching a red clown nose. Instructors begin each session with a mind-centering exercise before launching into stretches, balances, and breath work that melt stress and bolster flexibility. Basic and Gentle routines teem with beginner-friendly poses and alignment guidance, and Level I/II classes ready students for intermediate-level backbends, headstands, and handstands.
The team of certified yoga instructors at Aquarian Yoga Center don't just teach their students; they also establish a community. Yogis immerse visitors of all ages and ability levels in the lifestyle, chiefly by following the tenets of kundalini-style yoga. In many of the 25 classes each week, they guide students through breathing exercises and the kundalini set of poses, pairing these exercises with meditation, the beat of a gong, or the mournful wail of a weeping guitarist. Other styles, such as yoga therapy and gentle flow, round out the offerings. Meanwhile, a packed calendar of events such as concerts, kirtan, and dance classes allow guests to explore other cultural pursuits. An on-site retail shop helps students continue their practice with goods ranging from organic healthcare products and oils to yoga clothing and books.
Equipment: Dumbbells, kettle bell, cable columns, TRX, sleds, 25-yard turf track
Students should bring: Comfortable exercise clothes, sneakers
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes, everyone must call to schedule their first training session
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Show up a few minutes early to take care of paperwork and be ready for a great training experience.