In oases of wellness scattered across Canada, GoodLife Fitness strives to improve people's lives with exercise classes for all ages and skill levels. For cardio, there's RPM, a high-energy spinning class, or Jillian Michaels's metabolism-boosting BodyShred. For mental serenity as well as healthy flexibility, there's hot yoga and Pilates. And for strength training, there's BodyPump, a barbell class; BodyFlow, a mix of yoga, tai chi, and Pilates; and BodyVive, a low-impact workout using Vive balls and tubes. GoodLife also offers corporate and business partnerships to ensure wellness in the workplace.
Limber instructors stimulate heart rates and empower participants with a variety of fitness and dance classes. A one-month pass (a $75 value) grants health bugs the chance to hop across the studio's flexible schedule and sample various steps choreographed to energize the body, mind, soul, and the Tin Man's heart. Yoga fiends may rejoice at the inclusion of flow and Kundalini classes for a revolutionary celebration of healthy self-expression. Arrive with a water bottle and comfortable workout attire in tow or make them appear with a saved third genie wish.
Multiple fitness disciplines converge at Studio 4 Athletics. The heritage-style facility that was ranked number one in the Best of the City Gym/Fitness Studio category by the Victoria News houses two floors and eight training areas, each dedicated to a distinct purpose. The cardio area whirrs with the sound of treadmills and ellipticals, and the strength-training area clinks with the sound of free weights and functional-training equipment. In a cycling room, trainers lead a stationary Tour de France. Other studios play host to yoga, dance fitness classes, and boot camps. Within a boxing ring, instructors teach students how to duel their way to tighter forms, or mix fighting and creative movement into art forms known as capoeira and slap-hopscotch.
The instructors at Two Bettys Bikini Bootcamp commit to a weighty promise—that their clients will be beach-ready in six weeks—and commit their charges to an equally intense workout regimen. The boot-camp classes blend running, stair climbing, hula-hooping, yoga, and even some moves on the ballet barre to set metabolisms racing. But that doesn't mean the teachers act as drill sergeants—to the contrary, each group session is rife with affirmations and support.
To some, visiting another country is a reprieve from everyday life and an opportunity to learn about another culture. To others, it is a life-changing experience. Jennifer Pritchard’s sojourn in Mysore, India cemented the foundation for what eventually would become The Yoga Shala. During her travels, Jennifer was inspired to return home to create a warm and inviting space for practicing yoga, and is one of a select number of Canadians to receive teaching authorization from the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute. At her studio today, which was voted Best of the City in 2010 by readers of Victoria News, she and her team of instructors uphold authentic yoga principles to help students improve their physical and mental well-being.
The Yoga Shala’s curriculum is rooted in the Ashtanga style of yoga, in which practitioners synchronize their breath with postures to build up internal heat, flushing out toxins and convincing the spleen that it’s vacationing in Mexico. The instructors cater classes to beginning and advanced students alike, encouraging them to work at their own pace, detailing easier or more challenging modifications to poses. Advanced-level courses focus on arm balances, deep hip work, back bends, and solidifying core muscles. The Yoga Shala regularly hosts community-building social events, and Acro Yoga and Kirtan Chanting nights are offered twice a month. The studio also offers teacher apprenticeships each season and hosts a yoga tour group retreat with a 200-hour immersion to India each winter.
Sophin Sarin’s passion for fitness ignited when he started playing sports in middle school, and his desire to share it with others has not wavered since. He founded Twork It Out Fitness to help his clients fit into healthier lifestyles through hard work and discipline. His 35-minute boot-camp classes require resolve, as students power through interval-training workouts that build muscle and strengthen the cardiovascular system. As with any sustained period of intense exercise, metabolism stays stoked afterward, burning more calories in a 48-hour period without having to train yourself to sleep-jog. Classes meet six days a week, with morning and evening sessions to convenience an array of schedules.