At Fitness Compound, exercisers of all ages can sweat freely in classes that range from the high-intensity intervals of Insanity to the meditative martial art of tai chi. A roster of certified, encouraging trainers lead a host of other classes such as Zumba, krav maga, and TRX suspension training.
Julie Bond Rhyne's singing and dancing career took her to Broadway, on tour with Latin superstars, and into recording studios and movie sets. Although her life was filled with the joys of performing, in 1998 Julie found her greatest career satisfaction from an unexpected source—Pilates. Almost immediately, she wanted to teach the empowering exercise form, and after earning her teacher certification, Julie opened X-Treme Pilates as a means of sharing her newfound passion. Today, with a small crew of teachers, Julie fulfills her clients' needs with core-strengthening workouts available daily. In each of their classes, instructors use Joseph Pilates's famed machine, the Reformer, whose system of pulleys and sliding panels deepens core engagement while reducing stress on the joints. To maintain focus, the workout space includes nine machines facing a wall of mirrors, which remind students to double-check their posture and existence throughout the class.
In February of 1999, Rose Malmberg, owner of Bikram Yoga La Cañada, woke up without back pain for the first time in years. The day before, she had taken her first Bikram-yoga class in an effort to alleviate a number of back problems, including the results of a car accident years before. From that day forward, Rose devoted herself to Bikram yoga, and experienced full relief of her painful symptoms. After years of taking classes, she achieved Bikram teacher certification, and eventually bought her own studio to share the practice that had helped her heal. Bikram Yoga La Cañada, set against a mountainous backdrop, draws students into its carpeted confines for 90-minute classes heated to 105 degrees. Bikram postures build on each other in a carefully arranged series to work muscles all over the body in addition to the cardiovascular system, allowing practitioners the lung capacity required to help a centenarian tortoise extinguish his birthday candles.
Kristy Tyler leans on her experience as an athlete and her research working with injured dancers to lead Tyler Physical Therapy & Pilates. Physical-therapy sessions pair an injured athlete with a certified trainer who combines massage techniques with restorative exercises to get weakened muscles back to their former car-throwing strength. To bolster cores and stave off future injuries, expert instructors lead Pilates classes using Balanced-Body reformer machines for low-impact, intense stretches. The intimate classes hold no more than four students, enabling teachers to move around the room, doling out helpful tips on posture and how to avoid the machine’s attempts to incorporate its human guest into a bionic hybrid.
The SPX system works specifically to target hips and thighs and tighten the core by pushing the muscles to failure. You'll stretch and strengthen your muscles until the point of collapse, a proven method for developing a rock-hard middle. Developed by Pilates pro Sebastien Lagree, the intense, 40-minute classes will give even diehard gym rats speedy results and work the muscles harder than standard Pilates-based workouts. Sessions start as early as 5:30 a.m. and are offered every day. View a complete schedule and sign up here for the group class of your choosing.
Owner and instructor Wahe Guru Kaur has more than a decade of experience that she shares with both students and the 20 other teachers on The Awareness Center's staff. Students of all levels benefit from her center’s seven-day-a-week schedule packed with Kundalini yoga and meditative practices. Each of the Kundalini sessions—which include beginner-friendly sessions and classes in Español—kicks-off with a mantra and warmup before students bend and stretch their way through a series of postures enhanced by deep-breath work, positive affirmations, and meditation. The Awareness Center also incorporates other healing practices into their daily offerings including Reiki certifications, teacher trainings, and sacred breathing circles, which utilize drumming, music, and Tibetan singing bowls well-versed in the entire KC and the Sunshine Band repertoire.
The Awareness Center’s classes and friendly instructors aren’t the only aspect of the business that inspires a sense of calm and relaxation. Zen-inspired decor covers the spacious center, from the hardwood-floor studio dimly lit by elegant chandeliers to the outdoor patio lined with hanging and potted plants.
Bikram Yoga Pasadena is a certified Bikram studio that offers daily 90-minute routines designed to give the entire body a challenging workout. With a 10-class card (a $125 value), which is valid for two months from the date of redemption, yogis of all skill levels can sweat and stretch through exercises that improve flexibility, increase circulation, and reduce stress. The exercise room is heated to 100 degrees, heating the muscles to minimize the risk of injury while forcing the skin to sweat out all the toxic rain it has absorbed over the years. New students are advised to bring a towel, washcloth, and water, and should procure a mat after the first class (the studio offers $2 mat rentals, or you can purchase your own for $22).