To stay true to the ever-changing genre it represents—and keep security guards entertained despite their short attention spans—the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art continually changes the artwork that adorns its 6,300 square feet of exhibition space. Though the exhibits predominately feature work from living artists, from the nature-inspired art of Richmond native Sayaka Suzuki to the fantastical landscapes of Jean-Pierre Roy, seminal pieces from late legends settle in from time to time, such as an Andy Warhol exhibit that borrowed pieces from the artist's eponymous gallery and banana farm in Pittsburgh. Beyond its exhibits, MOCA also promotes art education through studio-art classes—sometimes taught by the very virtuosos whose works grace the museum walls—and outreach programs. Held twice a year on the shores of Virginia Beach, outdoor art shows invite national artists to compete in juried contests by signing their own names on lost Picassos.
Certified by the Yoga Alliance, the instructors at Hot Yoga Studio lead daily detoxifying lessons in which they slide into peaceful poses on their studio’s bamboo floors. A wall-length window floods the studio with natural light and offers a glimpse of the world outside, and tall mirrors reflect the yogis as they lead their classes inside a heated environment. This steamy setting purges toxins from the body and allows practitioners to sink more deeply into each stretch.
During the studio’s more intense classes, students cycle through up to 30 postures that release oxygenated blood to organs, which can lead to more efficient living. After class, full-service locker rooms await with showers, shampoo, and blow-dryers. The studio’s shelves are also stocked with towels, mats, organic mat cleaners, and artisanal soaps made with goat's milk and moisture from the clouds that the instructors levitate on.
"There is no room for ego" in the yoga classes at Studio Bamboo Institute of Yoga, according to its website. There's also no room for the stresses of daily life?they're crowded out by calming earth tones, high ceilings, and floors made from bamboo and river rocks. In this environment, students can easily locate some time for introspection through movement-based classes.
In three practice rooms, instructors lead sessions that embrace the full spectrum of yoga styles, ranging from gentle and meditative to kinetic and physically demanding. They introduce new students to yoga's fundamental poses and breathing exercises while helping them develop a greater sense of self-awareness. Bamboo's flexible schedule of classes is tailored to the needs of everyone from expectant mothers to people living with mobility issues. Hot yoga sessions are also an option, thanks to a custom heat and vent system.
At Fitness Together, getting fit involves getting focused and fired up to achieve. Here, certified personal trainers guide clients of all skill levels through motivating boot-camps and exercise programs designed to meet goals loftier than a giraffe’s basketball hoop. To help their charges torch calories and tone muscles as efficiently as possible, the trainers incorporate evidence-based training methods, such as intervals, tempos, and fartlek, into each fitness regimen. Filled with cardio challenges and resistance training, workouts are tailored to individual needs and paired with nutrition tips that help the body build lean muscle. In-studio sessions take place in a private, spa-like studio, flush with grey and lime-green walls and functional training tools such as medicine balls, kettlebells, and gymnastics rings.
Under the managerial eye of owner and professional marathon runner Tom Purcell, Town Center Fitness’s crew of certified personal trainers welcomes guests into an encouraging environment. On any given day, the gym’s workout spaces buzz with bodies spinning, running, and lindy-hopping atop meticulously maintained Precor cardio equipment or sculpting showroom-floor muscles as they curl Hampton free weights. Within the spacious, wood-floored studio, the energetic instructors guide students through classes from across the aerobic spectrum, from gentle yoga to high-intensity cardio sculpt. The gym’s complimentary towel service and onsite locker facilities ensure comfortable cooldown sessions, and the staff acquaints new members with the equipment during orientations.
Virginia Beach Rock Gym is anchored by a 32-foot wall, where auto belay, top rope, and lead climbing sections help guests tackle realistically textured slabs, inverts, roofs, bulges, cracks, corners, and arêtes. Two 12-foot tall freestanding boulders are available for climbers wanting to develop strength and practice technique while staying low to the ground. In addition to supervising the climbing areas, VBRG’s friendly, knowledgeable, and professional staff members also run a fully stocked pro shop and teach classes that cover topics, including knot-tying, belaying, the philosophies of the "rock star" lifestyle, and the ever-important technique of traversing past a pterodactyl nest without disturbing the mother.