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.
Set against an open, airy backdrop of clean studio space and zen-like décor, The Space Above’s dedicated brood of body pullers melt tense muscles and empty stress-filled skulls with their serene yoga practice. Dedicated to positivity and openness, the studio embraces eco-friendly practices, such as recycling, composting, and using recycled karma whenever available.
At Chesapeake Hot Yoga, yoga isn't a religious practice or a bodybuilding routine. It's a way to cultivate wellness while expressing oneself. Helmed by Arianna Gallagher, a globetrotting instructor who's trained with famous yogis such as B.K.S. Iyengar and Bikram Choudhury, the studio pairs alignment-focused teaching with a spirit as warm and inviting as a welcome mat made of hot coals. Led by experienced and registered instructors, Bikram-inspired Hot Yoga classes revolve around 25–30 poses performed in a sweltering classroom. In addition to limbering muscles, the temperature promotes blood flow, pain relief, and toxin release. During restorative Yin classes, yogis of all levels can borrow free blocks, straps, and towels to bolster lengthy, floor-based poses. After class, students can stay for a massage or practice yogic breathing techniques in the locker rooms, where calming steam swirls around gratis bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
A 30-foot rock-climbing wall soars up through The Energy Fitness Club's two floors, towering over the 17,000 square feet of fitness facilities. Certified guides lead students up the custom-built routes during official climbing-certification classes. The presence of credentialed experts extends to private training studios, where nationally certified instructors lead a variety of innovative group fitness classes, along with boot camp, personal-training sessions, and nutrition consultations.
Below the climbing apparatus, rows of advanced cardio and strength-training equipment challenge guests. Once they retire from the club’s exercise arena, clients can revel in the elegant hardwood lockers that wrap the walls of the full-service changing rooms. Childcare facilities are also available. Throughout the month, the club hosts social events—from group hikes to happy hours with complimentary wine tastings—providing clients a chance to mingle and politely request permission to poke the bulging muscles of the buffest members.
Since 1988, Midlothian Athletic Club has dedicated its 70,000 square feet to myriad forms of achieving healthy living. Whether members want to hone tennis and racquetball skills, break a sweat in group exercise classes such as spinning and BodyPump, or relax in a sauna, they can do it at the MAC. The staff troll a stock of cardio and strength-training equipment, including FreeMotion Elite weight machines, Life Fitness treadmills and ellipticals, and Precor machines, ready to dole out technique pointers. At the indoor pool, swimmers can get a workout on the lap lanes, slip down water slides, or pretend to be toddlers in the kiddie pool. The club also has six indoor lanes, where instructors lead water-aerobics classes that are gentler on joints than moon aerobics.
To help guests recover after a hard workout, the Midlothian Athletic Club hosts many means of relaxation. The massage therapists calibrate their fingers to several styles of kneading, including deep-tissue, Swedish, and myofascial release massage. At the MAC Cafe, chefs sear turkey burgers, bake lime-chili parmesan fries, and blend protein shakes to order for nutritious refueling.
Following handshakes, Stephanie Forbes Hudgins’s preferred greeting for new clients is inspections of their spines. The certified Pilates instructor conducts detailed alignment evaluations as part of introductory sessions, during which she studies new students’ postures, pinpoints their goals, and outlines their medical histories. The consultations enable her to personalize her future lessons—she is well versed in making her exercises easier to accommodate those who are injured, pregnant, or really full. Her studio's policy is one of universal acceptance: guests of every age and experience level are welcome.
The team of instructors' private, duet, and group lessons encompass the focused stretches and core-tightening holds of both classic and modern Pilates, aided by ample tools such as Reformers, chairs, balls, tubing, and TRX Suspension cords. Her staff's curriculum reaches beyond Pilates to include barre fitness and other disciplines. Zumba classes, for example, take visitors through festive cardio-dance routines, and sessions of assisted stretching release muscular tension while ensuring that you don't lunge too deeply and become permanently stuck.