The most practiced students at YogAsylum are not the ones who can touch their toes?they?re the ones who know how far they can safely reach. Fueled by the belief that yoga is an individual experience, the instructors prioritize personal exploration of physical limits over competition. They put this principle into action while leading classes that accommodate guests of any experience level and cover styles such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Hatha. Using provided props, bolsters, and blankets, they help students ease their bodies into more challenging poses. Because they advocate a holistic approach to spiritual health, they offer more than drop-in classes?they provide energy healing and spiritual counseling in addition to therapeutic massage in their wellness center. They also hold musical events, special workshops, and a registered Yoga Alliance teacher training program that has been approved by the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board.
YogAsylum is one of the largest studios in Wisconsin, and was built from scratch to incorporate eco-friendly principles and elements of feng shui. Its cork floors diminish joint discomfort in students stretching beneath energy-efficient bulbs, and movable walls can easily resize the space to accommodate bigger groups and alter the difficulty of life-size games of Pong.
Absolute Pilates?s instructors are far from old-school. Though they each boast extensive training in traditional Pilates?and teach classic mat classes?they focus largely on incorporating modern equipment into the ancient practice. Pilates Reformers, Towers, chairs, and even the barre are used during classes, often in combination with each other to optimize workouts and results. The equipment helps students of all levels maintain their balance and target dormant muscles, transforming standard Pilates into a more effective workout. But teachers still maintain the welcoming, personal environment long attributed to Pilates studios and grandma?s doomsday bunker.
To help students of all ages and abilities stave of injuries and retain youthful flexibility, instructors turn to Bikram Choudhury’s unique spin on yoga, leading a fixed series of 26 postures in 105-degree heat. The heat helps deepen each stretch, kick start circulation, detoxify the body, and disguise any chronic sweating conditions. Bikram Yoga Milwaukee's instructors host more than 50 weekly classes between both locations.
Ronda Arndorfer began exploring Pilates in 2001 at the age of 40, when she was trying to recover from the multiple running injuries she incurred while training for her first marathon. Her rehabilitation was so successful that she decided to learn how to share the experience with others. She became a certified Pilates instructor and?after opening a studio out of her home?eventually founded The Movement Center, a place where students can restore both body and mind in a positive, lighthearted environment. Arndorfer continues to attend workshops and teacher trainings with master instructors throughout the country. This exposure has allowed the Movement Center to offer multiple Teacher Training Programs ranging from Pilates, yoga, and barre to the benefit of her own staff members as well as the local movement community.
Arndorfer's passion for movement has paid off: the center has been featured in numerous television and magazine media outlets and was voted the Best Pilates Studio by CityVoter in 2009, 2010, and 2011. They have also garnered praise from a slew of local media outlets. In addition to traditional yoga and Pilates classes, the crew offers innovative and challenging techniques such as aerial yoga?in which students "float" on a trapeze-like swing?and yoga performed on open water using a standup paddleboard. Barre classes require students to hold onto a ballet barre or the outstretched arm of a handsome stranger while strengthening muscles with a mix of yoga- and Pilates-inspired moves.
The center's team includes massage therapists, a nutritionist, and a physical therapist and certified Feldenkrais practitioner who continue the healing that begins within each class. They also offer childcare for guests' convenience.
The core is quite literally at the center of all the classes at Infinite Balance & Wellness. Each session are informed by PiYo, a mind, body and spirit connection that combines elements of Pilates and yoga, for a dynamic workout. Basic PiYo works to lengthen and strengthen muscles during moderately paced routines, whereas PiYo Stretch is slower paced, focusing on breathing exercises and the most body-conscious way to curl into the fetal position during awkward encounters. The final iteration is Pumping PiYo, with weight added to suit the students level of participation.
The founders of Reaching Treetops Yoga believe in the power of an all-inclusive fitness community. To that end, they have brought together yoga, Zumba, core-strengthening classes, tai chi, and aerial yoga in two studios in Waukesha. The aerial-yoga classes introduce students to weightless stretching as they flow through yoga poses while suspended several feet off the ground in a silk hammock.