When Studio Rue claimed Fox 2's Best of STL for fitness studios, the award was well-earned. After all, its head instructor Kelly Ruesing, certified in Stott Pilates, approaches Pilates from a fresh angle: for medical purposes. She uses the practice as a complement to physical therapy to help clients recover from injuries more quickly. That's why the class schedule includes sessions set at varying intensities, from power Pilates and classes that use the tower or Reformer, to gentle Hatha flow yoga.
At Z Total Body, trainers lead energizing and up-tempo workouts that help clients burn calories, lose weight, and sleep easy at night. Members select from a diverse menu of group fitness classes that range from traditional cardio and abdominal workouts to inventive classes that integrate belly dance or hula-hooping. Instructors also build brawn via interval resistance training and muscle-confusion classes and Wild Card Workouts, which blend cardio and muscle training with full-contact card games of Crazy Eights.
Above all else, Bikram Yoga emphasizes personal growth and development—not competition and comparison. That means newcomers are welcome to attend alongside experienced practitioners. Although the sessions at Bikram Yoga St. Louis may seem like a more physical challenge at first, the goal is for students to recognize and strengthen the connection that exists between the mind, body, and spirit. This progress does bolster physical fitness, but also creates a restorative and relaxing experience.
Every 90-minute session consists of the exact same sequence of two breathing exercises and 26 standing and seated asanas. These physically demanding postures use deep bends and twists to work muscle groups and organ systems throughout the body, pushing oxygenated blood where it's needed most and building strength and stamina. If you're having trouble with any pose, that's no problem: the instructors can recommend slight modifications. For more advice, visit the studio's website.
The instructors heat the practice space to sweat-inducing levels for each class, increasing circulation and aiding in the release of toxins. In addition to loosening tight muscles—which allows students to sink deeper into each stretch—this heat also has profound mental benefits. The extra challenge encourages attendees to focus on each posture's alignment and orientation while learning how to accept the heat, concentrate on breathing, and practice a calmer mental state. After class, separate changing rooms with showers are available for those looking to refresh themselves.
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Having practiced since 1997, training under leaders in the field, and serving as the sole yoga instructor for the Kashi company in 2008, owner Brigette Niedringhaus opened Southtown Yoga with the goal of bringing a unique approach to the city yoga-studio concept. In doing so, Brigette built up a schedule replete with a variety of classes held in a warm and welcoming environment for students of all skill levels. The Riverfront Times recognized her efforts by naming Southtown Yoga its Best Yoga Studio in 2008. The staff that helped earned that award features 11 highly trained instructors who guide students through a series of poses during 45- to 90-minute group classes. Slow-paced Basics courses pave the way for Mixed Level sessions that expand on the fundamental concepts, and rooftop classes enable students to mix up the workout scenery, like lifting weights in a phone booth. Classes are available seven days a week, with some sessions beginning as early as 6:30 a.m. and as late as 7:30 p.m.
The instructors at YogaSource strive to make yoga accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability. To meet that goal, they offer eleven types of classes split between two studios, which are kept at different temperatures to accommodate those who prefer to stay calm and cool during practice, as well as those who like to sweat as they stretch. Yoga basics and intro to Hatha classes lead newcomers from pose to pose to build a foundation for future practice, and may incorporate props such as straps, blocks, and donuts that dangle just out of reach. Advanced options include power Vinyasa, where students flow through rigorous poses in 90-degree temperatures believed to help increase flexibility and promote detoxification, as well as the open-level class—known as The Practice—in which instructors and students attempt handstands and other challenging feats.
With mindful instruction and loving attitudes, Marbles Yoga Studio's certified yoga teachers support each student on their journey to emotional, physical, and spiritual health and wellness. Studio owner Elizabeth Callahan has studied under celebrated yogis such as John Friend and Seane Corn and taught students ranging from multisport athletes to beginners. The studio's class schedule reflects Elizabeth and her fellow instructors’ diverse experience in many yoga styles, offering patrons vigorous Vinyasa flows, strengthening power classes, and soothing, slower-paced restorative classes. Regular workshops scheduled on weekends delve into individual practices, combining meditative exercise with such creative pursuits as painting or using magic markers to fill out tax forms.