Vasa. The Latin word for "vessel," it's one way of describing something that contains the mind's hope, the body's ambitions, and the spirit's goals. It's also the name of Vasa Fitness, an inclusive gym that acts as the vessel for (and catalyst of) its members' fitness aspirations. At 17 locations throughout Utah, the gym's more than 140,000 members draw strength and inspiration from cardio and free-weight studios, personal training, and group fitness classes. In addition to achieving personal goals, they also target their in-game performance, training on turf that mimics conditions found everywhere from the football field to the soccer pitch. It's not all hard work, though. The gyms also come with amenities ranging from cardio cinema centers to on-site childcare programs.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
On Saturday nights, the asphalt, three-eighths-of-a-mile oval track at Rocky Mountain Raceways plays host to roaring rounds of high-speed racing, with heats of sprint cars, hornets, and modified mavericks zooming around the track. Cheer on the Ford Focus midgets as they circle low to the ground, or hold your breath at each and every intersection pass of the Super Stock cars as they careen into the crossing of the figure eight. Your Groupon is good for general-seating sections of the open-air grandstand, as well as two popcorns (a $4 value) to keep your face’s other two senses placated while your eyes get to have all the fun.
The enthusiastic instructors at local Yoga patiently coach aspiring yogis as they stretch torsos and reach toes sky-high in supportive group yoga sessions. Amid ivory walls and colorful accents, students vogue through fundamental asanas in Intro to Yoga classes, as the session-helming relaxation gurus eagerly impart expert tips and answer questions. To kick-start cardiovascular health, Power 2 classes sweep sinews through a fast-paced sequence of fluid Vinyasa poses, and Express Yoga loosens up taut muscles and rusty Leave It to Beaver lunchboxes during swift 45-minute sessions. Alternatively, pupils can gradually banish stress with Deep Flow classes, which nurture supple sinews with meditative, sustained poses that make The Thinker statue seem fidgety.
In an unassuming building tucked away off a suburban road, enormous fish swim, pastel penguins turn their backs to the wind, and giraffes in sunglasses strut. These works are the result of art camps and classes for students aged 4 and older at Mesa Art Studio. Founder Kris Cannaday has taught art in various forms and mediums for more than 25 years, but she continues to enhance her brush skills by attending seminars, taking art classes, and painting designs on loved ones’ faces while they sleep. She teaches courses geared toward kids' attention spans as well as broad-ranging adult classes that last up to two hours. Cannaday’s patient approach to teaching allows her to reach students of all skill levels, including those with learning and physical disabilities. During her three-day summer camps, she also introduces kids to arty fundamentals. During the trio of sessions, kids armed with art markers, colored pencils, or even pastels engage with projects ranging from portraits of zoo animals and cartoony faces to kiddie-sized facsimiles of works by masters from Van Gogh to Cezanne.
At Utah Digital Trail, a Utah-based freelance photographer hosts hands-on workshops to help students harness their creativity while capturing evocative images. Workshops such as The Art of Composition and Canvas Gallery Wraps cover a range of topics and offer shutterbugs the opportunity to add new skills to their tool bags or fanny packs. One-on-one instruction lets students choose their own areas of focus during private sessions.