Studio 59 Pilates Fitness’s owner Stacy Darkis has dedicated her life to helping others. She began her career as a clinical medical assistant, but changed course after discovering Pilates and realizing how many more people she’d be able to help by opening her own studio. Today, she helps her students control their muscles and sharpen their bodily awareness in both mat Pilates classes and on Pilates reformers, moving equipment that uses springs to add tension and thus enhance the effectiveness of moves. Her supporting staff of instructors helps fill a robust schedule that also features yoga classes.
Amanda Curtis Kezal wants to restore balance to as many bodies and minds as she can. A yoga instructor for more than 15 years, she not only operates Holistic Pathways, but also teaches yoga in community centers and reaches faraway students with Yoga Online. Fun, laid-back classes at Holistic Pathways include Sports-Mind Yoga, Toning and Sculpting, and Expressive Yoga Dance—a practice from Las Vegas that blends creative and rhythmic movements from around with the world with various yoga styles.
Led by founder Aleksandra Townsend, a team of experienced instructors guides experienced and novice yogis alike through Vinyasa and yin yoga sessions at Spiral Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio. The family-friendly studio also offers yoga classes for kids as young as 2, and provides a kids yoga discovery room to entertain children as their parents practice yoga.
Bikram yoga isn't meant to be easy, but it isn't meant to be impossible either. The 105-degree heat, 40% humidity, and 26 challenging asanas—which incorporate deep bends as well as long, sustained stretches—all share a common goal: helping students safely push their physical limits while gaining a greater understanding of the connection between mind and body.
During each 90-minute class, the asanas' twists and arches create a tourniquet effect, systematically engaging muscle groups throughout the body before releasing the stretch and flooding cells with oxygenated blood flow. The practice room's intense heat accentuates this effect by loosening muscles and ligaments throughout each pose and increasing circulation. To help students tailor the practice to a particular skill or fitness level, the instructors can recommend modified stances that put less strain on the joints and require fewer hoverboots.
Over time, the sequence can improve flexibility and stamina while also increasing muscle tone and helping with weight-loss efforts. In addition, its two breathing exercises encourage a sense of introspective calm that can leave students feeling reinvigorated outside of class.
Pure Movement's band of certified fitness instructors tap their years of experience to help their clients hone strong, flexible physiques. Seven days a week, students flood the studio's roomy practice space for morning and evening classes, where they perform conditioning exercises on the studio's ballet barre to target muscles in the seat, abdominals, arms, and thighs. Using a specialized Pilates Reformer apparatus, pupils perform classic Pilates moves against the tension of a system of ropes, pulleys, and strategically timed Hitchcock movie scores; mat-based classes utilize efficient floor work to toughen cores. The friendly instructors provide personalized attention during each group session, accommodating a range of experience levels and fitness goals.
The experienced instructors at Springboard Pilates bolster cores in individualized sessions that challenge students' muscles on both mats and machines. Under an instructor’s careful guidance, torsos and limbs learn new muscle-toning movements to help push themselves to better fitness during a 50-minute private session, acclimating to Peak Pilates equipment including the Reformer, the ladder barrel, and the Wunda chair. When teamed with mat work, these resistance contraptions expand pupil's repertoire of gut-crunching moves beyond sit-ups and playing the board on Monopoly night. Springboard's staff customizes all classes to account for student's goals, past injuries, and aversion to spring-loaded machinery stemming from traumatic childhood slinky experiences. Nestled in an 1846 townhouse, Springboard’s studio warms tense joints with red walls and decorative fireplaces. Patrons can flex and furrow thoughtful brows along with physiques by viewing gallery pieces from local artists.
A mural of a radiant sun painted in oranges, reds, and yellows covers one of the walls at Portland Power Yoga, mimicking the warmth of the heated room where yoga instructors show ranks of students the proper way to extend their arms as they crouch on their mats. The heat helps facilitate deeper stretching and detoxification as students flow through sequences in 90-minute Basics, All Levels, or Intermediate classes. Instructors condense the same experience into a shorter session during Hour of Power classes and help groups hold extended poses in Yin Yoga, awakening students' connective tissues and convincing nearby deer that they’re actually statues. In addition to regular classes, the studio hosts community workshops with guest instructors and often works in tandem with the bodywork experts at Hara Holistic Health.