Founder Rick Sweitzer started the adventure travel company in 1983 before leading one of the first amateur dogsled expeditions to North Pole. Driven by his vision, the guides and instructors of The Northwest Passage lead travelers of all skill and fitness levels to some of the most dramatic terrain on the planet. Locally, the team leads outings around the Chicago area, ranging from stand-up paddleboarding classes on Lake Michigan to kayaking and camping trips in Door County, Wisconsin. As for the rest of the world, Northwest Passage sends it adventurers to conquer it locale by stunning locale during programs that include hiking across Europe, trekking to remote Polar regions, and dressing up like scientists to infiltrate Area 51.
The Akemi Fitness Method studio hosts a mix of alternative workout classes that incorporates a range of movements to tone muscles, improve equilibrium, and enhance endurance. Inspired by the results-oriented Lotte Berk Method, this workout style engages students in core exercises, dance, yoga, and light weight training during a variety of classes. Laura Baginski of Time Out Chicago notes that the Akemi barre class caused her to "walk out feeling taller, leaner," thanks to its combination of ballet barre exercises, Pilates, and free weights. Combat fit classes combine elements from ballet, hip-hop, kickboxing, and yoga, adding in cardiovascular exercises to burn fat and light resistance training to sculpt frames until they achieve the angular glisten of a Roman statue. An hour of the arms, abs and booty session firms appendages, six-packs, and seats. With classes held throughout the day, seven days a week, Akemi's calendar accommodates students with all types of schedules.
Instructors at North Shore Yoga and therapists at Integrated Healing Center promote holistic well-being with a one-two punch of movement-based classes and salutary bodywork sessions. Owner Sharyn Galindo honed her yogic talents over 10 years of dedicated practice, including occasional sojourns to Mysore, India and Thailand where she studied Ashtanga techniques while accumulating enough frequent-flyer miles to vacation on Jupiter. Under her tutelage, North Shore Yoga instructors emphasize Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga styles, helping students deepen stretches by heating rooms up to 84 degrees for the majority of sessions. To augment a lifestyle of physical wellness, Integrated Health Center's therapists dole out healing bodywork and alternative treatments, including acupuncture and massage sessions that can help address clients' individual needs by incorporating aromatherapy or organic, herb-infused oils.
Lisa Faremouth Weber, the founder and owner of Heaven Meets Earth, wanted her studio to be a sacred space where students could come for a regular yoga practice and leave refreshed. That's why her commitment to student health reaches beyond the classes and into the very nontoxic paint that coats the studio's walls. Heaven Meets Earth is one of Evanston's only green yoga studios, featuring sustainable bamboo floors, an eco-boutique, and paper products made out of still-living trees.
Certified instructors lead the studio's workshops, teacher-training, meditation classes. They teach students to control their breath and build strength during Sacred Vinyasa classes, and also branch out into Pilates and dance-fitness classes. Teen, child, and family classes instill a sense of peace and focus in the light-filled studio, which features a wall of inspirational quotes.
Coaching at every level of the workout world, CrossFit Shoreside owner Michelle Larson and coach Will Howard share more than two decades of motivational fitness experience. They devoted more than 10 of those years to mastering CrossFit-specific instruction, know-how that they now puts to use with the help of their talented team of fellow instructors. At a studio nestled amid the shops and restaurants of downtown Evanston, the team leads intense 60-minute sessions built on exercises designed to increase functional mobility and flexibility. Although the experience is always challenging, it's also for everyone; thanks to the classes' small size, coaches can scale and modify the workouts to integrate students of all ages and ability levels. The gym even offers CrossFit classes for kids, where age-appropriate exercises encourage healthy habits at a young age, teaching students the benefits of an active lifestyle.
After more than a decade spent establishing an innovative contemporary dance company in Santa Fe, Foster Dance Studios founder Ronn Stewart has touched down once more in a studio beside the Foster Purple Line stop. As the flipside of training the pros of the Joffrey Ballet, Stewart stretches an artistic arm toward as wide a student base as possible with his trademark MoPeD—or More People Dancing—curriculum. Exercises designed to develop rich internal imagery and a strong connection to one's body bear fruit in fluid, aerobic movements that spring from within each student. The center's inclusive philosophy extends to Everybody Move classes, where young children develop motor skills that go beyond racecar imitation by twirling scarves in the air, bouncing balls, and playing musical instruments. The newly constructed studios also find room for Gyrotronic fitness classes and dance schooling in nearly every established mode, along with vivid abstract art accidentally produced by a dancer in a just-painted tutu.