Though she had already established four fitness businesses and accrued more than 20 years of experience as an instructor, Blythe Bracey’s introduction to hot yoga was reformative. The art helped her overcome the emotional turmoil of divorce and fueled her tenacity in life, so much so that she opened me. to spread the word about hot yoga’s many benefits. Blythe guides students through classes in a room heated to 100–105 degrees, the known boiling point of inspiration. She encourages guests to make the experience a personal one—just as it was for her—and highlights hot yoga's capacity to boost mental as well as physical health.
Ballet-inspired workouts, boot camp, and Pilates courses are also part of Blythe's curriculum, facilitated by the gym's two floors and trove of equipment. Regardless of their background, all guests progress through routines at their own pace in an effort to cultivate self-awareness.
The Yoga Connection defines spirit as the indefinable energy within us all that allows us to connect with the world around us. This inclusive studio seeks to strengthen that energy by improving physical health and mental clarity through the practice of yoga. Over the past five years, The Yoga Connection’s amiable and supportive instructors have lent their individual training styles to create a varied series of courses that teach the prolonged postures and breathing exercises of the Hatha discipline. Suitable for participants of any fitness level, courses cater to specific needs such as those of seniors, expectant mothers, and those unable to unfold themselves from human-pretzel routines.
In addition to helping students to achieve mental focus through physical expression, instructors delve into the inner-workings of the mind and its effect on habits through mindful-awareness meditation. This newly focused mind can be put to work learning how to teach the craft during the 200-hour yoga certification program. As cherries on the top of its ice-cream sundae of services, The Yoga Connection also offers massage therapy or nutritional advice from its onsite registered dietician, advice that includes not putting cherries on everything.
Granite Falls Swim and Athletic Club’s members gain unbridled access to a 60,000-square-foot paradise of fitness and recreation, where indoor aerobics classes, sporting activities, and poolside recreation await individuals and families of all persuasions. When not absorbed by reality shows and C-SPAN soap operas on the exercise machines’ cardio cinemas, members can take lethargy to task in a range of aerobics, yoga, and Pilates classes hosted in the gym’s lower-level studios. Just next door, a competition-size pool opens its warm, watery arms with eight lanes and 25 yards dedicated to backstroke battles, recreational splish-splashes, and swim-aerobics classes (included with membership). An outdoor waterpark complex ups the aquatic ante with its large pool, lazy river, and a “Big Dipper” slide that momentarily shoots children into outer space for play dates with extraterrestrials. A separate KidZone area ($2.50/hour a child) staffed by highly trained professionals keeps tykes entertained with safe and stimulating activities while their parents hit the gym. The club also hosts special programs and summer camps for children, such as a Gym and Swim class for kids ages 4–7 and cootie self-defense courses for kids of all ages.
CrossFit Garner's team mixes and matches cardio, gymnastic, resistance, and weightlifting exercises to achieve optimal fitness results. Those exercises feature functional movements performed at a high intensity, preparing participants to face any kind of physical activity safely and skillfully. To keep clients motivated, trainers change routines daily and scale workouts to suit each individual. Trainers also ease everyone into workouts with warmups and ease out of them with cool-down sessions.
Drawing from her training in dance and yoga and the Pilates certification she earned in 2001, owner Ashley Hayes leads fitness classes that emphasize mindful movements. She animates a hands-on mentality during Pilates and barre dynamics sessions, which require students to consistently monitor their range of motion. Ashley imparts this approach to help her students increase stamina and muscle tone through the repeated execution of the proper technique, as opposed to brute repetition. Her elegant exercise regimens can build long, lean muscles over time while encouraging the kind of posture that makes a drill sergeant feel like Quasimodo.
Brogi Yoga founder Briana Young discovered her love of yoga when she started taking classes to recover from a dance injury. Though she found that yoga is her true calling, she still incorporates her dance experience into her sessions, making for an upbeat blend of Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga, dance savvy, and music that varies every class.
Whether he’s practicing chiropractic or conducting health lectures, Dr. Josh McMillon never loses sight of his ultimate goal: to guide his patients toward a renewed sense of “hope and vitality.” This lofty mission, which Dr. McMillon shares with his staff at Proactive Health & Wellness, serves as the philosophical foundation of his chiropractic program. His knowledge of human anatomy and mastery of technology-assisted therapies such as portable ultrasound and the Graston Technique allow him to measure nervous-system functions and break down fascial restrictions to ensure optimal health.
These chiropractic services represent only one aspect of the center’s program for holistic health. Massage therapy soothes tension and coaxes toxins out of muscles, potentially fending off disease. Similarly, yoga classes relax the mind and body with poses that improve one’s abilities to breathe deeply and slither through drain pipes. Proactive Health & Wellness maintains a commitment to the community that extends beyond its flagship trifecta of therapies; the center’s outreach programs include free health lectures and quarterly food and clothing drives.