The teachers at Sanctuary Power Yoga advocate a regular yoga practice as a way to bring greater peace and balance into everyday life. Because of the perspective shifts they’ve each experienced through yoga, they are eager to ease beginners into what may seem like a foreign or strange type of exercise. Their heated power-yoga classes suit all levels, emphasizing a flowing sequence that promotes moving meditation. Unheated slow flow allows students to learn proper alignment, and the gently held poses of restorative yoga relieve tension built up from carrying children to school everyday. The studio also holds workshops and events such as reiki sessions and card readings.
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Energy Fitness's certified personal trainers help clients capture elusive muscles by leading exercisers over savannahs of workout machines and weight equipment in a 15,000-square-foot facility. A personal training session gets clients off on the right foot by helping them design a fitness regimen tailored to their goals. Trainers have four lines of weight machines at their disposal with which they can personalize workouts for exercisers of all ages and fitness levels. The center's 45 cardio workout machines occupy both limbs and eyes, as personal televisions attached to each machine broadcast news stories about local squirrels who made good. In the weight room, dumbbells clamor to be hoisted.
Tyler English knows the look of frustration. In his ten years as a fitness professional in Connecticut, he has helped thousands of health-seekers who feel bored or fatigued by solo workouts at big health clubs find a better path. At his gym, he promotes what he calls an “anti-health-club” environment, enlivening workouts while aiming to quickly whittle fit and healthy bodies through his innovative programs. English, a professional natural bodybuilder and author, leads metabolic-conditioning workouts, which boost the body’s anaerobic and aerobic capacity with interval-based cardio. He also folds in a series of strength sessions that incorporate moves with dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, medicine balls, and medicine balls encased in concrete. Tyler also counts on The Diet Doc's weight-loss program through nutritional guidance.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
"Torture chambers"—that's how many students of Bikram Yoga would describe the studios where they practice their craft. It's an apropos name for places set at a blazing 105 degrees that feature students twisting their bodies into 26 yoga postures. However, these hatha-inspired positions heal rather than hurt; as students flow through the therapeutic positions, the simmering heat soothes away chronic aches, boosts flexibility, and encourages everything from increased circulation to healthier lymphatic flow.