Perhaps his degree in physics from Georgia Tech or his longtime stint as a partner in an engineering firm prepped Jeff Sousa to understand the improbable poses that yoga demands. Before starting Ember Yoga, he knew that he wanted to take possession of his own physical health, and so he left his engineering days behind and became a full-time yoga teacher. He opened Ember Yoga as a venue for others to discover their own passion for yoga.
Now, 16 other passionate yoga teachers—including former basketball players and professional cyclists—aid Jeff in teaching 16 unique yoga classes. Along with the hot-yoga courses, including Vinyasa, the team leads diverse groups through sessions intended for children, and practitioners intent on mediation. This panoply of offerings recently won the Woodstock-Towne Lake Patch Readers' Choice Award for Best Gym. The 4,400-square-foot studio features four distinct areas, including a hardwood hot-yoga studio, locker rooms with onsite showers, and a boutique full of yoga equipment and apparel.
At Fusion Dance & Fitness Studio, experienced instructors help booty shakers harness the body-slimming power of boogie through a variety of dance routines. Zumba is a dynamic dance workout that combines Latin and international music with aerobic interval training and easy-to-follow dance steps. Keeping up with the instructor's fancy footwork will furrow brows, activating sweat glands and calorie Bunsen burners to sculpt and tone bodies. During a three-hour pole-dancing workshop, inversion experts teach athletes of all levels a tasteful striptease. The sexy moves and sensual choreography relieve insecurities and peel away stress as if it's a no-longer-relevant Baby on Board sign.
Without a traditional gym's frilly extras, like a smoothie bar or towel-folding robot maid, Owl CrossFit at Emerge Fitness has more room for its guests to pump up during their stripped-down workouts. Patrons work together and encourage one another here, instead of chugging away on individual treadmills, which is what drove coach Chris to CrossFit in the first place. He originally sought community and motivation when he started attending CrossFit classes, and now helms his own as a Level One trainer. He pushes clients of all fitness levels to their maximums during the high-intensity workouts, which are made up of fast-paced functional movements. The workouts change each day, and each movement can be scaled to fit an individual's fitness level, making the challenge accessible to fitness newbies and professional athletes alike.
Most 5Ks and mud runs cater to adults. Adrenaline Run is not most 5Ks and mud runs. The just-for-teens event pits participants against natural and human-made obstacles, challenging them with rocky terrain, waterways, and homework. Some heats are timed, but youths uninterested in stats or clocks in general can join in untimed runs. After the challenging scramble concludes, racers head to the after-party for food, live music, and costume contests awarding the Most Creative and Most School Spirited ensembles. Both participants and spectators can take a gentler jaunt through a bounce-house course, or sit back and listen to performances while sharing mud-splattered stories.
The certified personal trainers at Dream Body, Inc. craft fitness and nutrition regimens to fit each client's lifestyle. For private sessions, they travel to homes and offices with their exercise equipment, guiding patrons through custom workouts in a familiar, nonjudgmental setting. Their boot camps preserve the same sense of positivity in an outdoor group environment. Hosted at local parks, these classes incorporate free weights, cardio drills, and plyometric movements scaled to different skill levels.
CrossFit's pitch is that its functional daily workouts can be tailored to anyone. Nowhere is that pitch more apparent than at CrossFit Etowah. The staff schedules programs for teens, seniors, beginners who can do one pull-up, and more seasoned CrossFitters who can do infinity pull-ups. As an added bonus, because the studio is located inside and affiliated with the 30,000 sq. ft. BodyPlex Woodstock, members can also gain access to the sprawling fitness center's amenities, which include locker rooms, saunas, childcare services, and massage therapy.