Megan Ryan Kaiser doesn’t remember her first hot-yoga session as a transcendent, transformative moment. She recalls the feeling of intimidation that almost sent her packing. Over time, the class did enhance her life as she felt the benefits throughout her transition, but it might not have without the support of a welcoming community of students and instructors. She struggled to find such an affirming place to pose after moving to the Madison area from Los Angeles. Instead of continuing her search, she decided to build the community she sought by launching Dragonfly Hot Yoga.
Students of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels flock to the studio’s award-winning classes, which range from beginner-friendly Intro to Yoga sessions to Advanced Flow routines filled with challenging inversions and arm balances. Spacious classrooms let students move freely, and flooring specifically designed for hot-yoga classes repels sweat and odors. During most yoga classes, the room’s temperature rises to 85–105 degrees, which promotes flexibility and toxin release. The instructors also lead traditional fitness classes, including a boot-camp-style workout filled with resistance training, calisthenics, and plyometrics. Before and after classes, students bond over tea and books in a lounge that’s as cozy as a fireplace wearing a hand-knitted sweater. To help busy parents integrate yoga into their routine, the studio also offers childcare during many morning classes and private yoga sessions, which can be scheduled at a convenient time. Dragonfly Hot Yoga | Barre also offers non-heated yoga and barre-amped classes in their new Studio Mild space.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Digman Fitness is a great place where you can improve not only your strength and fitness but prevent against injuries. Our "Action Cards" that we develop after our movement assessment helps us show you how you can get better throughout your shoulders, back, knees, hips and ankles.
Exercise is challenging. How do you keep clients motivated and engaged?
Digman Fitness offers monthly challenges both in the gym and outside which helps individuals gain points towards membership discounts and post-workout shakes. Those that train are able to become part of our family.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
Those individuals with specific needs are rewarded through a one-one approach in a small group setting
What do you love most about your job?
I love the connection and being able to see the progress in pain-free movement outside the gym!
Dave Gerry started the Princeton Club with three simple tenets in mind: great trainers, exceptional equipment, and easy access. To realize that dream, he assembled a team of American College of Sports Medicine–certified personal trainers to helm the cardio and strength-training centers 24 hours a day.
Whether working out solo, in a group class, or with a trainer to remind them that bench-pressing beehives is safer with a spotter, guests can drop their young ones off at the free childcare center. Splashes fill the natatorium as swimmers paddle across the six-lane lap pool, as the resistance-current pool's adjustable waves enable guests to walk in place. A dip in the whirlpool soothes stress, and the steam room's eucalyptus aromatherapy and sauna's rejuvenating heat send bodies back into the world refreshed. Above the club, tennis and soccer players soak in vistas of Madison as they duke it out on the rooftop garden's turf. The competition continues indoors on basketball, racquetball, and volleyball courts.
When the team at Inner Fire Yoga says they "care profoundly about the well-being of individuals and the greater community," that's not an empty sentiment. Since opening in 2002, they've raised over $83,000 for causes both near and far, from Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) of Dane County to the relief effort for the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. They also sponsor a scholarship program that awards a three-month unlimited membership to a deserving nominee who otherwise couldn't afford it.
The latter effort speaks to Inner Fire Yoga's inclusiveness—most of their award-winning classes are open to students old and new, advanced or just beginning. Their compassionate staff are there to guide students on a smart yoga path. All of the classes are heated, some are gently warm, and some will dial up the cardio factor.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
The techniques that
Lauren Birkel imparts to her trainers are the same ones she used on herself while preparing for and completing the rigorous Ironman World Championships in 2005 and 2011, as well as the France-held International Triathlon Union Long Course World Championships in 2007. With this history of achieving difficult goals, Birkel knows how to inspire students without commissioning a band of rabid coyotes to chase them while they run.
She and her many cotrainers use these thoroughly tested methods of motivation to push students toward healthier lives in one-on-one, small-group, and large-group training sessions. She decks out her indoor studios with all the necessary equipment for personal-training sessions and isn't afraid to lead all-outdoor boot-camp academies in the heat or rain.