For those of you who crave variety in your weekly exercise routine, or who are perhaps not so keen on dropping sixteen dollars a pop for a studio yoga class, you’ll be happy to know that fitness centers across the city are responding with body and mind to the increased demand for new and creative ways to burn calories and shape up those gluts! With classes ranging from basic Hatha Yoga, to alignment-focused Iyengar, to pre- and postnatal classes for mommies down in the OC, these centers are popping up on virtually every other street corner.
One great benefit of fitness centers is they strive to be on the cutting-edge of technology when it comes to the machines they install and the classes they offer. Long gone are the days when gyms only offered weight machines for the muscle-building, free-weight slinging, Schwarzeneggers of this world. Fitness centers have moved beyond the treadmill and have now installed elliptical, cycling and cross-training machines for the cardio portion of a workout. They offer medicine balls, balance balls and even tennis and basketballs, for those who like a little on-court action. Although offerings may vary from gym to gym, one thing they all seem to agree on is that scheduling classes with a focus on the mind-body connection is a must!
Century City Equinox offers yoga classes for all levels. The beginner yogi can feel safe and nurtured in taking a Yoga Basics Class where they may safely and accurately learn the foundations of the practice. Equinox also offers an outlet for the advanced practitioner with classes like Powerflow Yoga, where an all-in-one cardio and mind-body workout are available. There is even a Stiff Guy yoga class offered for the less-than-limber, and a Core Flow class for those who want to focus on their midsection. Equinox also brings “Fun with Bosu” to the table, a whole-body experience combining elements of Pilates, yoga and martial arts. For the yogi looking to move beyond a physical practice, they also offer half-hour meditation classes.
If a Latin-inspired dance workout is what you are searching for, try Sports Club LA, where Zumba is offered. This dance workout uses interval training to get your heart pumping and your body toned. Sports Club LA also offers basic Hatha Yoga, as well as an array of alternate styles for students who wish to stretch their technical abilities. The fitness club offers a Mysore Ashtanga class, an alignment-focused Iyengar and a heart-opening Anusara class. There are also pre- and postnatal classes to meet the specific needs of both existing mom and mommies-to-be. Sports Club LA also holds a regular meditation class and offers clients the opportunity to dabble in Tai Chi or Kung Yo, which is a blend of yoga, Kung Fu and Qi Gong.
24-Hour Fitness boasts the innovative “Silver and Fit,” a total-body workout for active seniors. Many of their Southern California locations offer yoga classes most days of the week, and their classes are open to all levels. In addition yoga stretch and yoga pump””he latter including the use of weights””24-Hour Fitness also offers regular Pilates classes for those who wish to lengthen and tone their body.
Even more astounding than what’s offered on the floor are the innovative classes created using principles from several disciplines. Fitness center classes once brought to mind memories of Richard Simmons’ sweating’ to the oldies in a skin-tight leotard and leg warmers. Today’s classes, however, offer something for everyone, from the weightlifter to the ballerina and everything in between. By keeping their standards high, hiring trained staff and remaining fitness-centric, sports clubs are meeting the public’s demand for alternatives to the yoga studio, and they’re doing so with flying colors! If your image of the local gym is still stuck in the ’80s, take a moment today to check out some of the great new options available. Just follow yogic principles of being nonjudgmental and openhearted, and explore where they can take you!
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