Go for the Tone
Get beach body ready with a little help from yoga, Pilates and more…
Photograph by PhotoBeaM/istockphoto
Beach season is always a call to arms — make that really strong arms. And while we’re at it, let’s add abdominals, legs and just about every other body part that pokes out of a bathing suit to this seasonal tone-it-up battle cry. While cardio and weights are a surefire way to work off some excess winter carbs, there is something about yoga-toned arms (think of Madonna’s killer guns) and a Pilates-trained core that just seems to put everything in its long, lean, lithe beach-ready place.
Here are some great places to get things figured-out before you make the plunge at the beach this summer:
The “Go Figure” experience combines the best of yoga, Pilates and work at a classical ballet barre to create a workout that’s incredibly toning and supremely effective at strengthening and conditioning the body. No surprise Go Figure classes have developed a cult following in Fairfield County. Hence, its studio here as well as New Canaan, Westport and Greenwich. Meanwhile, go for the burn: You can also get your essential cardio in at Go Figure’s indoor cycling classes.
From gentle yoga to advanced practice classes and special series catered exclusively to beginners anyone intrigued (or just a little bit intimidated) by yoga will find their perfect pose at this Best of the Gold Coast favorite. Lucky for not-so-limber us, Elements has four Fairfield County studios (including the Darien locale.)
This authentic, contemporary Pilates studio offers both mat, reformer and TRX suspension system training classes as well as private sessions with a focus on individualized training. There are also classes just for teens.
When it comes to yoga, some like it hot: And here at Fairfield’s studio devoted to the practice of getting flexible in a super-heated room you can work up a killer sweat and get in your yoga practice at the same time.
This popular downtown yoga studio takes its name quite literally; offering a broad range of classes that reflect its philosophy that anyone can (and should!) do yoga regardless of their age, fitness level or flexibility. Classes here run the gamut with programs designed for true beginners, pregnant and postpartum moms, kids, teens, and the most serious yogis among us.
Husband-and-wife founders Stan Woodman and Gina Norman are devoted yogis with a mission: Their vision has long been to create yoga spaces that are community wellness centers. So here you can pick up healthy smoothie after class or order a box of organic veggies from its food cooperative. Naturally, It’s a great place to get your sun salutations in too.
The founders of this veteran studio have trained with direct disciples of Joseph Pilates, who founded the core strengthening fitness system –extremely beneficial to tone, balance and posture—during the early part of the last century. Here, the emphasis is on Pilates done right, with small group classes and private training offered to its devoted clients.
For those who prefer their workouts to be one-on-one, this full-service personal training studio offers private, reformer based Pilates workouts.
One popular yoga studio led to two when Saraswati expanded from its first space in downtown Norwalk and brought its devoted following to a second in New Canaan. Here the focus is on light, love and some seriously good yoga. Beginners are most welcome.
Founded on the principles of Kripalu, the yoga of compassion, Dew Yoga is a full-service studio devoted to providing high-quality yoga as well as health and community enrichment programs. Classes are available in a variety of styles from dawn to dusk.
The Benefits of regular yoga practice are evident in owner/teacher Carol Shwidock’s toned frame and her infectiously kind spirit. This intimate Glenbrook studio—and Best of the Gold coast pick-- offers personalized attention and terrific classes.
Dedicated to offering non-dogmatic yoga classes that draw on a variety of disciplines, the focus at Shamatha is on enhancing health, well-being and promoting inner serenity. A variety of relaxation techniques are incorporated into classes. Chris Blanks, the studio’s founder and director, is a Kripalu certified instructor who has studied with yoga greats such as Rodney Yee, Baron Baptist and T.K.V. Desikacher.