As more people partake in different health and fitness trends, it stands as no shock fitness studios in Philadelphia are looking for different ways to spice up a work out. Those who find running on the treadmill a boringly daunting task might be pleasantly surprised to know Philly offers a plethora of unique fitness classes that take you beyond your preconceived notion of a standard workout, bringing creativity to a fitness class and extending exercises to both body and mind.
1. Studio 1831, 1831 Brandywine St.
Voted one of the best yoga studios in Philadelphia by CityPaper’s Reader’s Choice Awards, Studio 1831 (pictured above) offers classes in everything from burlesque to belly dancing and massage. Now offering community Reiki clinics every Thursday night, Studio 1831 goes beyond the standard workout regimen by offering the idea of holistic wellness living. Located right off Spring Garden Street, Studio 1831 provides standard yoga classes as well as unique workouts that add rhythm, sexiness and liveliness to any fitness routine.
2. Kaya Ariel Yoga, 225 Quarry St.
If you’re looking for an elevation during your workout this is the studio for you. Kaya Aerial Yoga on Quarry Street near Old City offers everything from acro yoga and aerial silks to aerial yoga and aerial lyra. Acro yoga is a form of yoga which involves two people balancing on one another and using each other as platforms to contort into yoga postures. For aerialists, Kaya offers yoga classes with aerial silks, two lines of thick silk hung from the ceiling that you hold onto as you flow your body in and out of yoga movements. In aerial lyra class, you sit in a metal ring hanging from ceiling (called a lyra) and climb, swing and stretch like the performers in Cirque du Soleil.
3. Living Arts Dance, 81 Fairmount Ave.
Living Arts Dance Studio offers a wide range of dance classes. They span from African dance, hip hop and belly dancing to “creative movement,” where toddlers and young children are introduced to fun movement through pre-school songs and dance. In conjunction with standard dance classes like ballet, tap and jazz, Living Arts offers courses such as “Twerk and Work.” The studio also provides courses in martial arts, yoga, musical theater, boot camp, stiletto fitness, zumba and kickboxing.
4. Ploome Fitness Studio 1040 N. American St.
Ploome, a trendy fitness center located a few blocks from the Piazza in Northern Liberties, describes itself as “Intelligent Fitness in Action: a Pilates studio and movement arts boutique celebrating body diversity and promoting social responsibility.” Ploome, run by Christina Stoltz, offers unique workouts including a class called “Spin Off,” which is derived from flow arts where participants use items such as hula hoops, fire fans and poi balls for rhythmic movement. Another class offered is called “Going Gaga,” in which students learn a dance routine from musicians such as Madonna, Lady Gaga or Beyonce, with an opportunity to shoot a music video of the dance moves on the fourth class.
5. Bikram Yoga, 1520 Sansom St., 3rd Floor
One form of exercise growing in popularity is hot yoga. Traditionally referred to as Bikram, the method of hatha yoga combines 26 postures and two breathing exercises in an extremely warm room. With the studio reaching temperatures of 105 degrees in conjunction with added humidity, students will be sure to walk out feeling drained, detoxed and de-stressed. Known to be relatively difficult, participants should expect to sweat excessively and be physically challenged. Bikram Yoga in Philadelphia also offers yoga retreats to places such as Mt. Hood, Ore.