Don't Sweat It
The Vision: If you’re pregnant in the Twin Cities, Blooma wants you. Since opening in 2007, owner Sarah Longacre has created a mecca for new mamas with at least a dozen prenatal and regular yoga classes every day, plus childbirth workshops, prenatal massage, barre, kids yoga, and a childcare room to keep all those brand-new babies and siblings happy—and quiet—during class. “Pregnancy can be a ridiculously isolating time for women, so I wanted to create a sacred space for women to have access to prenatal yoga seven days a week,” she says.
Workout: Yogis do a little sharing and sometimes a little crying, so many consider Blooma part yoga, part therapy. Anything goes, from earthy to clinical, so plan on hearing details about in-home water births, hospital searches, and epidurals. Same goes for the workouts—some days you can get sore and other days you can take it easy and connect with your baby.
Vibe: With three locations, Blooma welcomes mothers anywhere on their “journey,” from trying to conceive to trying to get back into pre-baby shape.
Our take: With one of us sporting a third baby on board, we find serious comfort in a place that promises a solid workout that’s safe during pregnancy. The classes are tough, with poses held just long enough to hurt—and, as with the pain of birth, we get through it by breathing.
Gear: Yoga mats are available at the studio.
Cost: $20 for a single class; $68 for an unlimited month.
493 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-340-8538; 5315 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-223-8064; 1455 St. Francis Ave., 612-508-2557, Shakopee, blooma.com
Lonna Mosow’s Center for Mind Body Fitness
The Vision: Lonna Mosow cannot sit still. Growing up as a dancer, she tried the corporate route after college, but it wasn’t the right fit. “I wasn’t moving,” she says. “I needed to move.” She moved right into the fitness field and never looked back. Since 1974, Mosow has been bringing new techniques to the Twin Cities—she was the first to introduce the Pilates Method in 1989—earning her the moniker “The Mother of Twin Cities Fitness.” But it’s the careful way she guides students back to health that has solidified her claim to the title.
Workout: Mosow offers the Pilates Method, Gyrotonic, a barre class, and personal training at her Eden Prairie location. After a brief consultation, she uses her experience and acute intuition to customize a fitness plan of hour-long sessions to achieve each client’s specific goals.
Vibe: You won’t find loud music in this studio. It’s quiet and comfortable, creating a safe and welcoming environment to students of all ages.
Our take: Mosow knows what’s she talking about; she has the experience and passion for fitness to get anyone on a healthy track, no matter how long it’s been. She’s also talented in nurturing injuries back to health and developing a plan that’s right for your body’s abilities.
Gear: Everything you need is available at the studio.
Cost: Sessions starting at $70.
6409 City. W. Pkwy., Ste. 203, Eden Prairie, 952-941-9448, lonnamosow.com
Balanced Barre and Pilates
The Vision: Tina Dunlap became a certified Pilates instructor in 2008, but she always felt like something was missing from her workout. After a two-week trip to California, where she tried barre classes on a daily basis, she was hooked. Determined to bring her newfound love to the Twin Cities, she quickly became a licensed BarreAmped instructor and opened Balanced Barre and Pilates in Wayzata, which combines her love of Pilates with the challenge of a barre workout. Due to popular demand, she recently opened a second location in St. Louis Park.
Workout: Similar to most barre workouts, this practice uses small isometric movements that focus on working specific muscle groups to fatigue. With various yoga stretches intermittently mixed into the hour-long workout, the class is slower paced than some barre workouts, which makes it inviting to any newcomer to the barre scene.
Vibe: The hardwood floors make the sleek studio feel clean and sophisticated, and the broad age range of students makes the classes welcoming. Our take: The laidback environment was a nice variation from the typical blasting music of many fitness classes, and we loved getting a good burn without needing to shower immediately after.
Gear: Socks are encouraged but not required. Cost: $20 for a single class; $179 for an unlimited month.
240 Minnetonka Ave. S., Wayzata, 952-473-2433; 5806 W. 36th St., St. Louis Park, 952-920-0135, balancedbarre.com
Spirit of the Lake Yoga and Wellness Center
The Vision: After teaching at the Yoga Center of Minneapolis for more than 10 years, Lisa Bergly set out on her own and opened a yoga studio in Excelsior. In a small, serene, sunlit space overlooking Water Street, Bergly and fellow instructors offer an array of therapeutic yoga classes. Bergly, who is certified in yoga therapy, welcomes students who are interested in using yoga to address physical ailments and heal injuries. Women and men of all ages and physiques appreciate the calm, non-competitive nature of the studio. “Here, you don’t have to be a twig and bend yourself into a pretzel,” says Bergly.
Workout: Students of all skill levels can choose from a variety of classes and workshops including beginning yoga, kriya hatha yoga, yin yoga, Iyengar yoga, and restorative yoga. Classes for kids and teens are also available. VIBE: This calm, quiet oasis seems to draw its light and energy from nearby Lake Minnetonka. Neither intensely hot nor fiercely competitive, Spirit of the Lake is the antithesis of high-performance, high-adrenaline yoga studios.
Our take: For anyone who wants to learn yoga but is concerned about being a newcomer, this welcoming studio is a great place to begin.
Gear: Everything you need is available onsite.
Cost: $18 for a single class; $108 for an unlimited month.
244 Water St., Excelsior, 952-474-7707, spiritofthelakeyoga.com
Rachel Tessalone and Paula Warford brought The Barre to Wayzata after falling in love with barre in New York City. Their method fuses yoga, Pilates, core conditioning, and interval strength training for a body-sculpting workout that’s addicting, effective, and, in this particular case, life-changing.
539 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952–473–0109, thebarrestudio.com