Strength and flexibility come together. They are both required in order for the body to function. When one is missing or underdeveloped, the other is limited from further growth.

As we age, we lose strength and muscle unless we intentionally work for it! When you work, you don’t want to hurt. That is where Zoa comes in. By combining body awareness, deep muscles that support safe joint movement, and the “big” muscles that power our large motions, you will get stronger and feel great whole doing it!

Zoa Conner, PhD adding to her upper body strength at Zen and Vitality with Zoa in La Plata, MD
Zoa Conner, PhD (at age 50) adding to her upper body strength

Your body needs a wide variety of movements every day. Zoa offers 4 strength oriented classes which can and should be combined with her other movement class formats available and a daily walk outside! Choose your strength class from Barre, Shoulder Vitality, Hip Vitality, or Whole Body Vitality!


Barre Classes

What is Barre? With Zoa, it is standing Pilates done with ballet positions & movements and yoga stretching set to upbeat music with lots of laughing! If you have heard about Barre classes and feel a touch intimidated by them, Barre for Vitality with Zoa is just your style.

Barre Class

Barre for Vitality focuses on Pilates-based core work done while standing with strength components for both the lower body and the upper body. We protect cranky knees by focusing on hip activation. Lower backs feel great with the generous encouragement on core engagement while doing leg work. You choose whether to make use of small hand/wrist weights and flex-bands to augment the shoulder work. Try it with confidence!


Shoulder Vitality Classes

Head, Shoulders, Arms, and Abs! When these places feel good and are strong, you can do anything! Focussing on the needs of women, we relieve discomfort, increase mobility, and ramp up our strength for the entire upper body.

Shoulder Vitality Class

Zoa blends together elements from fascial movement, yoga, Pilates, and strength training into this upper body focused class that makes happy shoulders! Plenty of modifications and adjustments make this class ideal for those just looking to get stronger and anyone dealing with an “off and on again” shoulder. A typical class flow is:

  • Use fascial stimulation so your brain pays attention to your upper body in new, wonderful ways
  • Release existing tension that creates discomfort
  • Wake up the deep stabilizing muscles that allow you to move without pain
  • Strengthen the power muscles on the outside of the body


Hip Vitality Classes

Happy Hips takes on a whole new meaning when you sign up for this class! Hip Vitality grew out of the increased need to strengthen foot/ankle injuries for several students taking barre classes. We shifted to focus on connections in the lower body and how our weight transfers down to the floor as we stand and move.

Hip Vitality Class

Zoa creatively combines a brain wake up for the quiet parts of your lower body with intentionally asymmetric lower body work so that your legs work better! Yes, you will feel even and balanced when we switch exercises. Yes, you will more capable at the end of class. Yes, you will feel like you you can walk, run, and skip through the rest of your day!


Whole Body Vitality Classes

In this class, you use your entire body from the inside out to build strong bones, joints, and muscles. We challenge the body more intensely in this class than others so it is correspondingly shorter. For greatest benefit and safety, this class is best paired with another class or activity that wakes your body up in the morning or helps your body relax afterwards in the evening.


Strength Classes at Home or on Online

All group movement classes at Zen and Vitality with Zoa can be experienced live and virtually from home (both audio and video) or you can request an in person spot in the La Plata, MD area studio. Small class sizes (2-8 people) guarantee that Zoa will call out your name with a suggestion or a correction so you have the best experience possible. If you are in studio, Zoa provides everything you might need in class – you just bring your smile. At home, a inflatable 9″-12″ ball, a flex band, and maybe a few other small props are all you need. If you are virtual, it is much more important that I can see you than for you to be watching me!



I have taken a variety of classes and utilized the wellness services at Zoa’s studio.  She is always able to utilize exercises that not only keep my painful joints moving but also growing stronger.

Stephanie, Police Lieutenant

“Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower