Philosophy and Approach

At Athletic Playground, we see dynamic movement as an essential part of the human experience. Our ancestors evolved in a complex environment where they were required to navigate a variety of ever-changing physical demands. Moving a lot wasn't optional; it was a requirement for survival.

Today, technology has mechanized this survival necessity out of our lives, but we believe that we as humans still maintain a hunger for a steady diet of movement. Fulfilling this primal criterion for happiness in today's sedentary world means giving ourselves a reason to move, since our environment no longer does that for us.

Most mainstream incentives to move boil down to one basic idea: “Move because you should,” which is true, but not necessarily motivating. At Athletic Playground, the impetus is very different: “Move because it's fun.” At AP, we believe that satisfying the evolutionary desire for movement and play is inherently rewarding. There's a lot of intrinsic pleasure to be found in movement. Running, jumping, reaching, balancing, throwing, crawling, climbing, tumbling, vaulting, leaping, landing, flipping and turning--our bodies like to do to these things. Everything offered here at AP is designed to help you discover the innate joy of moving your body.

Here, playful activity can become a lifestyle. The physical, social, and psychological benefits of play are not only self-evident; scientific research is beginning to take notice of and study them in earnest. So far, the research confirms what the monkeys at Athletic Playground already know: play is good!

History and Facility

Shira Yaziv and David Grace founded Athletic Playground in 2008 with the goal of offering an alternative to traditional gyms where experienced instructors would teach functional skills in a community-oriented, playful environment.



Since then, the gym has grown from a small homegrown project into just the kind of positive alternative space that the founders envisioned. Once a small, homegrown project where Shira and David taught classes in Functional Training, Tumbling, and Capoeira to fewer than 10 clients, Athletic Playground is now a community of almost 30 talented teachers and hundreds of talented members (whom we lovingly refer to as "monkeys") playing, learning, and training in a joyful, motivating, supportive space that offers classes in at least 12 unique disciplines.

When you walk into Athletic Playground at any given time, you might find people climbing up and down aerial silks, swinging on trapezes, balancing on their hands, learning how to creatively vault over obstacles, or spinning multiple hula hoops around various limbs to funky music. No matter what time of day you come to the Playground, we always aim to provide a positive, accepting environment that emphasizes functional movement, inclusiveness, and play. Come out and join the fun!