Suze Curtis. RYT, AAAI/ISMA -12,500 teaching hours, left corporate America in 1994 after years of feeling unsatisfied and directionless. She tapped into the things that made her most happy?teaching and leading others, helping people heal, being physically active?and was able to bring that all together, creating her own signature yoga style. This practice combines power yoga techniques with vibration healing philosophies to create a challenging, accessible modality of yoga has earned thousands of personal testimonies over fifteen years. The studio was also voted by Dallas A-List as Best Yoga Studio and also tops the list of the Addison magazine's 2013 Readers? Choice Awards Winners.
To help students ease into stretches and eject any perspirable toxins, she heats the studio to 85?90 degrees. She and her troupe of expert instructors guide students through low-impact yoga poses with balance-challenging transitions that encourage students to synchronize each movement with rhythmic breath and tone. While students move from pose to pose, external music and internal humming, or toning, produce vibrations that resonate within the body to encourage natural, healthy cellular function.
A host of other services also are available, including personal yoga guidance, CPR certification and massage therapy. Clients can also round out their experience by browsing the yoga boutique, which features affordable designer clothing by 717 Couture.
Adventure and comfort have gone hand in hand at Mercy Wine Bar for more than 10 years. With a wine list that spans 12 countries and includes 100 options by the glass, 50 by the bottle, and tasting flights for guests who can levitate, the staff invites patrons to either try a brand-new varietal or enjoy a favorite standby. Wine Spectator honored this selection with an Award of Excellence, and the list's versatility helped earn Mercy a spot on CBS DFW's list of the Best Wine Bars in Dallas.
The wine selection even spills over onto the food menu, which features pairing suggestions for each and every dish. In addition to assembling 15 different cheese plates with dried fruit, olives, and crackers, the chefs also forge a menu of European-influenced bistro cuisine that includes dishes such as wild mushroom risotto with tomato confit, panini sandwiches, and hand-carved cuts of filet mignon.
In keeping with the spirit of the wine and food menus, Mercy Wine Bar's ambiance aims for a balance between the cozy and the unexpected. Custom-designed wrought-iron bar stools and tables serve as functional furniture as well as artistic set pieces. A hand-painted mural fills one entire wall with the sight of Venus reclining in a clamshell—a faithful recreation of the original fresco in Pompeii. Even the restrooms embrace an artistic spirit, surrounding patrons with the original works of a local photographer. As a further sign of the staff's commitment to the local art scene, Mercy Wine Bar regularly hosts live performances by Dallas-area bands.
Thomas Volmer credits his wife, Rachel, for inspiring them to start helming boot camps. She wasn’t always a fitness guru, though. "She was a commercial banker and she was 70 pounds overweight," Volmer recalls. Once she started to reclaim her life, "she just fell in love with fitness," he says. She eventually dropped 80 pounds with proper exercise and nutrition, spurring her to earn her AFAA personal training certification and pursue a career as a full-time trainer.
Personal experience lends Rachel and the other trainers—including Sharon Monk, who lost more than 200 pounds by exercising and eating healthily—empathy and a motivating demeanor when working with campers. At each location, they get groups doing pushups, swinging kettlebells, and flipping tires in a positive environment that's focused on teamwork, rather than competition. "You start as a group, you finish as a group," says Thomas. "But the activities that you do in between might be different based on your abilities."
In addition to leading sessions, Rachel creates easy-to-use online meal plans (including a vegetarian plan), which campers can customize to help them stay on track. Options range from the simple, such as cereal with fruits, nuts, and flaxseeds, to the creative, including honey-sweetened oatmeal peanut-butter cookies. She also includes the calorie count for each recipe. Users can pick from simple meals made for one person or larger entrees designed with an entire family or pet elephant in mind.
Part-time personal chef Steven Bailey was growing tired of bland, industrially processed food. As detailed by D Magazine, Steven was determined to do something about his frustration, so he hit the road one weekend in his Volkswagen Rabbit and began scouring Texas farms and markets for fresher ingredients. The more organic, locally grown food he brought back, the more friends and neighbors started requesting some for themselves. The growing demand led Steven to start Urban Acres, where customers can track down organic produce, dairy, and grass-fed meats from local farmers and artisans who never use pesticides, hormones, artificial flavoring, or shoddy magnetic force fields.
As a member of Urban Acres, members pick large, medium, or small shares of organic fruits and veggies, as well as meat, coffee, and granola shares if desired. Urban Acres also sells locally grown grub to members and nonmembers alike at its Oak Cliff Farmstead, which D Magazine says "brings a bit of country to the big city." There, visitors can find shelves and counters fashioned from reclaimed wood, a bee colony on the roof, and produce snuggled in boxes of hay. Urban Acres also offers hands-on educational opportunities to learn about small-scale urban farming.
Chris was in terrible health. At 51 years old, he was battling two issues familiar to many Americans—high blood pressure and high cholesterol. So, he started attending Dallas Fitness Boot Camps. In time, he lost 40 pounds and 18% of his body fat, which enabled him to get his cholesterol down to normal levels and finally ditch his blood-pressure medications.
Though the classes completely changed his life, Chris didn’t have to make an exorbitant commitment—coach Ron Routhier asks students to attend just three 30-45-minute workouts each week. That’s all the time it takes for Ron’s masterful approach to emerge. The former infantryman spent years as the trainer in charge of soldiers that had met or exceeded the Army’s physical fitness standards. That discipline shows through now; in fact, another of his students boasts that Ron’s training got her in better shape than she was while in the Army Reserves. That’s not to say that students are expected to arrive in tip-top shape—Ron’s routines can be modified for all fitness levels, and his plans include nutritional guidance that helps people supplement their exercise with custom diet plans.
It was a fateful night in January 1999 when the bellies of college sophomores Leon and Tiffany started to rumble. The two UT Austin students convened at Leon's apartment, where they whipped up a batch of chocolate-chip cookies in his oven. As they chewed on the warm, gooey fruits of their labor, the pair was struck by the idea to sell these freshly baked cookies to their fellow students. They began delivering treats to their peers during evening study breaks before expanding their customer base to include parents and Austin residents, all the while renting the back kitchen of a local restaurant to accommodate the growing demand. Fifteen years later, the indulgent lure of Tiff's Treats has helped Leon and Tiffany open 13 locations throughout Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Within these bakeries, kitchen crews sculpt fresh dough into 10 types of cookies, supplementing the gooey morsels with decadent brownies and signature Tiffwiches?vanilla Blue Bell ice cream sandwiched between two warm cookies. Bakers hand-deliver batches every day, pulling them fresh from the oven instead of the overheated engine block of the delivery car.