Inside Bikram Yoga’s two practice spaces, instructors crank up the thermostat to sultry temperatures to loosen up students’ muscles during 90-minute yoga sessions, helping increase flexibility and range of motion while building muscle tone. Instructors pay special attention to coaching newbies during each class, teaching Bikram’s 26 postures and two breathing exercises to help students of all fitness levels stretch out joints or baby injuries and appendages put out of commission due to hostile negotiations during teamwork-building human knots. Each instructor trained directly under Bikram Choudhury—the creator of Bikram Yoga—to ensure that pupils receive safe, easy-to-follow instruction that bolsters health and clears minds.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
Auburn Yoga & Pilates Center owner Jennifer Fleury-Lawson fulfills her passion for teaching while creating a community of yogis so dedicated to improving their physical and mental health they earned the studio the Auburn Chamber of Commerce's award for Best Fitness Facility four years in a row. Along with a skilled staff of instructors, Jennifer oversees a schedule of low-impact workout regimens that includes a mélange of dynamic and restorative yoga styles, Pilates mat sessions, and spinning classes capable of leaving students of all skill and fitness levels as breathless as an easily startled blowfish.
Everybody's Fitness Center's owner really wanted to make a fitness center that had something for everybody, and so they traveled to over 50 health clubs around the country to borrow the best ideas. The assembled amenities include certified fitness and weight-loss coaches who provide modern workouts for clients on equally modern equipment, including cardio machines with iPod docks and individual TVs. There's also an internet cafe for after-workout browsing, perhaps while one enjoys one of the healthy smoothies from the smoothie bar.
No matter the weather outside, the conditions are always right at Extra Innings, a 15,000 square foot indoor baseball and softball training facility. The facility includes four batting and pitching tunnels, each of which is 70 feet in length and equipped with an adjustable pitching machine, an L-screen for live batting practice, and a pitching mound. If players want more help, they can turn to Extra Innings' instructors, many of whom are former or current professional players and college all-stars. These experts use a uniform step-by-step teaching system to help students develop their swings, improve their fielding, and learn to only exclaim "I got it!" if they're about to catch a fly ball or have just been told a joke. For a break, players can visit an on-site pro-shop full of name-brand gear, or they can even arrange a shindig in the party area to celebrate birthdays and special victories.
The cooks at Piccadilly Pub Restaurant bake, fry, grill, and assemble a medley of sandwiches, seafood platters, and other comfort cuisine. Haddock fillets take a dip in a light beer batter before trans-fat-free oil cooks them to a golden crisp, and fries and coleslaw cuddle up beside them in a dish of fish 'n' chips ($11.69). A dozen seafood platters harvest additional ocean occupants, including lobster, salmon, shrimp, and mermaid-grown sea vegetables. Baked bowls of shepherd's pie ($9.59) and chicken pot pie ($8.99) release a flood of steam after knives and forks cut into the blistering combination of seasoned meat and vegetables. A different house-made soup holds court daily ($3.50–$4.50), and the soothing staples of Piccadilly clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl ($7.99) and lobster bisque ($4.59–$7.99), taking their middle-school yearbook inscriptions to heart, never change.