At Prana Yoga, students gather beneath the wings of swans, which float across the studio's wall toward the inspirational quote "Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." Here, such wisdom surfaces from within as minds clear and muscles strengthen. During the signature Vinyasa flow class, the temperature rises to loosen tight muscles and oust squatting toxins. Students match deep, relaxing breaths with a series of ancient poses as teachers, such as studio cofounder Carrie Herscovici, circulate the room, lighting candles and gently adjusting bodily alignment. Drawing from her training with power-yoga superstar Baron Baptiste and Indian sage Senthil Kumar, Carrie inspires her students to surmount both physical challenges and mental unrest, strengthening the body while bringing peace to the mind. In addition to leading classes, she donates 10% of the studio's profits to charity and operates a clothing boutique that helps shoppers integrate yoga into their everyday lives and bow-tie collections.
When Rick Rugg and Bob Schiffhauer founded the first Athletic Club in Buffalo in 1980, they chartered their gym around three values: service, cleanliness, and having owners operate their own facilities. True to the founders’ original vision, each of the Rochester locations' employees strive to keep their cardio and resistance equipment spic and span as they care for facilities that range of up to 30,000 square feet. In addition to personal training, instructors lead more than 400 group fitness classes—including cycling, yoga, and Zumba—offered each week across their five locations. After workouts, guests can slip into saunas and private showers; most locations also have steam rooms, and the Perinton location has a pool. Three of the RAC locations are for women only, allowing them to workout uninhibited by the company of men or asexual mermaids.
When viewed through the wall of mirrors at Bikram Yoga Rochester, the studio's wood-paneled ceiling and walls seem to go on forever. In 105-degree heat, a team of experienced instructors leads students through intensive yoga poses that systematically engage the entire body. Students can watch themselves twist and bend during 90-minute classes selected from the studio’s schedule. The temperature of the steamy studio space is engineered to soothe muscles, loosen joints, and encourage detoxification, and provides a challenging setting for students to launch bodies into modifiable postures that accommodate all skill levels from novice to expert and even pregnant women. In addition to yoga, Bikram Yoga Rochester also employs a certified holistic health and nutrition coach, massage therapist, chiropractor, and acupuncturist.
The Sandbox Indoor Playground & Consignment sends children aged 7 and younger running, rolling, and bouncing across 6,000 square feet of open play space. Colorful, imaginative doodads and structures line each wall of the center, inspiring pintsize explorers to socialize or get creative by concocting fictitious worlds or reenacting their favorite trips to the dentist. As kids venture from one themed area to the next, parents and guardians can keep tabs from anywhere in the facility or check out the new consignment shop, where lightly used clothes, baby gear, and toys help restock closets at home.
An independent arts and crafts studio, Hope in Art invites prospective Picassos in for 2.5 hours of heavy right-brain lifting in an encouraging environment with paint-your-own garden stepping stone workshops. Armed with a 12" x 12" stone and their own imaginations, amateur artists while away an afternoon or evening, accenting the bare slabs with flora-enhancing patterns or faces designed to scare off skunks. Hope in Art enables sketchers in creating professional-looking pieces with an array of patterns and designs to lay down on an almost-finished stone, as well as an experienced artist-scholar patrolling the room to dole out troubleshooting tips, demonstrate new techniques, and block errant flying milkshakes. Groupon customers should call ahead to schedule their workshop.