Sue Hopkins doesn't teach yoga for fitness—after adapting the art to combat her back pain and completing several training programs to become a Professional Yoga Therapist, she champions its wellness benefits. Alongside the devoted instructors at Etowah Valley Yoga & Yoga, Etc., she strives to demonstrate how regular practice can adapt to and counteract various health concerns from joint pain to anxiety. In the interest of personalization, the staff keeps their classes small. The teachers at the original Etowah Valley Yoga venue might lead the prolonged holds of Yin yoga, the inversions of Level II yoga, or the whisper-soft self-hugs of gentle yoga. At Yoga, Etc., teachers focus on safety and accessibility for clients of all backgrounds. Seated tai chi and chair-yoga classes provide ample support for soothing poses, while "Don't Fall" seminars cover tips for enhanced balance and everyday movement. As the head of a registered yoga school, Sue also enables her students to earn their 200- or 500-hour teaching certifications.
Ryan Garner always felt a connection with horses, but he felt an equally strong disconnect with many of the equestrian world?s traditional, intimidation-filled training methods. Instead of ignoring his concerns, the lifelong horse enthusiast began studying natural horsemanship, a method that encourages equine obedience through gentle rider-horse communication both in the barn and on a ride. Now, at RG Horsemanship, Garner shares his mission of trust, leadership, and communication during horseback-riding lessons for up to four participants. Through patient instruction, he helps students connect with their equine counterparts via body language and facial expressions, which ultimately instills confidence in the rider.
Paradise Rental Boats carefully curates fleets of Yamaha, Bayliner, and Sun Tracker boats, so that sun-kissed riders can jet across the sparkling waters of Indiana’s Lake Monroe and Georgia’s Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona at their leisure. The company's vessels range from party barges and yachts—which hold groups of up to 26—to the smaller, two-person WaveRunner, whose highly responsive steering suits drivers trying to chase down and catch their fish dinner. Onboard radios and CD players let mariners groove to their favorite tunes, and the company also rents optional accessories for water sports, such as wakeboards, water skis, and artificial bait for licensed fishermen.
The Atlanta Steeplechase brings equine entertainment to more than 30,000 guests each year with its hoof-happy races at Kingston Downs. Enjoy a great view from virtually any seat as jockeys race their steeds around the track in search of the finish sign and some edible flowers. Not just a horse race, the Atlanta Steeplechase entertains guests with a full schedule of family-friendly events, including dogs chasing flying discs, pony and hay rides, sky-diving demonstrations, and whinnying workshops. A general-admission ticket includes parking and grants access to the infield, where mustang mavens tote picnic accouterments for trackside comfort. The Subscriber Backstretch package includes reserved parking along with admission for six—enough for Brady-esque broods.
The Cartersville Parks and Recreation Department's summer pool passes inspire aquanauts to swim, splash, and celebrate the sunny season. Swimmers share splash space in Dellinger Park's Olympic-size pool (open from May 21 through September 5 and closed Wednesdays), which provides ample room for to-scale reenactments of favorite Spanish Armada battles. A diving well eases flying leaps, and a leisurely stroll through the shallows of the wading pool allows enough time to contemplate snack selections at the concession stand.
The American West stands frozen in time at Booth Western Art Museum, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. The bronze forms of cowboys and many of the Native Americans encountered by Lewis and Clark populate the sculpture court. At the hall's center stands Vic Payne's Eagle Catcher, a two-story sculpture that depicts a large eagle with its wings outstretched. Its talons lock with the arms of a Native American man who leans backwards as he grapples with the aviary predator—a symbol of the struggle for the American West.
The impressive sculpture is just one stop on the museum's tour, which takes visitors into a permanent collection that comprises more than a dozen galleries and temporary exhibit halls featuring as many as 12 exhibits each year that explore the west from the 1800s through present day. More than 100 traditional paintings and sculptures by the likes of Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, and George Catlin depict cowboys, Native American cultures, and breathtaking natural landscapes in the American West Gallery. Other spaces focus on the Civil War, while the Modern West Gallery interprets the western United States through abstract paintings and other contemporary forms by such artists as Nelson Boren, Thom Ross, and Ed Mell. Beneath the portraits of every U.S. president in the Carolyn and James Millar Presidential Gallery, personal letters written by the robotic arm of each leader humanize the lofty figures of American history.
In addition to exhibits, Booth Western Art Museum hosts adult art classes and seasonal events, such as April's "Civil War Comes Alive!", wherein visitors might stumble upon Abraham Lincoln mid-Gettysburg Address or spot soldiers firing cannons, and October's Southeastern Cowboy Festival & Symposium, which features Native American dancing, gun-fight reenactments, and a traditional western marketplace. Kids can savor hands-on history in Sagebrush Ranch, where a three-quarter-scale stagecoach, an authentic loom, real Western wear, and a bounty of other attractions await to grant little ones with an immersive educational experience.