YOUnique Yoga's instructors oversee their studios' schedules of physically invigorating yoga sessions, which meet in intensely heated practice spaces to boost flexibility. Mainly employing Vinyasa techniques, the instructors teach all levels of students to perform a rhythmically flowing sequence of poses that uses synchronized breathing exercises to help students concentrate as they transition from one pose to the next with balance-challenging movements. In time, pupils learn to focus their thoughts while leaving their mind-body connections as balanced as a seesaw in zero gravity. The temperatures can hover between 98 and 108 degrees at each class, helping bodies safely sink into each stretch and shepherd toxins out the nearest sweat gland.
Grandmaster Taek Sung Cho has accrued more than 40 years of martial-arts experience and a host of titles on his resumé, including coach for the International Junior Taekwondo Championships and the U.S. Junior Olympic Taekwondo Team. However, he derives the most reward from his role as teacher, a position he has coveted since establishing Master Cho's Talium in 1991. Working with expert instructors, he imparts the value of community and inner balance through the lens of tae kwon do technique.
Master Cho's lessons amplify confidence as well as coordination in young children, teens, and adults. Students can practice with others in their age group or alongside their families, depending on whether their school bus or their house transforms into a giant fighting robot. Kardio Kickboxing workouts toast calories with rapid jabs, and the staff emphasize the social aspect of self-defense training by hosting summer camps and birthday parties.
After more than 30 years as a registered nurse, Karin Johnson decided that she wanted to continue helping people, but in a new way. She then became intrigued by Chinese medicine, and later founded AcuSource Healing as a way to treat patients with a more personal, holistic approach. The center’s diverse staff––which includes an occupational therapist, nutritionist, and licensed massage therapist––makes pain a distant memory with services such as cupping, acupuncture, sotai, and foot reflexology. Through hair mineral analysis, the team can find the presence of heavy metals that can make bodies feel sluggish and convince brains that they enjoy Black Sabbath. Microlight rejuvenation, meanwhile, boosts collagen production and smoothes fine lines and wrinkles.
For the past 25 years, Starseed Yoga & Wellness has provided a space for guests to get in shape and relieve anxiety through yoga and meditation. The staff understands that starting yoga can be overwhelming, so they offer more than 25 classes each week to suit students with different levels of experience or rebellious students who refuse to salute the sun. Students can participate in vigorous Vinyasa sessions or gentle restorative yoga, or head to mind-body workshops held at different times throughout the year.
Bodily alignment can help create order in the mind and heart as well, according to Omni Kitts Ferrara, the professional dancer who owns Yoga Montclair and sister studio Yoga Morristown. At the Yoga Alliance approved 200 RYS and 500 RYS studios, she and her team of Yoga Alliance–certified teachers shepherd students toward the peace and goodness that lie within using flowing movements and moments of meditation. They welcome students of all experience levels and walks of life, inviting them to stay "as long as the conversation intrigues [them]." To cultivate physical and metaphysical strength, classes pair inspirational words with poses as playful as a puppy fetching a red clown nose. Instructors begin each session with a mind-centering exercise before launching into stretches, balances, and breath work that melt stress and bolster flexibility. Basic and Gentle routines teem with beginner-friendly poses and alignment guidance, and Level I/II classes ready students for intermediate-level backbends, headstands, and handstands.
Bare feet squeak against the maple-hued hardwood floors at Verona Yoga and Wellness Center as experienced instructors guide students through yoga, belly-dance, and kung-fu moves. Floor to ceiling mirrors let students self-correct while moving into warrior pose in yoga sessions and slipping through the quick snaps of martial arts.