"Our bodies and minds are closely interconnected. Our state of mind is expressed in physical phenomena, and, conversely, physical phenomena reflect our state of mind," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee, "Nothing is impossible. Keep working on it until it's possible. There is no failure, just the gradual process of success." To make this challenging, yet hopeful philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30–40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation—including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cool-down exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance. Dahn Yoga is also taught at independently owned and operated franchises called Body & Brain Yoga.
IMP Fitness, a locally owned and operated establishment that's been providing fitness and wellness services to adults and youth for more than 10 years. The facility stays open 24 hours a day and boasts a fitness center along with indoor turf. Cardio, circuit, and weight-training equipment bustles beneath the glow of eight wide-screen TVs, and certified trainers conduct personal-training sessions and fitness classes. Throughout the year, lacrosse players engage in wall ball and baseballers perfect their pitches and swings. The facility also offers amenities such as free WiFi, a smoothie bar, lockers, and scales that only read a person's moon weight.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level—starting as young as 6 months—and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6 to 9, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity, and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
Throughout the majority of her life, Catherine Cochran has actively sought out ways to challenge her physical limits. She spent her childhood as a competitive gymnast until a serious injury prevented her from continuing. From there, she moved on to youth soccer and high-school track before eventually dropping out of athletics altogether and sticking with traditional gym routines instead. These routines failed to provide her with the same drive that she had experienced when training, though. When Catherine discovered the CrossFit program, she recognized it as a training regimen that would channel her competitive spirit in a productive manner and inspire her to constantly, yet safely, challenge her physical limits.
This discovery eventually led Catherine to open CrossFit Chantilly, where she and her team of coaches introduce visitors of all ages and fitness levels to CrossFit workouts. At their core, the workouts use high-intensity sequences of functional movements?such as deadlifting weights, climbing ropes, sprinting, doing pushups, and crushing coal into diamonds?to improve students' strength, stamina, and cardiovascular endurance. The program allows individuals to scale the load and intensity of each exercise to match their fitness levels. Since safety is always a priority, the coaches begin each workout by leading group warm-ups, and they constantly monitor students to make sure everyone is using safe, proper form and technique.
nZone describes itself as a "sportsplex"?and its array of fitness options lives up to the title. Below, a condensed directory for the sprawling facility, home to everything from basketball courts to meeting rooms.
The fields: nZone boasts three indoor turf fields, ideal for soccer scrimmages, lacrosse games, or games of zero-hole golf. It also houses two full-size high school basketball courts, and a volleyball court for sets and spikes.
The classes: The fitness instructors lead classes for adults and for kids. Adult sessions hew, for the most part, to gym classics, such as Pilates exercises or Zumba dance-fitness. Kids sessions take a quirkier tack, though?one cardio workout hinges on hula-hooping.
The equipment: Gear for independent workouts run the gamut from treadmills and recumbent bikes to Bosu balance balls, designed to strengthen stability muscles.
CEO Peter Harvey believes that a quality gym staff must demonstrate more than technical expertise. "Service doesn't only mean showing someone how to do an arm curl," he says. Certified personal trainers develop workouts that zero in on each person?s specific goals, giving clients the skills to pole-vault over impassable plateaus. By steadfastly refusing to hand out fish in favor of putting on master classes in fishing, they help clients become self-sufficient, educating them on fundamentals.
During these one-on-one sessions, and in solo workouts, guests set calories ablaze atop rows of continually updated equipment. Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and strength-training tools line the walls.
Members can also drop in for as many group classes as they can muster. Inside a separate studio, stationary cycles whir in time with galvanizing music, kickboxing strikes arc through the air, and barbells rise with each BodyPump rep. For more meditative practices, Pilates sessions and several types of yoga enhance flexibility and focus.