Established in 1994 as a professional African dance company, Bi-Okoto Cultural Centre helps spread awareness and appreciation of African heritage—and other cultures—through a variety of classes and programs. Classes include lessons in martial arts, Zumba fitness and Salsa dancing, and practice in West African drumming and dance. Along with the nonprofit centre's classes and outreach programs, Bi-Okoto continues to support its traditional dance company, which performs and tours throughout the United States and around the world.
To program director William Brashear and his team of teachers, yoga is a spiritual journey that begins within while a person is creating a bond with humanity. They inspire students of all ability levels to seek this inner peace in their classes, which cover a variety of styles. Options range from Mysore—a meditation-focused discipline—to power yoga—a vigorous Vinyasa-based course—to gentle yoga—a slower-paced rehabilitative class. To zero in on students' specific areas of concern, they lead one-on-one sessions, helping them master their techniques and learn Sanskrit words such as, "asana" which means "pose," or more commonly, "Can you please help me? My leg is stuck behind my head."
In addition to yoga, the school provides healing services, including Ayurvedic Thai yoga massage, in which a trained practitioner gently pulls arms and legs and twists torsos and shoulders in an effort to loosen the muscles and release stress. It also hosts yoga- and meditation-centric events and organizes calming retreats to locales such as Leeland Valley.
A licensed pharmacist and clinician, James B. LaValle founded LaValle Metabolic Institute in 2001 to help people discover the benefits of integrated health care. To that end, he has teamed up with Dr. Gary Huber (DO) and assembled a team of experienced medical staff to assist patients to educate clients. They administer nutritional consults and Metabolic Code assessments, which analyze metabolic makeup in order to create a personalized plan for health. The clinic also focuses on hormone-replacement therapy, weight loss, stress and sleep support as well as GI issues.
Gary Hopkins can divide his mid-20s in two parts: the time before he discovered self-healing, and the time after he discovered self-healing. Before, overwhelming stress and overworking caused him to suffer from anxiety, insomnia, spinal misalignments, and gout. Then, he started meditating, practicing tai chi and energy healing, and taking natural supplements. Not only did these practices help remedy his ailments, but they also led him to a new career as an intuitive healer. Continuing these studies into his 30s, he added such holistic healing methods as Thai massage and reflexology to his regimen.
For more than 10 years, he’s shared his knowledge through a private practice and at Light Path Discovery Center. He is dedicated to helping others conquer physical, psychological, and emotional issues with carefully honed skills and several bodywork methods he developed on his own. For those unable to visit him personally, Gary has penned two books— The Master Within and Axiatonal Integration —that guide readers as they attempt to unlock their happiness, which is usually kept in a safe and buried under their childhood home.
Helmed by a team of local artists, Your Artistic Spirits holds informal visual-arts consortia in local venues such as Bier Brewery, Black Swan Brewpub, and Bodega. At each location, they welcome participants of all skill levels and disciplines to sip wine, beer, or spirits as they make art focused in a range of artistic styles, from neoclassical busts to avant-garde booms. Instructors guide attendees through step-by-step instruction to create original works in one chosen medium, such as acrylics, watercolors, sculpting clay, or papier-mâché. When not conducting public classes and private parties, artistic staffers lead team-building workshops and art-therapy programs for children and adults.