On the day when Everyday Yoga opened in 2010, the yogis behind the project prepared a pot of tea to warmly welcome in new practitioners. Their goal was to make yoga accessible to their community, regardless of financial restraints. Though the gentle aromas of that first pot of tea have long since faded, the instructors still uphold their community-minded mission, helping students to apply yogic philosophy to their lives, on and off the mat. They continue to serve up pots of hot tea daily to welcome students to their studio.
Amid EveryDay Yoga’s warm adobe walls and delicate pendant lamps, students of all ages and abilities flow through Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and restorative Yin series that range from slow and gentle to vigorous. The instructors strive to make the atmosphere as welcoming as possible so that guests can confidently reach for their toes, reach for their neighbors' toes, and practice resonant breath—which they’ve cheekily dubbed "Darth Vadar breath."
When the Douglas J Aveda Institute opened in Knoxville in 2011, it joined a family of institutes and salons that Douglas Weaver started in the 1960s. Here, Aveda students pursue certification in cosmetology and esthiology while practicing their craft on real clients under the supervision of licensed educators. And because students perform the services, the rates are lower than at traditional salons. The Knoxville treatment menu includes hair design—cuts, color, retexturizing—as well as Aveda’s Elemental Nature facials, pedicures, and manicures.
The Institute is inside the historic S&W Grand building, a handsome art-deco landmark that, like a compassionate fairy-tale prince, is equally handsome on the inside. The spa rooms have a rustic balance of exposed brick and wood paneling, and the salon’s geometric light fixtures gleam upon checkerboard tile floors and industrial shelving lined with Aveda’s signature products.
Upon entering Go Cycle Studios, it might feel like you’ve accidentally walked into a club: hip-hop, rock, and dance music streams from the expansive sound system, reverberating off the exposed brick walls and polished concrete floors. The cycling and fitness center’s owners, Jimmy and Lisa, use this atmosphere to set the mood, but they’re serious about exercise. They and the other instructors tailor spin classes and other fitness programs to challenge riders of all levels, from beginners to those who want to work up to jumping a police barricade. Under their instruction, riders sweat astride Keiser stationary bikes, each outfitted with monitors that display RPMs, heart rate, approximate calorie burn, and miles covered. Before or after class, students can head to the back patio to sip coffee in the fresh air or furtively discuss ways to hasten the comeback of handlebar streamers.
Yogi Jason Schramm, inspired by the daily struggles of the city he loves, named his yoga school in its honor. Within the school’s three locations, he draws upon more than 10,000 hours spent teaching to show students how to find inner peace and use it to effect change. The instructors use ancient yoga poses to propel pupils inward, and Schramm lets subtle influences from his martial arts training shine through in some courses. Ashtanga classes summon sweat with vigorous poses that build strength and flexibility, and Vinyasa techniques weave movement, stillness, and deep breathing into a fluid sequence that changes daily.
Paint Party Royal Oak's artist instructors guide the canvas curious through the step-by-step process of creating painted masterpieces during two-hour classes. As each cadre of creators settles in, artisans dole out aprons, 16"x20" canvases, brushes, and acrylic paints before acquainting students with the day’s featured painting which can be viewed in the event calendar online, including such classic subjects as the vase of flowers, winter trees, or monocled brontosaurus. Next, masters demonstrate each brush stroke, and guests are welcome to bring snacks or their favorite bottle of wine to feed grumbling stomachs or demanding muses while they work.
Helmed by a cadre of patient creatives, ArtCenter for Creative Study seeks to bolster the creativity and imagination of artists young and old. Summer camps for middle-school students foster ingenuity, teaching techniques for creating expressive paintings, composing mixed-media collages, and making papier mâché molds of the family goldfish. Classes for adults home in on techniques for drawing, upholstering, and painting furniture, and portfolio-centered classes for high-school students focus on polishing college applications.