Tibetan Buddhist and Taoist Master Chufei Tsai presides over Zen Village, a multifaith spiritual center. Eastern philosophy is the root for ancient practices—such as yoga and mindful meditation—which can foster physical and spiritual well-being in the modern world. This two-pronged approach to wellness reflects Tsai’s background: A trained nurse, she also has traveled the world studying centuries-old philosophies and has taught more than six thousand students.
Zen Village’s courses cover yoga styles ranging from Vinyasa, a flowing style that synchronizes breathing with poses, to Tibetan healing yoga, which aims to balance the seven chakras. The eclectic catalog also includes introductions to the tenets of Buddhism, the basics of Zen living, and the art of brewing tea from Asia. The courses allow students to intake prosperity and evolve with a healthy lifestyle.
Though Marilyn Scavo is more than secure behind the camera, it’s her job to make clients comfortable in front of it. That’s why she goes to great pains to foster a convivial, positive environment during boudoir photo shoots where women can relax and have fun while flaunting their sensuality. Luckily, the shutterbug has the chops to pull it off with her 23 combined years of photography and teaching experience. Since she’s versed in Photoshop, Marilyn expertly retouches photos, and can package images on a CD or in an album, which will give a client’s bunkmate a much more stimulating picture book to read before bed than Curious George Renews His License at the DMV.
Busting out of the cramped, sweaty confines of a typical gymnasium, Rock N Body Wellness' aerobic action heroes break through all four walls to deliver personalized small-group fitness classes. Each course is held in a luscious, verdant venue, avoiding the emotionally clingy dumbbells and catcalls from leering light fixtures associated with indoor exercise. Find fresh air with handfuls of fellow fitness followers during Mind Over Muscles, a 60-minute session calibrated to perk up paunches and bring biceps back from the brink. Combining strength-centric toning and agility workouts with endurance-building cardio training, Mind Over Muscles courses pepper protoplasm with exercises designed to aid overall wellness or help prepare for summer jobs as a flagpole sitter.
From a scenic, outdoor perch overlooking Biscayne Bay, yoga instructor Gabby Goldbaum guides students through salubrious asanas in stress-obliterating group sessions. In the timeless practice of exercise by mimicry, patrons emulate Gabby as she moves fluidly between poses culled from the Hatha yoga tradition, keeping patrons ever mindful of breath control and the coterie of heist-planning waterfowl squawking conspiratorially at water's edge.
For Leah Guzman, art is more than just pretty pictures. A clinical art therapist, professional artist, and children’s book author, Guzman harnesses the expressive power of art to help her clients through art. Though The Artful Experience, she encourages people of any age or skill level to communicate their feelings through the creative process. She hosts a number of hands-on workshops and social gatherings, as well as a series of wine-fortified painting courses that revolve around finding inspiration, expressing inner emotions, or following dreams.
Dharma Studios is a full-service yoga studio that offers classes at all levels, from the intense, sweaty athletic yoga to more demure sessions for the mobility impaired. It also offers special pre- and post-natal classes, while beginners can learn from a variety of classes, including Gentle Stretch yoga, which is designed and sequenced to take the whole body to its full range of motion; Therapeutic yoga; and Restorative yoga which helps to release tension in a relaxing atmosphere to help unwind. The latter is a passive type of yoga which uses props to restore alignment, while more advanced students can take in heartier Vinyasa, power yoga and Anusara sessions, each focusing on deeper focus with breath, alignment and pace.