One could say that 1996 was one of the worst years of Sara Alavi’s life. Within the span of months, she lost sight in her left eye, was diagnosed with MS, and developed a heart condition. Any one of those conditions could have debilitated her spirit, but Sara always lived by the mantra of “gratitude toward the gift of life and being grateful for our loved ones' lives.” That devotion to celebrating life led her toward the mind-calming and body-strengthening practice of yoga. After continued dedication to the ancient art, her eyesight returned and her health began to skyrocket.
Now a certified yoga instructor herself, Sara uses her earth-toned studio to host the bodies and minds of her students. Her yoga classes aim to improve bodily health by increasing blood flow and releasing muscle tension while stimulating the mind for sharper concentration and funnier Mad Libs. In the studio’s flower-curtain-lined healing room, Sara performs the raindrop massage: a combination of essential oils and reflexive therapy. She balances disrupted energy flows with reiki healing and assists at-home meditation with a guided relaxation CD.
Pirates Cove Scuba's certified instructors imbue beginning or advanced pupils with the requisite knowledge and techniques for plunging beneath aquatic surfaces and stock a full selection of dive equipment to help them to breathe easier while below. After briefings expound on what participants should expect when underwater, one-hour introductory courses gradually familiarize students with navigating H2O while wearing scuba gear before they explore the unseen depths and sunken pool-noodle wrecks of Pirates Cove Scuba's pool.
Open-water certifications expand on introductory knowledge with further classroom and pool study. Full-certification-seekers conclude schooling during scheduled weekend lake trips, which include four dives in open-water environments that, if properly performed, earn former novices final certification and congratulatory smooches from impressed catfish. To keep divers submerging in style, Pirates Cove Scuba carries equipment from Dive Rite, Henderson, and Seadive, which aquanauts can don on trips to Cozumel and other tropical destinations booked through the dive shop's travel desk.
In 1981, the founders of Mademoiselle Figure and Fitness opened the doors to their gym with a vision for it to become a place where women can get away from everyday life and focus on their fitness. Today, the staffers continue to support their female members’ fitness goals at two locations. Every member is assigned to a trainer who can meet with them for personal training sessions at no extra charge. As an added measure, trainers will give clients a call, e-mail, or smoke signal encouraging them to stay on track if they haven’t shown up at the gym in a while.
Both locations have heated pools where members can take Aqua Zumba and other water-based classes or do laps before relaxing in the whirlpool, steam room, or sauna. The trainers also lead Zumba, step, and other workouts on land. In addition to an indoor track, the gyms stock strength and cardio equipment from Precor, Life Fitness, Nautilus, and Cybex. After working out or stopping in for a session on the vibration platforms or tanning beds, members can pick up their kids from the babysitting area.
Though they have coached celebrities and worked with Broadway producers, the instructors at Elegance Ballroom appreciate that some people just want to cut loose on weekends. In beginner classes, they walk students through a curriculum of ballroom and Latin styles, laying the groundwork for steps such as the tango, foxtrot, rumba, and waltz. Private and group lessons prepare students for competition-level strutting or a casual night out. Regardless of the goal, instructors put guests at ease with encouraging attitudes, a selection of complimentary refreshments, and the solemn promise that they will never release wild wolverines into the studio to punish a missed step.
Apart from classes, staffers host regular practice parties where their protégés can socialize. They also rent out the Elegance Ballroom Event Center for special occasions, prepping food, drinks, and the dance floor to accommodate up to 500 guests.
At The Scuba Shack, the staff?s family-oriented lessons encourage divers to take social rather than solo ventures into the blue beyond, teaching clients from around Oklahoma at their location on May Avenue. Each instructor carries an impressive r?sum? of underwater travels. The Scuba Shack is a member of PADI?the Professional Association of Diving Instructors?a scuba certifying agency recognized across the globe with exacting standards for training and safety.
Captaining PADI-certification courses and specialty seminars?which cover topics such as night diving, photography, and fish identification?the instructors take groups on open-water excursions to area lakes and Clear Spring Scuba Park. With trips to dive sites in Fiji and Mexico, they introduce divers to the visual wonder of reefs and aquatic wildlife throughout the world.
Santa Fe Family Life Center recently expanded from a specialized tennis facility to a 55,000-square-foot comprehensive fitness center replete with saunas, three maple-wood basketball courts, and an outdoor swimming pool. In the belly of the facility, fitness experts develop safety-oriented routines that boost overall health, improve technique, and shed body fat during personal-training sessions. Group fitness classes foster camaraderie between participants as they stretch through yoga asanas, enhance functional movements through U-fit classes, and dance away calories in Zumba classes. After exercising, visitors cool off with towel service and pick up wee ones from the onsite childcare facility where tykes socialize and campaign for the title of Coolest Kid under staff supervision.