Faith Hunter embraces a yogic philosophy that hinges almost entirely upon treating the practice as a means to an end. The studio's Vinyasa-inspired classes do build core strength and improve flexibility over time, but these sessions also encourage students to recognize and harness the positive energies that yoga coaxes to the forefront of the mind. From there, the teachers urge attendees to use the renewed understanding of these energies to live a fuller, more impassioned life.
This lifestyle philosophy?called "embrace your flow"?and emphasis on yogic practice has garnered national and international prominence for Faith. She has even appeared on the covers of publications such as Yoga Journal and Om Yoga & Lifestyle, and she has posted her own yoga videos on My Yoga Online.
Her DC studio's classes aim to accommodate virtually all skill and fitness levels. Beginners sessions can introduce students to fundamental asana sequences and breathing techniques, and more advanced classes start to incorporate more challenging poses, including inversions, arm balances, and slow-motion break dancing.
"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.
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.
Glenn Seth?a certified master instructor of Russian kettlebell exercise?crafts classes based on his time and training as a Marine and his understanding of the body garnered through experience as a massage therapist. In one-on-one sessions or small group classes, he pumps and swings kettlebells beside his students, rather than barking orders from the sidelines while gorging himself on a four-course meal of turkey legs. He promotes a three-pronged approach to fitness, focused on helping clients enhance their body's natural movement, improve their posture, and relieve chronic pain. Lauded by reporters from CBS DC as one of the best in the area, Glenn's kettlebell program emphasizes functional exercises to help clients feel more able and confident in any physically demanding day-to-day activities, such as lifting heavy boxes or wrestling the family dog for the best spot on the couch. Dedicated to sending patrons down the path of overall healthy lifestyles beyond the bounds of his space, he soothes overworked muscles with massage and dispenses nutrition advice.
Since 1973, each of Sport&Health's 24 clubs has aimed for full fitness coverage with programs for every taste and family member. Guests can spark positive lifestyle changes with workouts and wellness services, or engage in a variety of sports. Each facility houses different athletic amenities for games and laps, from pristine swimming pools to squash and racquetball courts. The camaraderie of group classes such as Zumba and Les Mills BodyPump barbell routines complement scores of gym equipment meant for exercising solo—or with the guidance of a certified personal trainer. The clubs also emphasize kid-friendly activities with arts and crafts, Kidz Klub childcare, and youth certification courses that teach teens the ins and outs of training. Depending on the location, spa treatments can knead tension from muscles and paint one's favorite kettlebell with a layer of Shellac.
After meeting the physical demands of army training and working for two decades in the fitness industry, president of Custom Fitness Concepts Tom Kalka channeled his health and fitness savvy into CFC's training programs. His expert team of personal trainers visits homes and corporate offices to lead patrons in custom workout routines. Furthering fat-burning efforts, educational seminars on conditioning, nutrition, and orchestrating funerals for annihilated calories prime attendees for a salubrious lifestyle shift. CFC instructors also chisel away unwanted fat with a boot-camp series, whose ever-shifting medley of calisthenics and strength training was deemed the country's second-best boot camp in 2008 by Exercise TV.