As a Zumba instructor, Diana Blandon saw how much people enjoyed burning calories while swiveling their hips to the Latin-inspired beats, so she decided to open her own Zumba studio. She recruited a team of certified instructors and decked the studio walls in yellow and purple to complement the high-energy classes.
Less than a year later, her studio's grown faster than she ever thought it would. "I'm actually looking for something bigger," she says. "Every [class], I'm getting more people."
Diana attributes the overwhelmingly positive response to a few factors. As patrons attend classes, they can rest assured their wee ones are safely frolicking with free childcare. Kids can watch movies, play games, or use the WiFi to work on homework assignments or download longer and more boring homework assignments. And then there's the workout itself: "It's a fun way to burn calories," Diana says.
In addition to adult classes, Diana hosts kids Zumbatomic classes, leading wee ones in games, dancing, and exciting exercises—welcoming their parents to join in and then stay for the adult class afterward. Her instructors also offer a weekly yoga class and dance lessons in Latin styles such as salsa and merengue.
YOUnique Yoga's instructors oversee their studios' schedules of physically invigorating yoga sessions, which meet in intensely heated practice spaces to boost flexibility. Mainly employing Vinyasa techniques, the instructors teach all levels of students to perform a rhythmically flowing sequence of poses that uses synchronized breathing exercises to help students concentrate as they transition from one pose to the next with balance-challenging movements. In time, pupils learn to focus their thoughts while leaving their mind-body connections as balanced as a seesaw in zero gravity. The temperatures can hover between 98 and 108 degrees at each class, helping bodies safely sink into each stretch and shepherd toxins out the nearest sweat gland.
Purple Om Yoga’s teachers describe the word yoga as literally meaning “union.” They consider postures, breath work, and awareness to be the pillars of this union, combining all three to varying degrees in the six styles of yoga they teach. Some of their classes, such as flow yoga, focus on the physical aspects of the practice, whereas others, including kripalu and tai chi, emphasize a more meditative approach to wellness. They take on students of all sizes and shapes, hosting classes that cater to 4-year-olds, aspiring teachers, or Nordic frost giants.
Equipment: Yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, back care
Students should bring: Yoga mat, but if they forget or don't have one, we also have yoga mats available at the studio.
Average class length: 60?90 minutes
Number of Staff: 5?10 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Our meditative vinyasa yoga focuses on alignment for all levels, and is both challenging and calming.
Exercise is challenging, and people frequently give up on their fitness routines. How do you keep clients motivated?
We offer alignment-focused vinyasa classes that challenge students while encouraging them to be mindful and listen to their bodies. These classes also teach them how to tailor their practices to their unique needs. We explore pranayama, chanting, meditation, and the deeper aspects of yogic philosophy. Students love how these practices help them connect to the physical world, as well as what lies beyond it.
Our teachers also walk the walk. They practice, and can therefore share and teach from a place of understanding, compassion, and personal experience. They provide a supportive, receptive space that is conducive to exploring time-tested practices in a way that helps students understand how the mental, emotional, and physical can work together as a whole. They invite students to take a good look at habits and patterns, to press boundaries, with the understanding that this helps to develop trust in our own experience and a healthy sense of self and discernment. The development of self trust?and the ability to flow with the ups and downs of life?is powerful.
What is the biggest mistake you see people make when trying to get fit on their own?
Beginners often become frustrated with yoga because they tried it without a good teacher. But the truth is, yoga welcomes everyone. It doesn?t matter what age you are, or whether or not you can reach your toes. It is a practice of awareness that nourishes the mind, body, and spirit. I also think that it's important to create a strong foundation in the basics so students take care of their bodies and their unique needs. This is especially important for beginners and is best achieved with guidance from a receptive, knowledgeable teacher during in-person lessons.
What is a typical session of your program or class like for a student?
We start with exploring some aspect of the ancient philosophy or psychology of yoga. Then through chanting and breathing, we warm up to focus the mind and add ingredients that we will be emphasizing in the physical practice. We do a meditative flowing vinyasa with mindful sequencing to challenge and press boundaries in a safe way. Eventually, we wind down with cooling, calming poses and meditation.
In addition to teaching youths and adults to punch and kick properly, Rockaway Fight Center imparts self-discipline, self-confidence, and self-respect. Instructors specialize in Israeli combat tactics including knife fighting, ground survival, and HaganaH, a full-contact form of self-defense that incorporates krav maga and hisardut. The center also offers combat fitness classes, which condition bodies using HaganaH fighting techniques, as well as Zumba classes, which eschew combat in favor of pure calorie burning. For an East Asian approach, the center’s Brazilian jiu jitsu lessons teach students to overpower a larger attacker or a declawed grizzle bear using chokes and holds, while taekwondo classes focus primarily on striking and thrusting with kicks and punches.
Although the instructors at Temple Of Arts focus on teaching self-defense skills, they also dedicate themselves to helping students of all ages find serenity and their own path in life. Chief instructor and sixth degree black belt Sensei Angel Robles leads a team of martial arts experts who help youth develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. Their karate programs work on building self-confidence, self-esteem, and the ability to chop firewood in half without needing a flannel shirt. Aside from martial arts lessons, the team also illuminates pathways toward healthier lifestyles with a schedule of fitness classes including high-energy Zumba and meditative yoga, which helps tone muscles in relaxing restorative poses.