The Yoga Place’s founder, Michael Curtis, considers himself an eternal student, always learning more of what yoga has to offer. Somewhat paradoxically, this is what makes him such a good instructor, since it means he’s ready to go back to any point in his yogic journey to help a fellow student. He characterizes his pursuit of yoga in three foundational descriptions: skillfulness in action, equilibrium, and clarity of mind. He imparts these principles six days a week in classes for all levels of practitioners.
Michael’s pursuit of fitness doesn’t end with yoga, however. He also has teachers on staff who conduct belly-dancing and tai chi classes, both of which are excellent ways to enhance the mind-body connection without growing an extra spinal cord.
All year long, Ohio ATV World hands over the keys to a stable of well-maintained Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Polaris all-terrain vehicles that purr beneath riders as they wind down through 16 miles of trails in Hocking Hills Nature Trails. In rain, sleet, snow, or sun, attentive staff members provide helmets before indoctrinating off-road skills into beginners and experts, who can zip through trail barrels and ramps atop their four-wheelers. Off the beaten path, Ohio ATV World arranges group outings and birthday-party activities, such as scavenger hunts set amid the park’s scenic foliage and natural wildlife.
Anytime Fitness attracts devout customers for its amenities alone: 24-hour access to its 1,700 locations across the country, 24-hour security, private showers and bathrooms, massage services, wellness programs, and personal training, to name a few. The gym’s top-of-the-line equipment from Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, and Intek Strength ranges from cardio machines—treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes—to strength equipment—free weights, weight machines, and circuit-training tools.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottle to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can. The Wooster Curves comes fully equipped with CurvesSmart technology, a computerized personal-training system that gives custom minute-by-minute exercise feedback and enlightens users with a postworkout progress report measuring strength gains and calories burned.
Dustin Oliver has served as the choir and drama director at Akron North High School and the fine-arts director at Celebration Church, so he knows a thing or two about putting on a performance. Add to that nearly 15 years practicing the guitar, nearly 20 years honing his piano and voice skills, and at least a few minutes humming the theme to M.A.S.H., and it becomes obvious that this artist is a multi-talented whiz. An accomplished musician and composer with a Bachelor’s degree in music from Southeastern University, Dustin is earning his Master’s in theatre from the University of Akron, making him a veritable double threat and a valuable resource for aspiring musicians and actors. When not adding to his own skill set, he leads private and group music lessons in guitar, piano, bass, and voice for students ages 5 and older—as well as private and group acting lessions—following well-established curricula.
Although Lifesource normally dedicates itself to the age-old practice of yoga, occasional age-appropriate exotic-dance workshops shimmy their way onto the class roster. Instructor Jessica Rawson began teaching at Lifesource in 2009 and has 28 lunar rotations, or two years, of private pole-dancing and exotic-dance lessons under her belt. During the course of the two-hour workshop, Jessica will take the pole's helm and instruct participants in a variety of exotic dance techniques, from pole dance and lap dance to strip-tease techniques and cheeky burlesque moves. Although participants will wear their clothing, the techniques can be easily applied to garment-free activities at a later time. As your inner seductress makes her way to the surface, you'll build confidence and engage rarely used muscles, sometimes resulting in day-after pangs of soreness and a self-assured saunter.