As the morning begins, a row of toddlers takes turns tumbling feet over head while their parents guide them into the correct movement. Later, school-age kids sit in a circle, legs stretched before them as they try to touch their toes. The trained staff of My Gym Children's Fitness Center imbue kids with life skills through music, physical activities, and games. Many classes incorporate physical exercises with social and developmental skills, while summer camps are also available seasonally. All classes take place in a well-padded room, led by staff trained in child development and fluent in Muppet.
Steamtown Yoga’s certified yoga instructors lead their students through energizing poses with a double-dose of enthusiasm in a studio infused with muscle-loosening heat. The schedule brims with 90-minute classes for students of all skill levels, which like televised readings of Beowulf, run seven days a week. Trained by hot-yoga superstars Bikram Choudhury and Jimmy Barkan, studio owner Lara Rubin gives newbies a solid foundation to build their yoga practice and can help even the most advanced yogis perfect their poses with demonstration, verbal cues, and hands-on modifications. In addition to melting stress, the sweltering temperature helps students deepen stretches and purge toxins with each bead of sweat. Separate men’s and women’s changing rooms reward students’ efforts with hot showers, hair dryers, and a enough space to wriggle out of a constrictive cocoon.
The skilled instructors of Sundari Yoga stretch and flex aspiring yogis to more enlightened states of mind and body. A legion of ligament-loosening classes awaits students of all abilities and rubber compositions, including beginner yoga, which eases new students into the poses, intricate three-part harmonies, and breath work of the yogic arts, as well as the more advanced Ashtanga class, a physically demanding fusion of postures and strenuous flows to boost endurance and increase balance. Those looking to shed stress and fluff stiff think pillows can join Zen flow, a sinewy session focusing on dynamic stretch work and meditative Zen philosophy and techniques. Though some of Sudari Yoga's classes are for all levels, other sessions require a certain amount of proficiency; students can assess their skill level by consulting with Sudari's instructors.
The instructors at Todd’s Martial Arts believe the practice of martial arts is a vehicle that can transport students to a place of greater self-confidence and self-control. Of course, the facility also recognizes that getting into shape and chopping down trees with roundhouse kicks are probably students’ priorities, too. That’s where Todd Sensinger comes in. As the head instructor at TMA, Todd is a second-degree black belt, and has been teaching and practicing the sport for 15 years. Todd and a team of certified instructors teach students ages six and up. They also maintain a clean, welcoming dojang, or “training facility.”
CKO Kickboxing's Joseph Andreula opened up his first gym in Hoboken, New Jersey, back in 1997. In that humble location, the fitness guru helped his clients shed their spare pounds and ratchet up their self-esteem with intense kickboxing workouts. Once word got out that Joseph's program of punching and kicking weighted bags got you more ripped than stay-at-home programs of punching and kicking ghosts, the gym caught on. CKO Kickboxing locations began to pop up throughout the country, where the newly expanded company's commitment to delivering heart-pumping workouts even earned a mention on NBC's Today. At the Franklin location, a forest of professional, 100- to 125-pound bags serves as the backdrop to kickboxing classes throughout the week. Their coed team of 11 seasoned coaches leads signature CKO workout sessions, along with a kickboxing bridal boot camp and nutritional program. The staff even offers complimentary babysitting sessions for children.
CKO Kickboxing founder Joseph Andreula's knowledge of exercise goes beyond creating effective workouts. It also helps guide the Fitness Standards Council, a nonprofit advisory panel of doctors and certified personal trainers, and provides the basis for the articles he’s published in Exercise for Men, Men's Health, and _Men's Fitness Magazine. But his true passion lies in the innovative fitness classes he created at CKO Kickboxing gyms. Since 1997, these gyms have housed Andreula’s exercise classes, which use basic kickboxing techniques to lead students toward powerful strength and greater endurance. In contrast to other kickboxing routines that have participants kick the air or invisible schoolyard bullies, students in CKO Kickboxing sessions strike hanging heavy bags to help them tone more muscle and burn up to 1,200 calories in a single class.