Like mounting an HDTV on a terra-cotta warrior, Excel Yoga blends the ancient and the modern, shepherding students of all experience levels through serene yoga sessions, sultry belly-dancing lessons, and high-energy kickboxing and boot-camp fitness classes. A sense of community weaves throughout the studio, from the eco-friendly bamboo flooring to courses that bring families into the fitness fold, such as Kids Yoga and Mommy & Me Yoga.
Beyond its slate of exercise classes, workshops deepen yogis’ relationship with various aspects of yoga. The Anatomy Workshop, for example, blends discussion and practice to explore how certain poses can relieve physical disorders. Excel Yoga even cultivates its own fleet of enthusiastic instructors through intensive teacher training that outfits prospective pedagogues with the knowledge, poses, and sweat-proof grade books they need to lead classes.
Turtle Cove Golf Center sprinkles summer with the pixie dust of outdoor activities ranging from miniature golf to smacking fastballs in batting cages. A course with 18 mini-golf greens peppered between bright flowers and rippling water lures putters, and the 55 hitting stations at the center's 450-yard grass driving range beckon players looking to vent aggression through full-force swings or whispered threats to their tees. After bagging their clubs, guests can swing into batting cages to whack baseballs and softballs or relax at the Turtle Cove Café and munch on a hamburger.
In addition to practice facilities, Turtle Cove offers professional guidance on the art of the swing during lessons. PGA professionals employ high-speed digital-video analysis to break down each pupil’s form and technique as they drive, chip, and drop-kick golf balls into the hole.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
The brewing and winemaking experts at Midwest Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies lavish equipment and encouragement upon aspiring beverage crafters nationwide. Beer and wine equipment kits provide every necessity in one handy package, unlike puzzle-piece-of-the-month clubs, and ingredient kits yield liquid harvests in a range of styles and varietals. Whatever the favored flavor, Midwest's premium ingredients and handy how-to books help to make consistent batches each time, aiding brewers in avoiding the embarrassment of turning out a spicy pinot grigio or a bacon-flavored lager.
The Wimbledon-weathered teachers of Roosevelt Island Racquet Club and the other swinging locations arm their pupils with world-class expertise from top-ranked international players. Atop New York Tennis Club's and Roosevelt Island's clay courts or the hardtops of the others, students congregate once weekly to work on their forehands, backhands, overheads, and underfoots in a lively series of games and drills (buyers may rank their preferred schedule online). This deal also includes 15% off racquet purchase or restringing, tennis balls, demo racquets and balls for loan, and a one-month membership to the clubs, granting temporary access to the clubs' game-arranging services and exclusive rates on programs, workshops, and open-court reservations (summer rates for members range from $50–$68/hour, about $35 less than non-member fees), as well as exclusive tips for bleaching accidentally tie-dyed tennis whites.