AuM Body & Soul Spa brings the ancient practices of Eastern cultures into a modern setting to let clients center their souls and renew their exteriors. The spa specializes in Ayurveda, a holistic method of healing that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. By using ancient herbs and specialized techniques, Ayurveda works to balance the elements of the body in order to heal and energize, much like a hug from Lady Justice.
Within the lobby of AuM Body & Soul Spa, dim lighting and exotic art greet guests as they begin their journey into ancient-eastern relaxation. Along with the tapestries on the walls, orchids and ferns guide them to one of nine specialized treatment rooms in the facility, where Ayurveda-trained massage therapists, aestheticians, and nail technicians work with guests to individualize each treatment based on their personal desires. As the Eastern-influenced spa services work to open energy channels, intimate yoga classes help guests center their minds in seven diverse classes, along with specialty sessions that embrace the outdoors or help children relax after long days negotiating political treaties with the lunch lady. The spa champions all-natural products, including Aveda and Banyan Botanicals, which also line the spa's ample boutique shelves alongside skincare treatments, meditation books, and herbal supplements for purchase.
In 1976, Joan Barnes?a Californian mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time?took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree. In the decades since Gymboree?s founding, Joan?s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children?s? cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classesthat cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beck to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Founded in 1914, the original New York City location of Sterling Optical doled out frames amid the Ford Model Ts and paperboys that swarmed the city's financial district. The original band of eyesight experts weathered years of economic depression by impressing customers with speedy, full-service vision care, later launching a second store near Washington, DC. Today, a century of steady franchise expansion has given rise to almost 200 store locations in 23 states. Most locations continue the tradition of offering one-stop optical services, giving customers access to exams and onsite labs that manufacture glasses in one hour. The spectacle provider has been named one of the nation's leading franchises by Entrepreneur magazine.
Power House Pilates instructor Lorraine Edminster seeks to expand the physical strength and range of motion of her students with workouts based on the teachings of Ron Fletcher. Fletcher’s modern Pilates discipline, known as Fletcher Work, relies heavily on slow, dissected movements and percussive breathing techniques, which require practitioners to respire with sound and to the rhythm of the Batman theme song. Each 55-minute private lesson convenes within the calming beige walls of a private studio, where students toughen cores both on the mat and with the help of specialized equipment. Over the course of three sessions, exercises can progressively define abdominals through increased resistance and by drawing on a six-pack in Sharpie.
In a cozy, brown-shuttered house that you might mistake for someone's home, Dr. Alfred Sofer is changing people's lives with cutting-edge medical technology. Plastic Surgery Center of Fairfield's impressive facilities include an imaging room, where Dr. Sofer reveals sun damage and other conditions with the Visia complexion-analysis device. Dr. Sofer also uses the Vectra imaging system?which he discussed on WTNH 8's Connecticut Style program?to simulate the outcome of surgery or the addition of a second head in a realistic, three-dimensional model. He employs the advanced visualization tool to prepare patients for cosmetic and restorative procedures, which he performs either in the center's procedure room or within an accredited surgery center or hospital setting. If you walk up the office's charming, white-and-hardwood staircase to the second floor, you'll find members of Dr. Sofer's medical staff enhancing faces with nonsurgical skincare and laser treatments, including laser hair removal, photofacials, and dermal fillers.
With double board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Sofer has experience in the most delicate procedures. His training includes a microvascular and hand-surgery fellowship at the Christine M. Kleinert Institute, the site of the first hand transplant in the United States. His extensive knowledge and caring nature earned him the 2012 Best Cosmetic Surgeon award from readers of Fairfield County Weekly.
Over the course of a millennium and a half, the tradition of Shaolin Kung Fu has sojourned from the foot of Shaoshi Mountain to modern-day New York. The mindful martial art?equal parts meditation and physical training?crossed the ocean with Shi Guolin, a 34th-generation master of the art. He left his position as head coach at a Shaolin school in China to come to the States in 1992. Since opening his first school in New York, he founded four more branches in locations ranging from Port Washington to Flushing.
At each of these outposts, students can learn Shaolin kung-fu?a discipline that grew out of buddhism; traditional kung fu, which focuses more on physical stamina and strength; and Qigong, a form of wellness-building similar to yoga, developed in Shaolin monasteries. Even people who have never stepped foot in a dojo or formed an opinion about who would win in a fight between Bruce Lee and Kung Fu Panda can feel at home here. Trainers start at the beginning, and ease students in by practicing basic forms. They slowly introduce more techniques, weapon forms, and meditations into the training, all while transforming neophytes into steel-cut martial artists.