With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your 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.
Eve Savva, owner and instructor of Temple Goddess Dance & Yoga, began dancing at eight, exploring the worlds of ballet, modern dance, and classical Indian dance. Now, a performer of Middle Eastern dance for the past thirteen years, she welcomes students to her studio, where she is also a certified yoga instructor. There, students of all ages and abilities can find a supportive, non-competitive environment to practice in classes such as belly dance, yoga, and cardio/fitness.
Surrounded by Yoga Shakti’s cheerful orange walls, yogis lift their hands toward the ceiling, root the balls of their bare feet into the wood floor, and stretch toward the sunlight that streams in through the window. During classes, instructors lead practitioners through their customized series of postures, which draw from several yoga styles to vary the routine and address specific goals. Classes range from gentle yoga, which focuses on meditation and breathing; to more rigorous Vinyasa flow, which links challenging postures to one another through the breath; to hot yoga, whose elevated temperature challenges students, allows for deeper stretches, and detoxes the body. The instructors also offer yoga-for-back-pain classes, which aim to increase mobility in stiff backs caused by injury, stress, or walking under the limbo stick in your doorway.
Nearly two decades ago, Stephen R. Hand feel in love with Claude Monet's Water Lilies masterpiece at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Though this encounter cemented his love for large-format impressionistic paintings, it would be the fluidity and vibrancy of color that would fuel his passion to paint, which he does from his namesake studio. Here, Hand can also be found leading painting classes, in which he interprets impressionism for beginner adults and teens, and creating one-of-a-kind pieces for clients such as US Open champion golfer Justin Rose.
A warm mug of fragrant coffee is comforting. So is the touch of a soft, hand-knitted scarf on your skin—albeit in a different way. These two comforts come together at Mamma Lane's Coffee House & Yarn Studio, where baristas serve café drinks and baked goods, pairing Mudslide frappuccinos with cookies and scones, while skilled artisans stock yarn and teach knitting classes nearby. Visitors learn to craft yarn into scarves, pompoms, and other cozy creations.
Registered yoga teachers Janel Norton and Christina Lowden mix up their years of exercise experience with their passion for alternative healing methods for a yoga stew chock-full of therapeutic benefits. Whether helping students striking their first tentative poses in beginner-friendly Hatha yoga classes or pushing patrons’ muscles to the brink during the hot power yoga series, Janel and Christina create a safe, friendly atmosphere through strong guidance and focused instruction. In addition to power, restorative, Hatha, and Yin yoga classes, they host Pilates mat-work sessions that bolster cores and 30-minute Body Blast classes that send students moving through time-tested, old-school routines—such as squats, pushups, and Model T flipping—to build muscle and character.