One has been a martial artist for more than 35 years; the other has been a bus driver for almost as long. Instructors at Lakeview Yoga and Wellness Center, Vidal Bitton and Joyce MacFarlane know what it's like to balance a busy schedule with the demands of staying healthy. Vidal's approach to yoga incorporates his knowledge of tae kwon do, hapkido, and tai chi, especially as to how physical exertion can lead to painful injury. Joyce also practices yoga with a mind toward healing—her years behind the wheel of a school bus have resulted in several spinal injuries. By juggling a demanding job that can take physical tolls, Joyce's empathy and spirit shine through in each class she teaches.
Along with the other instructors, Vidal and Joyce bring their distinct backgrounds to hot and power yoga classes that strengthen muscles and boost flexibility. The mind and spirit are considered just as vital; on-staff wellness practitioners augment the effects of yoga with services such as massage, acupuncture, personal training, and therapy.
Grand Master Brandon Richards, PhD is an 8th-degree Black Belt awarded the 2013 Grandmaster of the Year by the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame. At Seattle Tae Kwon Do, he joins a team of veteran instructors with world championship and Olympic team trial medals under their multi-degree black belts. So it?s no wonder that the school was voted Best Martial Arts by King5 Best of Western Washington in 2013. Whether in advanced adult classes or Tiger Cubs sessions for toddlers, the instructors strive to instill a black-belt mindset in every lesson they teach, stressing perseverance, focus, and discipline. Beyond tae kwon do, classes in Thai kickboxing whip bodies into shape with practical self-defense techniques, from blocking punches to bear-hugging schoolyard bullies.
A former Zen Buddhist monk, Yoon opened his first yoga studio in South Korea, where he gained attention on a national TV documentary. After successfully launching this first studio and teaching yoga and meditation at retreats in South Korea and the United States, he founded Yoon's Yoga Bliss, where he brings his years of monastery and yoga experience to each class. In Korean, Yoon means happiness, and that's exactly what he strives for in each class—to help each student feel and share happiness through continuous awareness of movement, breathing, and golden retrievers. Whether teaching rigorous Vinyasa classes or gentle Hatha sessions, Yoon guides students through poses that strengthen and stretch the body.
Heat radiates throughout The SweatBox's studio as instructors lead students through Bikram yoga’s 26 postures and two breathing techniques. Starting with a lung-expanding breathing exercise, the instructors guide yogis in a sequence of postures designed to stretch and strengthen every muscle group. The heat, kept around 105 degrees, warms the body and loosens the ligaments, enabling guests to sink deeper into stretches, release toxins via sweat, and shake off mini snowmen seeking refuge behind their ears. The SweatBox spans across two locations and hosts various events including posture-practice sessions, and kids’ yoga.
At Richmond Beach Yoga, Angeline Johnston and Glenn Tousignant combine their passions for teaching and healing—Angeline has a master’s in teaching and Glenn has focused on social work—with extensive yoga backgrounds. They teach several styles of yoga, including Vinyasa, meditative Yin, and Hatha yoga, all while encouraging students to work at their own pace and use props to help build their strength and stability. Sunday-morning meditation sessions and special events—like a workshop on chakras—address the mind, spirit, and the spirit that's been following you since you visited that bed and breakfast. Angeline and Glenn also offer personalized corrections during class, modifying postures for students to help prevent strain and injury.
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 heavy 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.