Visitors to Blue Moon Yoga might imagine that they've stumbled into a piece of history. With a location at the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design Rotunda Building, a historic rotunda building, Carrie Sonneborn uses the cozy environs reflect her overall mission to foster a peaceful, welcoming escape from the stresses of everyday life—which is also championed in her yoga classes. She specializes in Iyengar-inspired yoga, a gentle practice that consists of standing postures and emphasizes a custom proper alignment pose for each student, as well as pranayama, or deep breathing, and relaxation. An avid yoga practitioner for more than two decades, she touts her own health as proof of yoga's benefits. "Yoga and massage are like my fountain of youth,” she says. “I'm more flexible and, in some ways, better shape than I was in my 20s—I'm obviously a convert."
To make yoga accessible to students of all experience levels, Carrie recruits props such as blankets, straps, blocks, and bolsters. She limits her classes to 12 students so that she can personally attend to each one, carefully monitoring their form and offering physical adjustments when needed. The poses in her classes are adapted for each student, so beginners practice the basic form of the pose alongside more experienced pupils, then move into a more advanced version of the same pose.
The Colorado School of Acting's directors, Elizabeth Horne and Troy Horne, combine their dual loves of stage and screen to impart acting chops to students of all ages and experience levels. Elizabeth—who has acted in more than 25 plays and 12 movies—and Troy—a sitcom and film producer who appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award–winning musical Rent—staff their team with veteran acting instructors, each of whom have more than 10 years of experience in the biz. During their classes, they teach students to focus and perform under a variety of circumstances, with workshops in subjects ranging from improv and commercial work to audition skills and voiceovers. They welcome kids for acting summer camps, where they introduce fundamentals of memorization, character development, and rehearsal. Instructors also help thespians develop with more advanced training, including filmmaking summer camps for kids, and a certificate program for all age levels that requires students to audition or present a signed permission slip from David Schwimmer.
Bling Bling Window Cleaning purges panes of invading dirt and sanitizes homes sullied by the grime and gunk of daily living. Choose the first option, and two or more capable cleansers arrive at your home equipped with all the materials necessary to clean panes ($4–$7/pane) that have transformed from clear viewscapes to murky canvases from domestic gray periods. After consulting with customers about the correct pollutant-free cleansers to use, washers go to work on windows, removing dirt, sopping up standing or pooled water, and washing sills and tracks. A window restoration ($5–$10/pane) involves a more refined rinsing, during which scrubbers also remove overspray and extra paint to return glass to a more air-mimicking state. For those opting for the house cleaning, Bling Bling's two-hour service leaves laundry washed, dishes dried, surfaces sanitized, and sheets changed after technicians expertly expunge the clutter of previous evenings' indoor pie-eating contests while leaving the glory untouched.
The owners of Qi pool their experience to design innovative, unique exercise classes. Leading a staff of personal trainers and experienced instructors, the club maintains meditative training studios where yoga and cycling fuse in courses such as QiCycle-Yoga, and Qi Ryders, which uses RealRyder bikes.
The resulting roster of classes have earned Qi a second- and third-place spot on 5280's 2011 readers’ choice awards for Health Club/Gym and Yoga respectively. Such classes include Qi Yoga, a unique focus on core energy and muscular strength, and QiCycle-KORE, a cycling program blended with a bootcamp workout. The commitment to healthy living extends beyond the gym, with community programs, such as the free running club, a group that meets regularly to jog through City Park, Congress Park, and local Thanksgiving dinners.
Eager to provide marital-arts expertise and fitness know-how, Peak Training Center offers instruction and conditioning to people of all ages and skill levels. Four coaches and specialized instructors help aspiring MMA fighters step up their games and show regular exercisers efficient methods of getting in shape. The staff teaches Brazilian Jiu-jitsu—the world's premier form of grappling—as well as kickboxing, muay thai, and mixed martial arts. They also build cardio endurance in athletes by turning to dance, with classes such as Zumba and hot hula. They lead yoga sessions to promote flexibility and Pilates classes to build strong cores, a necessary step before athletes can throw solid punches or stun opponents by exposing their six-packs.
"I like to break stuff and glue it onto other stuff. I would like to show you how." This is how mosaic teacher Heather Sarmiento describes her craft, and indeed, every single instructor has a unique story and style. Watercolorist Karen Hill grew up in Utah near the Rocky Mountains, and she's plastered galleries all over her native state with nature-influenced landscapes and still lifes. Oil and watercolor teacher Ed Slack favors nighttime scenes, much like Picasso's lesser-known vampire twin Pete. There's also a pottery teacher, a guitar teacher, and several other painting instructors, each of whom brings his or her own perspective to the classroom. Thanks to this diverse gaggle of artists, the studio's curricula range from casual, single-session Painting & Vino hangouts to technical six-week art courses. The studio also hosts parties and family nights, and its gallery features a diverse array of styles by teachers and other local artists.