“I’m too scared to do a hot yoga class” is a phrase that’s all too familiar to Sherry Carpenter. The owner of The Funky Buddha Hot Yoga Studio and instructor recognizes that the balmy temperatures and 26 plus poses of hot yoga can intimidate those who have never taken a class before. That’s why she offers a beginners class that teaches students the poses used in hot yoga and prepares them for entry into one of the studio’s hot or warm yoga classes.
Sherry Carpenter trained under Arianna Gallagher of Chesapeake Hot Yoga, who was in turn trained by Bikram Choudhury—the founder of Bikram yoga—as well as B.K.S. Iyengar. In addition to her yoga classes, Sherry also offers Russian medical massage, which she learned while studying at the American & European Massage School. She teaches students inside a pale-green studio with mirrors and smooth hardwood floors. The studio also features curtained changing rooms, where post-yoga students can trade their sweaty asanas for clean ones.
When not training for a triathlon or embarking on an adventure race, 200RYT and almost 500RYT-certified yoga instructor and Get Twisted owner Dee Chrisman teaches daily yoga classes in her Hope Mills studio. Dee helps each student on their path to honing a stronger body and sounder mind through Vinyasa-style classes. As each session's sequences of flowing postures link together with mindful breathing techniques, students follow at their own pace, making the classes appropriate for practitioners of all levels, from beginning posturing to yoga for warriors. A stock of mats and props provides all the necessary materials for yogis, and soft lighting and sepia walls give the studio a cozy, earthy feel, generally preferred over the barren, overly bright lunar feel of many other studios.
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Dustin Ramsden's job is to enforce the law, which means he's never terribly surprised to hear about someone breaking it. As a response, Dustin uses his 18 years of martial-arts training to help citizens defend themselves in classroom environments and on the street. He and colleague Dee Schunk-Chrisman employ the highly practical systems of krav maga⎯a martial art developed by the Israeli Defense Force for use in combat zones⎯to give their students a fighting chance against a real-world aggressor. The pair of instructors design classroom attacks to emulate real-life circumstances, dimming lights or stepping outside to train students to deal with stress, darkness, and unexpected variables. Above the mirrors that line the walls of Ram’s Self Defense school, red paint spells out such phrases as “self-control,” “perseverance,” and “indomitable spirit,” which reminds practitioners not to fight ghosts.
Taking place on rugged, 10K–12K courses across the country, the Green Beret Challenge gives participants the chance to demonstrate the legendary toughness and endurance of the race's namesakes. In teams of two or four, male, female, and coed crews all take a stab at glory. Armed with backpacks, lengths of rope, and sturdy D-rings, each team must prove its mental and physical tenacity by tackling a series of challenges that require participants to scale obstacles and carry heavy loads across mud, sand, and other surfaces. Every race is followed by a celebration, during which winners are awarded prizes and every of-age finisher receives a complimentary beer to quench thirst and complement endorphin highs.
Designed by U.S. Special Forces and reality-show veterans, The Dirty Hog’s mud runs⎯held throughout the U.S. and Canada⎯promote teamwork and tenacity on untimed 9- to 12-mile treks through mudslicks peppered with obstacle-laden checkpoints. Participants shape their destiny at multiple checkpoint challenges, with each success potentially shortening the trek ahead and each failure earning burdens such as sacks of pig feed or a piglet that must be raised to maturity. As alternatives to the full course, a shortened, 5-kilometer option enables exertion on a smaller scale, and a half-mile piglet run grants children a chance to delve into the mud. The surpassing of tests earns mud navigators colored bracelets that are tradable for beer, hearty pork fare, and other delights at a free after party awash in live music and celebratory grunts from Lola, the event’s mascot boar. Teams cry out victory chants as solo entrants compliment each other on mud stains in the shape of Herbert Hoover’s silhouette.