Staffed by a certified team of yoga-teaching women—some of whom have racked up more than 700 teaching hours—Asana carves out a serene space where people can refuel energy reserves. Students from every skill level downward dog into a variety of classes that cycle between Vinyasa and hot flow to stimulate circulation, feeding muscles with oxygen, or guided meditation that unwinds tendons in classes that focus on relieving stress with meditation. Expectant mothers wind limbs around baby bumps in prenatal sessions, and classes for kids aged 5–10 initiate little ones with stretching exercises, focused breathing, singing, and games. The studio itself reflects inner peace as beams of natural light amble through sheer floor-to-ceiling curtains and soothing music gives patrons back massages.
CrossFit 428's dedicated trainers, Ricky, Hope and Jethrie, strive to help clients of all shapes and sizes—from stay-at-home moms to competitive athletes—achieve their personal fitness goals through dynamic workouts. Unlike other weight-lifting or cardio exercises, the CrossFit method builds strength using functional movements people perform on a daily basis, such as squatting, reaching, and running away from the guy who's running away from the cops. During the one-hour workouts, participants work to perfect 10 areas of physical skill, which include cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, power, and agility. The staff also provides nutritional guidance to augment the process of becoming fitter.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced coach is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering, and a soundtrack of fun, upbeat music includes cues that tell participants it's time to move on to the next station. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottle to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, so each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can. Because each workout warrior is at a different station, the only competition that exists is with one's own burgeoning muscles. The CurvesSmart system programs machines with personalized information, churning out move-by-move feedback to help clients meet and challenge personal fitness goals.
Far from being an artist possessed, Patty Sisco derives the same benefit from painting as she does from a long bubble bath. "All you are thinking about is your brushstrokes, not your bills," she told the Bloomingdale-Riverview Patch, speaking to the therapeutic value of her classes at Sketch and Sip. These sessions supply students of all backgrounds—including those who have never before lifted a brush—with canvas, tools, and a step-by-step demonstration on how to create their own vibrant masterpieces. As they work, Patty encourages her guests to imbibe drinks they've brought from home and plays serene music to prompt creative flow. She moves throughout the room to offer tips on technique and helps with corrections in case students’ hands slip or they change their minds about adding a goatee to their horse portrait.
Though the classes, which have been featured on NBC's Daytime, are responsible for much of the studio's reputation, Patty also plans other community craft events. Each week on Wacky Wine Glass Wednesday, visitors embellish cups with fetching colors and patterns, and a full-time potter teaches specialty ceramics lessons that result in handmade tableware. Artists can even customize an image for their friends or family to paint during private parties, teaching children to color in SpongeBob SquarePants and encouraging coworkers to bond by sketching each other's staplers.
The cultivated culinarians at Young Chefs Academy mold fledgling cuisine crafters into experienced gastronomic artists with fun cooking classes for kids aged 3–16. Students learn the essentials of proper food handling, as well as preparation and kitchen-safety tips, such as avoiding any and all spork fights. Like an indecisive chameleon, classes have a new theme each month and new recipes each week, with kids accumulating kitchen knowledge while using professional equipment in a decked-out kitchen. October is Halloween themed, featuring such recipes as the serpent sandwich, sinister salsa, and jack-o’-lantern quesadillas, while during November kids learn recipes such as herbed turkey bites, pumpkin whoopie pies, eggnog pancakes, and deep-fried pilgrim hats.
When Gilbert and Josephine Morejon opened their first restaurant, customers lined up around the corner to get a taste of their Cuban-style roast pork, paella, and stuffed lobster. Nearly 50 years have passed since then, and the lines have disappeared, but only because the Morejons collapsed their restaurant business in 2012 to focus solely on catering. Today, Latam Catering services parties and events—from small family gatherings to large weddings—across the city.
Customers can choose from pre-designed menus featuring items such as Cuban-style roast pork, rib-eye steak, and blackened shrimp, or they can work with the chefs to customize their own. Though David Morejon handles the food, they do have an event planner on staff to help interested clients with all the little details, such as decor and music and deciding whether it's appropriate to throw rice cakes at the bride for easier cleanup.