At the age of 14, Baltimore Yoga Village founder Anjali Sunita traveled to India, where she discovered the joys of simple living mixed with the sorrows of yearning for a greater purpose. After years of expanding her education and worldview through reading and the guidance of a college mentor, Anjali found peace within the rigid discipline and spiritual focus of a South Indian ashram. Soon setting her mind to sharing the physical and mental benefits of yoga with others, she taught in private homes and underserved schools before opening her own pair of studios known collectively as Baltimore Yoga Village.
There, a team of certified yoga instructors oversees a supportive community dedicated to peace, health, and spiritual growth. Whereas many studios’ teachers spend too much time teaching students to knit their own mats, Baltimore Yoga Village’s programs focus on the ancient practice of Hatha yoga, which includes deep breathing techniques, yoga postures with attention to physical alignment, and guided relaxation. The staff also leads regular workshops in a variety of topics, from Thai-yoga bodywork to meditation through devotional songs.
The owners of Farashé the Day Spa designed it with the feng shui elements of water, fire, metal, wood, and earth in mind. It makes for a fitting setting, since the treatments that take place there, like feng shui, draw from ancient Eastern healing philosophies. These Ayurvedic treatments range from scalp massages that stimulate the senses to applications of warm oils that separate clients from the lampposts to which they’ve frozen their foreheads. Aestheticians also perform Western spa treatments including facials with Dermalogica or GM Collin products. During body treatments, therapists draw from natural ingredients, such as mineral salts and sea mud, which clients then wash off with a massaging Vichy shower. Treatments take place amid the arched doorways and draped gold silk curtains that mark the spa’s Indian- and Moroccan-influenced decor.
CEO Peter Harvey believes that a quality gym staff must demonstrate more than technical expertise. "Service doesn't only mean showing someone how to do an arm curl," he says. Certified personal trainers develop workouts that zero in on each person’s specific goals, giving clients the skills to pole-vault over impassable plateaus. By steadfastly refusing to hand out fish in favor of putting on master classes in fishing, they help clients become self-sufficient, educating them on fundamentals.
During these one-on-one sessions, and in solo workouts, guests set calories ablaze atop rows of continually updated equipment. Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and strength-training tools line the walls.
Members can also drop in for as many group classes as they can muster. Inside a separate studio, stationary cycles whir in time with galvanizing music, kickboxing strikes arc through the air, and barbells rise with each BodyPump rep. For more meditative practices, Pilates sessions and several types of yoga enhance flexibility and focus.
At Jamachi Plastic Surgery & Medi-Spa, a diverse team of practitioners helps beautify clients from head to toenail. At the helm is plastic surgeon Dr. Emeka Onyewu, who has performed thousands of procedures—with a specialty in breast surgeries and liposuction—earning him a level of expertise that's been shared on news programs such as NBC 4. He's joined by Dr. Adaku Onukogu, a board-certified internist who administers flu shots and assists patients with managing their weight, overall health, and well-being.
Nail technicians, massage therapists, and aestheticians head up Jamachi's spa services, which are performed at mani-pedi stations or in treatment rooms. Aesthetician Trina McIntosh draws upon postgraduate training at the International Dermal Institute when revivifying faces with custom blends of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. April Parnell softens hands and feet with such specialty ingredients as champagne, olive oil, and happy unicorn tears during mani-pedis, and massage therapists Nmaku Onyewu and Joel Price lure stress out of bodies with customized techniques.
Open year round, Capital Clubhouse is an all-ages, 90,000-square-foot facility wholly dedicated to sports and recreation. The multisport arena can easily transform into a soccer, volleyball, dodge-ball, or inline-hockey court, allowing it to host all manner of team-based events from intramural games to kids' parties. Dasher boards that spent their youth exchanging quick embraces with Washington Capitals players at the former US Airways Arena now comfortably surround Capital Clubhouse's NHL-sized ice arena, which is kept cold year round thanks to 11 miles of underground cooling pipe and a steady diet of popsicles. When not supervising skaters from the comfort of the heated balcony, guests can race lithe mountain goats to the top of the center's 30-foot rock-climbing wall, where five different routes offer challenges for wall walkers of all ages and experience levels.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 5 or 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.