The expert instructors at Zion Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness believe that students can pursue the principles of fitness and sound personal defense at any age. Under the watchful eye of their gi-clad sensei, kids as young as five learn the underpinnings of Brazilian jiujitsu, building their self-confidence more effectively than replacing their glasses with a visor that reads "you're a champ!" on the inside. Older students often continue their study of jiujitsu, or expand their self-defense arsenals by branching off into kickboxing and mixed martial arts. Those just looking to shed a few pounds can enroll in the center's targeted training programs, which are dedicated to weight loss and body sculpting.
At Ego Fitness Studios, certified instructors strive toward the goal of helping clients cultivate a healthy ego. To that end, they welcome men, women, and children inside for personal-training sessions, sports-training sessions, and a slew of group-fit-training classes that are typically capped at 10 students. Their expertise is put to work in the studio's signature class: Boost. During these sessions, they run exercisers through a circuit of abs exercises, cardio exercises, and lower- or upper-body strength training with weights, resistance bands, medicine balls, and TRX bands.
Beyond the accoutrements incorporated during Boost, Ego Fitness also maintains rows of 100-pound punching bags that dangle from the ceiling. They get a thorough plumping during Kickboxing classes. Meanwhile, a forest of shiny poles awaits robot campers and guests for women-only Sexy and Pole Dance Fit classes and in-studio pole dancing parties. Alternatively, the facility houses karate classes taught by sixth-degree black-belt-master instructor Ron Williams, and offers chiropractic services from on-staff licensed chiropractors.
When Henry Harvey went to the University of Houston in 1975, he realized the dance moves he'd picked up at high school in Fort Worth were more valuable than he thought. In fact, he gave lessons to new people in the area who wanted to fit in on the dance floor. Years later, his wife decided they should start dancing together. "I went to dance class and found out they were doing the same things I was 10 years before," he said. Taking stock of his management abilities and previous dance experience, he realized he had the opportunity to be successful, so he brushed up his skills and founded High Steppers Dance Troupe LLC in 2007.
At locations throughout the area, Harvey and his team of instructors teach the hot urban Houston two-step, as well as swing-out dancing and line dancing. The dances are set to cool urban R&B tunes and neo-soul grooves and help participants release the seductive strut or smooth swagger they've kept bottled up. Instead of duct taping themselves to a good dancer in the club and letting them do all the work, students can be confident in their ability to finally know what they're doing on the dance floor.
Harvey claims that his students, many of who are aged 40 and older, come not only for the improved skills that come from dancing for two hours, but also for the atmosphere, which he calls "very upbeat and very festive." His dance classes can also act as a stress reliever after a long day at work. "They get into dance class and they're rejuvenated," Harvey says.
In addition to dance lessons, the group takes charter buses on regional trips and hosts two to three showcases per year, where students regale audiences with a synchronized dance routine. At their social dances, a DJ spins tunes as students get the chance to put their lessons into practice and leave behind their days of doing the worm shyly on the dance-floor sidelines.
Herbal poultices, warm oils, and energy balancing aren’t the tools of a typical spa, but at Santhigram Kerala Ayurvedic Center they’re a primary defense against stress and discomfort. The doctors, one of whom has studied ayurvedic medicine since childhood, take a holistic approach to health and happiness. They use herbs relied on by the ayurvedic method for thousands of years and believe that the natural remedies without side effects can help assuage a vast range of medical and emotional concerns. Traditional treatments include pouring thin streams of warm oil onto foreheads to reduce stress, opening pores with steam baths, and producing giggles with acupressure massage.
Sheepdog Tactical Training, LLC's NRA-certified instructors—including an army veteran and a retired Special-Forces sergeant major—share their expertise in firearm safety and self-defense skills with an array of classes for all levels. At their facility or a convenient location for students, the teachers introduce or help build upon techniques for handling pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Both in the classroom and on the shooting range, they cover subjects such as grip, trigger control, and advanced-fighting skills such as apologizing. To cater to varying comfort levels, they administer private lessons and lead women's-only classes.
After playing football at the collegiate and professional levels, Chris White earned his ACSM certification as a health-and-fitness specialist. He puts this experience to use at Fit With Chris, where—along with his fellow trainers—he helps clients shed pounds and lead healthier lives. Some of Chris's fitness services include personal training, group boot camps, and custom meal plans.
Deborah Douglas, the owner and certified yoga instructor at Yoga Mix Studio, began her yoga journey in 1974, but she wouldn’t begin teaching until much later. In the interim, she achieved a sixth-degree black belt in shorin ryu karate, and began to teach that style until she retired in 2007. But the desire to teach still burned within her, so she became yoga certified and opened her own studio, where she leads Hatha and Raja yoga classes that help students grow both spiritually and physically. Along with Greg Illich, who teaches tai chi classes, she also leads Zumba classes and meditation sessions.
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