"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee, "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere." To make this challenging, yet hopeful philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30–40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation—including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cool-down exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance. Dahn Yoga is also taught at independently owned and operated franchises called Body & Brain Yoga.
Emily and Philip Vendemmia look after their students by wrangling a massive schedule of more than 72 classes per week spread over three locations. Bolstered by a strong team of certified Bikram yoga instructors, the duo guides students through Bikram’s 90-minute routine, consisting of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Instructors crank each studio’s practice space to a hot and humid 105 degrees to help pupils’ muscles safely sink into deep, healing stretches and purge harmful toxins from the body. Each of the standing and seated poses is designed to work every muscle, ligament, and joint while sending freshly oxygenated vampire food to the organs to help support health and fitness.
Movement is medicine for Sunyatta Amen, proprietor and head instructor at MamaSita Movement & Wellness Studio. She expresses this philosophy through an eclectic menu of group classes such as Urban Fusion Belly Dance, Zumba, and Brazilian Samba Workout. During classes, students gain confidence as they shimmy hips and undulate bellies through each 60- to 90-minute workout.
With 24-hour access, aerobic and mixed-martial-arts group classes, and well-appointed facilities, Club One Fitness aims to be the ideal backdrop for any workout routine. The schedule of group exercise classes includes yoga, Pilates, and Zumba. Boxers spar with other members or against the gym's stash of weighted bags during boxing classes for adults and tykes, who learn the pugilistic art in an Olympic-sized ring that, according to the Washington Post, "bears no resemblance to the worn, dingy boxing gyms of Hollywood movies, even though some Gold and Silver Gloves fighters, and a few pros, have trained there."
The staff of personal trainers and athletes show new members the ropes with three complimentary orientation sessions sessions; during the first, staffers talk to new members about their workout history and goals, and show them how to use Life Fitness treadmills, LifeCycle exercise bikes, elliptical cross-trainers, and stair climbers. On the second visit, they explain how to use Hammer Strength and Life Fitness strength-training and toning equipment. On the third and final visit, staffers give members their own personalized workout program, calibrated to help them reach their goals. From there, members can forge their own fitness paths or buddy up with a personal trainer.
Staffed by trained personnel, the bright and roomy childcare center keeps young ones engaged with toys, a big-screen TV, and a PlayStation. After adults catch their own entertainment in the cardio theater, which projects movies as guests decimate calories, they can relax in the sauna, hop into the tanning beds, or shower off sweat and punching-bag tears.
Hot Yoga's name is a simple representation of a complex art. There, yogis gather students in warm rooms for 60- to 80-minute stretching sessions that limber up the body, purge toxins from the blood stream, and accelerate the natural healing process. They teach primarily Vinyasa-style yoga, which connects asana through flowing movements supported by deliberate breathing exercises. Beyond classes, the instructors also keep guests stretched and sweltering in private lessons or group yoga parties.
In addition to simple lessons, Hot Yoga's staff also unlocks the art of instruction itself, offering both a 200-hour and 500-hour registered-yoga-teacher certification in accordance with the teaching standards of the Yoga Alliance. These lessons involve both classroom time with senior instructors and personal study, and culminate in a test in which yogis must be able to describe what the bottoms of their feet look like when upside down and backwards.
Owner and studio director Valerie Grange believes that you can "discover your true self through the healing power of a regular yoga practice and mind-body holistic therapies." She created Buddha B Yoga as a place where students of all experience levels can further their mental and physical well-being. Along with a team of diverse and experienced instructors, she leads students through various styles of yoga on the sunny studio's gleaming bamboo floors. In Vinyasa classes, students link continuous, flowing postures with the deep-breathing Ujjayi technique, or turn stiff muscles into pliable play-doh during Yin and Yang yoga's sun salutations. Demonstrating their passion for the earth, the staff promotes veganism and hosts workshops to raise funds to help rescue animals and spirit animals in need.