On the last Saturday of each month, Robin Soll hosts a free yoga session, open to all. The gesture is typical of Robin, a certified instructor who has been blending her passion for yoga and her community since the 1970s. To encourage her neighbors to practice yoga, she also conducts custom sessions at homes and offices around the area, as well as demonstrations for businesses where employees can learn stress-management techniques that don’t involve ripping the photocopier in half with their bare hands.
Robin leads more in-depth classes at her Marlton studio, where she practices eight yoga styles, one of which relies on a combination of moves from yoga and Pilates. She introduces students to 26 fundamental poses during slow-paced Gentle Yoga sessions, while her faster Power Yoga courses plow through various movements and stretches. She also integrates blankets, blocks, and straps to meditative sessions where poses are held for long periods of time.
Hot yoga doesn't just help practitioners lose weight, increase flexibility, and tone muscles. It also helps them heal from life-threatening injuries. Bhakti Yoga South Jersey owner Ed Gergler is proof of that. After a near-fatal car crash, Gergler discovered hot yoga, which helped him treat his chronic back pain without surgery. It was so effective that he switched careers from a construction pipe worker to a yoga teacher and studio owner. Now he and his staff lead students through heated yoga classes that strengthen their cores and Warm Yoga with Nidra that helps them reduce stress and achieve peaceful mindsets. The teachers even offer up tips to new students, encouraging them to drink plenty of water and keep an open mind.
At the age of 4, Josh Gannone got his first taste of wrestling. His father thought the sport might be more captivating for his son, who previously had fallen asleep during a karate class. After being beaten up for the entire first session, Josh went on to win a state title in his youth, wrestle for the Team New Jersey for a select time before college, and begin coaching after graduating. Today, he teaches his first love, wrestling, alongside newer passions: Jiu Jitsu, MMA, and circuit training.
The professional staff and certified personal trainers at Optimal Sport Health Club, a popular chain of boutique fitness centers in Philadelphia, want to help their clients get into the best shape of their lives. The facilities have everything members need to reach their workout goals, whether they want to build lean muscle, lose weight, or simply get stronger.
Here, clients can work out with the cardio and strength-training equipment or head over to the group fitness studio to take classes in everything from Pilates to step class to yoga. Personal trainers are on hand for those looking to ramp up their fitness routines.
Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.
Raquel Gleason discovered her calling while dealing with her mother’s battle with breast cancer. She enlightened her mother and others about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, benefits Raquel experienced herself after Pilates helped correct her spine and foot issues. Today, certified in such skills as personal training, Pilates, CPR, and first aid, Raquel runs Rebel Pilates, where she leads private and group sessions in Reformer Pilates, step-board dance, and barefoot Bhangra (Bollywood) Indian dance. By exposing clients to Pilates and dance, Raquel strives to impart total-body balance, which could previously only be achieved by a steady diet of gyroscopes.