"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. This focus, shared by Body & Brain Holistic Yoga and The Life Yoga, forms the basis of the studio's classes and consultations. 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. Cooldown exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance.
A soft purple, oversized lotus flower painted on a blue-hued wall, as if floating in the water, begs for attention as soon as clients walk into Viva-ki yoga?s studio. That same flower is also the logo for the new studio, which offers a variety of yoga classes including yoga 101, CrossFit yoga, vinyasa, and hatha. Instructors also run specialty classes for kids, golfers, and expectant mothers.
Instead of modifying one’s natural reaction to danger, YMA Krav Maga & K.O. Bag Fitness builds upon inborn instincts. Its namesake method of self-defense, krav maga, hails from Israel but has sharpened the arsenal of the Secret Service, FBI, CIA, and NYPD. The noncompetitive technique can be boiled down to a central mantra: use the nearest tool for the job to finish the fight as quickly as possible. This means striking attackers in vulnerable areas with whichever limb will land a blow quickly and efficiently—whether that is a fist punching the neck, an elbow or knee to the groin, or a toe tickling an armpit. Students master these tenants of krav maga in group classes, which also teach how to fend off takedowns and weapons by acting out real-life situations. Fitness and the ability to smell danger inherently result from krav maga training, and K.O. Bag workout classes can put some extra oomph into exercise with challenging cardio and strength routines that include boxing and martial-arts kicks.
Co-owner Craig Kastning and his crew of devoted personal trainers push clients toward the finish lines of personal fitness goals through fat-burning and muscle-toning exercises. Fueled by motivational words from exercise gurus and promises of a MAS*H-reunion episode, customers reduce corporeal circumferences by relying on a nutrition cheat sheet and custom workout routines. In addition to burning calories and building up formerly dilapidated muscle groups, the trainers at Chi Town Boot Camps boost trainee endurance through jogging and other exercises that set heart rates racing.
At Lionize Training Center, Johan Haglund, Mike Nagy, and their trainers fulfill a long-held passion to share deep-rooted fitness knowledge with others, and seek to incorporate Pilates, conditioning, kickboxing, wrestling, and circuit training into their classes. Using personalized plans, they can help clients forge healthy lifestyles.
Any martial-arts education involves hard knocks and tough falls, but U.S. Elite Martial Arts & Fitness Center cushions the blows with its 4,000 square feet of matted floors. Atop them, trainees exchange blows in boxing and muay thai kickboxing classes. Brazilian jujitsu, wrestling, and judo fighters perform takedowns as elegant as they are brutal, following up with holds and joint locks that immobilize an opponent’s body. The center also trains children in self-defense, tying their lessons into school to raise grades and impart nonviolent antibullying techniques, such as calling a playground summit.