Like mounting an HDTV on a terra-cotta warrior, Excel Yoga blends the ancient and the modern, shepherding students of all experience levels through serene yoga sessions, sultry belly-dancing lessons, and high-energy kickboxing and boot-camp fitness classes. A sense of community weaves throughout the studio, from the eco-friendly bamboo flooring to courses that bring families into the fitness fold, such as Kids Yoga and Mommy & Me Yoga.
Beyond its slate of exercise classes, workshops deepen yogis’ relationship with various aspects of yoga. The Anatomy Workshop, for example, blends discussion and practice to explore how certain poses can relieve physical disorders. Excel Yoga even cultivates its own fleet of enthusiastic instructors through intensive teacher training that outfits prospective pedagogues with the knowledge, poses, and sweat-proof grade books they need to lead classes.
Over the course of their shared journey through the world of martial arts, Chuck and Kara Giangreco have done everything from studying with Bruce Lee apprentice Sifu Dan Inosanto to practicing styles ranging from jeet kune do to Filipino martial arts. While Chuck went on to teach seminars for military and law enforcement officials, Kara nabbed a state gold medal for her prowess at tae kwon do. Now, this duo pools this accumulated knowledge during classes at their own school, Westchester Martial Arts Academy. Their lessons share the art of fighting with students of all ages, helping adults defend themselves and teaching kids how to lead disciplined, focused, and respectful lives. In addition to burning calories and toning muscles, these mixed martial arts classes blend styles from around the world, giving students the skills they need to fight in any language.