A pioneer of brain education and president of the Korean Institute of Brain Sciences, Ilchi Lee folded his studies into the design of his own Dahn Yoga, equal parts traditional asana and neuroscience research. A typical session begins with a simple tapping of the lower abdomen to gather chi energy that would otherwise get absorbed by Bagel Bites swallowed whole. Sessions launch into an exercise routine that combines aspects of yoga and tai chi to improve flexibility, strength, and balance. Next, yogis cool down and focus energy during an active form of meditation called Brain Wave Vibration, the studio's specialty, that harnesses flowing movements in an attempt to align minds and bodies. After the physical segment, workouts shift into a meditative portion that infuses cardiovascular systems with a stream of purifying oxygen through deep breathing.
The experienced dance instructors at Steeltoes Dance Studios have been teaching little ones to gracefully twirl and leap across the dance floor for 29 years. They strive to boost each student’s self-image as they dole out personal attention and technique corrections in their studio’s friendly, noncompetitive environment. Their small-group classes range from vocal to ballet and tap to hip-hop, and are divided by age into junior, teen, and adult classes. During hip-hop sessions, the staff teaches current moves from modern stars such as Usher, Beyoncé, Selena Gomez, and Bing Crosby. They’ve rounded out their class roster with musical theater and pre-school creative dance and interpretive-dance classes, which help kids express themselves.
New York Mountain Tours guides the wild at heart and spleens through natural landscapes and local alpine skylines. Aspiring mountaineers will meet at one of two pick-up locations—the Cross Roads Shopping Plaza in White Plains at 6:20 a.m. or the I-87 exit 14 park and ride on Rt. 59 at 6:50 a.m.—leaving the driving, tolls, and high-speed trolley chases to the New York Mountain Tours experts. Explore the wondrous white vistas of Hunter Mountain while marching through the snow with a tour guide, gliding up the lift with your lift ticket, or soaring through the air on a hot-wired magic carpet. Hungry site seekers end the day with a snack before heading home at 4:20 p.m. Groupon customers who wish to rent any snowy accoutrements can upgrade to a ski or snowboard rental ($38), and those seeking snow-based instruction can spring for a group lesson ($30).
Lead by certified kickboxing instructor, holistic health coach, and owner, Chrissy Finley, Evolution Kickboxing works out full physiques with challenging 60-minute no-contact kickboxing classes designed for beginners as well as advanced students. During those fun-focused classes that burn up to 850 calories per session, Finley and her team inspire groups to pummel heavy bags, shadowbox, practice calisthenics, and master boxing basics and techniques. They also offer tae kwon do, tang soo do, and wing chun kung fu martial-arts classes, which focus on fitness as well as self-discipline, respect, and self-defense.
FIT4MOM helps women stay in shape throughout their pregnancies and into motherhood. The Fit4Baby class strengthens muscles while reducing traditional pregnancy aches and pains. Stroller Strides welcomes moms to push their babies in buggies while they power walk and strength train, a much more effective workout than repeatedly lifting a diaper bag full of bricks. FIT4MOM’s instructors also lead barre-inspired classes and 5K training.
Valentina knows the rhythms of Zumba by heart. Born and raised in Uruguay, she spent four years studying the traditional dances of her home country and two additional years learning candombe, a cultural dance of the Afro-Uruguayan community. Latin dance remained a major part of her life even after she moved to the U.S., where she studied salsa and merengue. Valentina fell in love with Zumba when she realized she could combine all the styles of dance she enjoyed into one intense cardio workout.
Today, Valentina brings her extensive knowledge of traditional dance styles to all her classes, teaching alongside another dancer, Madi Di Cara. They demonstrate dancing styles and techniques in ballet, hip-hop, and salsa, as well as teaching slower Zumba Gold classes and leading age-appropriate dances in Zumbatomic kids' classes.