The dynamic instructors at each of the six centers teach a holistic approach to yoga and noncombative martial arts that targets flexibility, strength, breathing, and energy sensitivity. Schedules vary from studio to studio, with regular open-level classes such as those at BR Holistic Healing integrating a core regimen of stretching, breathing, and strengthening postures that improve keg-stand techniques tremendously. Vibration sessions at the Body & Brain Center in Metuchen and Dahn Yoga in Closter and Oradell can release stagnant energy and recharge bodies to take on exhausting second jobs impersonating the Energizer bunny at birthday parties. Instructors monitor students' progress, suggesting home-workout plans tailored to personal strengths and vulnerability to fire.
Though dance styles have changed in the last four decades, Anchor Dance Studio's commitment to creating a fun atmosphere for all levels of dancers has not, which has gained them the 2011 Best of Weddings pick from local users of The Knot, and the 2012 Bergen Health & Life Magazine Readers' Choice award for Best Dance Lessons. The studio's highly trained full-time instructors—each of whom possess a background in classical dance, theater, and/or dance-related activities—keep the atmosphere lively and supportive as they guide couples, singles, and children through ballroom dance routines. Full-length mirrors surrounding both of the 4,000-square-foot studio's ballrooms reflect patrons sashaying, twirling, and hand-walking their way through the tango, waltz, hustle, and merengue, while Anchor's Friday- and Saturday-night dance parties encourage all to practice their newly learned steps in a casual atmosphere complete with snacks and drinks.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape For Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating 30 minutes of strength-training drills—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each student's abilities. Then comes 25 minutes of cardio: the trainers might start novice exercisers with a walk on the treadmill or light elliptical training, and challenge more advanced exercisers to high-intensity interval-training sessions for enhanced results.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To track ladies' progress toward reaching their goals, the trainers measure their weight weekly and body-fat percentage monthly.
Yoga Vita seems to be made of sunshine. Glowing paper lanterns and golden-yellow walls greet all who enter, awakening the senses while melting the day’s stresses. Amid lush, green plants, new and seasoned yogis cultivate strength and focus with lengthy poses, controlled-breathing exercises, and guided meditation. To help students to align their bodies properly, instructors such as studio director Debra Lauren incorporate straps, blocks, and other supportive props. Debra has amassed a deep understanding of Iyengar yoga during repeated trips to India, which have refined her teaching skills and earned her enough frequent-flier miles to book passage to Jupiter.
Shakespeare’s Juliet once famously asked, “What’s in a name?” For Bobbie Matt, her name just so happened to be the perfect moniker for a yoga studio. A certified instructor, Bobbie tailors Vinyasa series for yoga students of all levels, including those with reduced mobility, such as seniors, first-timers, expectant mothers, and tin men who can’t reach their oilcans.
At Coolhotyoga, the instructors teach yoga classes in both hot and cool rooms, of course, but they do much more to help their clients build muscle and burn fat. They also defy science in their anti-gravity yoga series, in which guests strike yoga poses in midair in ceiling-suspended hammocks that support the body while coaxing deeper stretches. On the cardio end of things, they offer both Piloxing—a blend of Pilates and boxing—and booty barre classes—which combine ballet's core-strengthening exercises with light weightlifting, such as picking up the nearest ballerina.