The Yoga Place’s founder, Michael Curtis, considers himself an eternal student, always learning more of what yoga has to offer. Somewhat paradoxically, this is what makes him such a good instructor, since it means he’s ready to go back to any point in his yogic journey to help a fellow student. He characterizes his pursuit of yoga in three foundational descriptions: skillfulness in action, equilibrium, and clarity of mind. He imparts these principles six days a week in classes for all levels of practitioners.
Michael’s pursuit of fitness doesn’t end with yoga, however. He also has teachers on staff who conduct belly-dancing and tai chi classes, both of which are excellent ways to enhance the mind-body connection without growing an extra spinal cord.
Anytime Fitness attracts devout customers for its amenities alone: 24-hour access to its 1,700 locations across the country, 24-hour security, private showers and bathrooms, massage services, wellness programs, and personal training, to name a few. The gym’s top-of-the-line equipment from Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, and Intek Strength ranges from cardio machines—treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes—to strength equipment—free weights, weight machines, and circuit-training tools.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottle to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can. The Wooster Curves comes fully equipped with CurvesSmart technology, a computerized personal-training system that gives custom minute-by-minute exercise feedback and enlightens users with a postworkout progress report measuring strength gains and calories burned.
Although Lifesource normally dedicates itself to the age-old practice of yoga, occasional age-appropriate exotic-dance workshops shimmy their way onto the class roster. Instructor Jessica Rawson began teaching at Lifesource in 2009 and has 28 lunar rotations, or two years, of private pole-dancing and exotic-dance lessons under her belt. During the course of the two-hour workshop, Jessica will take the pole's helm and instruct participants in a variety of exotic dance techniques, from pole dance and lap dance to strip-tease techniques and cheeky burlesque moves. Although participants will wear their clothing, the techniques can be easily applied to garment-free activities at a later time. As your inner seductress makes her way to the surface, you'll build confidence and engage rarely used muscles, sometimes resulting in day-after pangs of soreness and a self-assured saunter.
Long Island native Rocco Cona has had a tennis racket in his hand since the age of 11. His unyielding infatuation with the sport motivated him to go pro, win the Kidel Cup in 1983 as part of a doubles team, and found Springside Racquet & Fitness Club in 1988. Within the family-friendly facility, Cona leads a team of certified trainers and accomplished sports instructors as it whips athletes of all ages into shape with tennis, soccer, and swimming lessons. When the gang isn't busy perfecting backhand slices, bicycle kicks, and breaststrokes, it's hosting body-toning fitness and aerobics classes, such as kickboxing, spinning, and granite-statue-wrestling. They also offer custom personal-training sessions, in which they pump up heart rates with Cybex resistance equipment, Bodymaster free weights, and elliptical cross-trainers.
Springside's facility houses a cushioned indoor track as well as tennis and parquet courts, an NBA-size basketball court, and soccer fields that are available for recreational use. The community center's staff includes trained professionals certified in CPR and well versed in tantrum mediation techniques for when they watch over youngsters in the playroom.
The trainers at TNT Bootcamp make failure a near impossibility by demanding discipline and commitment from each of their charges. Though their words are kind and demeanors are friendlier than that of a teddy bear with a hospitality degree, the instructors of the intense four-week boot-camp program ensure campers adhere to a regimen of weekly weigh-ins, participate in a minimum of three weekly workouts, and maintain a food journal. Any lapse in duties or weight gain incurs a penalty, which TNT Bootcamp has found keeps participants on track even after they reach their goal weight. By completely remolding eating and exercising habits through boot camp and nutritional counseling, trainers help their pupils shed as much as 5 pounds a week. For attendees more interested in recreational exercise, the Just 4 the Health of It program waives penalties. Exercisers can also tone up in classes such as Zumba and the weekly Saturday Sweatshop, which keeps already fit frames in shape and ready to run away from bears at all times.