The Summit Area YMCA with its Berkeley Heights location and the Madison Area YMCA serve as community gathering places where principles are put into practice. The cause-driven organizations focus on healthy living, social responsibility, and youth development. The Learning Circle (Summit Area) and the F.M. Kirby Children's Center (Madison Area) take care of babies as young as 6 weeks old, and babysitting services afford parents the opportunity to explore the Y while childcare professionals watch little ones.
The Y also aims to keep kids and their families healthy with sports leagues, youth sports clinics, group fitness classes, and a fitness center equipped with a climbing wall, Olympic free-weight room, and a pool. All of the Y’s programs are accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay or perform a back handspring.
"It's hot in here." When that's all you can think about, you tend to forget about the intense physical exertion involved with a series Bikram moves. But the work does pay off, as practitioners are kicking up their core strengthen while sweating away heaps of calories. Garnering the attention of New Jersey Monthly Magazine and New Jersey Health and Beauty, Surya Yoga Academy's three welcoming studios are a great place for men and women of all skill levels to practice hot yoga and other yoga genres, including Vinyasa or Jivamukti poses. Alongside traditional sessions, the studio's specialized workshops train athletes and runners to maximize their exercise potential, and focused mom-and-baby yoga classes build mother-child bonds and telepathy skills.
Energy surges through Powerflow Yoga, in the sunbeams that pour through its windows and the bodies that bend beneath its recessed lights. Here, experienced instructors guide yogis of all levels toward tranquility in balmy temperatures that help loosen tight muscles, oust pent-up toxins, and melt cheese wheels for after-class fondue parties. Overhead fans circulate fresh air, which students inhale during deep-breathing exercises that focus the mind and invigorate the body. During hot Powerflow Vinyasa classes, the group practices arm balances and inversions, which can be modified to accommodate injuries or challenge advanced students. Shaped by several teaching traditions, including Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Jivamukti, this class showcases yoga’s power to hone bodily alignment and cultivate inner peace. Warm Yin sessions provide a calming counterpoint with lengthy poses that gently stretch the connective tissues. After class, students can retire to the changing rooms, where showers await to whisk away sweat beads.
In hands-on workshops and classes, skilled seamstresses teach students both the fundamentals of sewing and the art of turning yarn and fabric into fashion. Kid-friendly classes include six-week workshops, during which pint-size clothiers roll up their sleeves and learn to handle sewing machines, read patterns, and troubleshoot wardrobe malfunctions. During the Beginner Sewing/Pattern-Making class, teachers assign increasingly difficult projects, from stitching pajama bottoms to tailoring a snow hat, which students take home to augment their wardrobes. In the Fashion Illustration class, style-minded teachers unpack a thorough introduction to the industry, from a history of fashion to tips on building a portfolio to learning how to construct final designs while walking in platform stilettos. Recently added adult classes tailor lessons to novices in a six-week semester of evening sessions.
In one section of No Body Denied Fitness Center’s 26,000-square-foot facility exercisers work up a sweat amid a sea of more than 70 cardio machines. In another part, kids aged 9–14 hurdle obstacles, run on a track, and scale agility ladders during Track Attack—one of three programs made just for kids. As their gym's name states, the staff at No Body Denied set out to create a multipurpose gym to include everyone, and with that in mind, they also included a childcare center to relieve parents of watching their wee ones while working out.
Throughout three studios, the gym’s instructors lead more than 80 group fitness classes a week, including Group Groove, which inspires students to whip into shape by busting a move to up-tempo music. More than 85 classes take place each week, utilizing cycling machines, 25,000 pounds of free weights, and the NBD Strike Zone, where blue heavy bags try helplessly to defend themselves from a flurry of kicks and punches. A team of trainers also offers personalized athletic training and team training for adults and kids. To help guests recover after intensive workouts, No Body Denied’s dry sauna can help keep muscles loose and resistant to injury without the use of witchcraft, and the center's tanning facility can make it look like all that working out happened in the sunshine.