Ann Kamhi Toran credits Pilates practice with saving her dancing career. After a major back injury threatened her ability to continue performing, Ann devoted herself to Pilates, and the exercises helped rehabilitate her body so effectively that she was eventually promoted to soloist after recovering. Although she stopped professionally dancing more than 20 years ago, Ann still practices Pilates daily.
Ann’s husband, Dr. Errol Toran, also is a believer in the rejuvenating capabilities of Pilates, and he suggested it to his chiropractic patients, incorporating the exercises into their physical rehabilitation. Together, Ann and Dr. Toran decided to create a studio that shared these benefits with the general public, introducing the time-honored exercise techniques that improve posture and build lean, toned muscles.
The studio boasts four locations throughout the New York area, each featuring an arsenal of traditional Pilates equipment. The signature apparatus, the Reformer, generates gentle resistance with a system of springs, pulleys, and miniature black holes. Students push and pull against this resistance while performing sequences of relatively simple movements that require unwavering mental focus to maintain the ideal technique and alignment. By emphasizing controlled, quality movements over flailing your body against a boulder, Pilates exercises can evenly tone muscles across the entire body, with a particular emphasis on the core muscle groups.
Ann and Dr. Toran encourage their instructors to take initiative when leading classes and tailor the pacing or sequence to accommodate students, but each studio does host sessions for particular skill levels. Introductory and Level 1 classes work to develop form and technique, whereas the more advanced sessions begin to include modified exercises or long-division flashcards to ensure a more challenging workout.
Husband-and-wife team and Prana Power Yoga cofounders Philippe and Taylor Wells foster an environment in which clients can explore holistic wellness through yoga, intensive workshops, and events. Instructors at each heated studio locations roll out the welcome yoga mats, encouraging students of all interests and skill levels, from mothers-to-be to veteran sun saluters, to build strong bodies and peaceful minds in a judgment-free environment. During athletic Vinyasa-style yoga classes, certified instructors crank up temperatures as high as 99 degrees before taking mat mavens through a sequence of sweaty postures linked with mindful breathing exercises designed to boost lung capacity to Sting-like levels. Meanwhile, visitors in search of a transformative experience can attend one of the studio's workshops or events, which range from juice cleanses to destination yoga retreats in Nayarit, Mexico.
After fist-punching his way through the U.S. Army's basic training program, bobbing and weaving through an amateur boxing career, and drop-kicking every last test that stood between him as his law degree, the poet-warrior Edward Rush opened a commercial gym in Washington, DC. He soon grew tired of folding towels for patrons who only wanted to use his gym as a place to read magazines or watch TV while they jogged, so he closed up shop, moved to NYC, and opened a personal-training gym and fitness laboratory. There, he earned the nickname "The Mad Scientist" for his grueling, inventive, and rewarding training method, called IFS.
For a quick, intense workout, students can turn to the gym's CrossFit classes. CrossFit incorporates a fusion of strength and cardiovascular conditioning exercises that grant bodies with sculpting, toning, and endurance-boosting benefits in less than an hour. In fact, many members hustle through the retinue of handstand pushups and Olympic-style power cleans on their lunch hours via the gym's power lunch program, which includes a paleo-diet meal delivery when the workout is completed. Whether over lunch, early in the morning, or at the end of an office day, students can attend classes up to six days a week and retire to well appointed locker rooms equipped with showers, towel service, and complimentary grooming products.
Dr. Nicole Bishop's signature Mommy and Me Pilates classes were born the same time as her son, Reza, as a way to connect with him while helping women balance their fitness regimens with their brand new bundles. During the 60-minute Mamilates classes, two instructors—one for mom and one for baby—guide participants through short bursts of challenging Pilates exercises. During these drills, fun activities such as singing, massage, and dance keep growing minds entertained while women bolster their muscles. With regular practice, women may notice a reduction in physical tension around the neck and shoulders, stronger abdominals, sturdy backs, and weightlessness despite carrying 15 sacks of lead. The team strives to achieve these results specifically to aid in the recovery from the strain of carrying a baby or to make common postnatal lifting easier. The staff makes careful modifications for women still recovering from Cesarean sections.
Dr. Bishop earned her PhD in comparative literature at the University of Michigan, an academic track that involved a focus on mindfulness, meditation, and reading methodology. She incorporates these disciplines in her budding practice, along with her specialty in African and Caribbean dance, the spark for which ignited at the ripe old age of 5 years. As a kicker, Dr. Bishop also boasts certification in mat Pilates instruction and the ability to fashion a yoga mat out of a napkin.
With a stay at Hyatt Regency Rochester in Rochester (Downtown Rochester), you'll be minutes from Rochester Riverside Convention Center and Monroe Community College. This hotel is within close proximity of Blue Cross Arena and Geva Theatre Center. n Rooms
Make yourself at home in one of the 338 air-conditioned rooms featuring iPod docking stations. Your pillowtop bed comes with down blankets. Wireless Internet access (surcharge) keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Bathrooms have complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. n Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Be sure to enjoy recreational amenities, including an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a fitness facility. Additional features include wireless Internet access (surcharge), concierge services, and gift shops/newsstands. n Dining
Enjoy a meal at a restaurant, or stay in and take advantage of the hotel's room service (during limited hours). At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Breakfast is available for a fee. n Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include high-speed (wired) Internet access (surcharge), a 24-hour business center, and audiovisual equipment. Event facilities at this hotel consist of small meeting rooms, a ballroom, and banquet facilities. A roundtrip airport shuttle is complimentary during limited hours.
Though many a dance-fitness fad has come and gone in recent years, Jazzercise's popularity has never wavered. As the first contender in a now-booming industry, the revolutionary fitness regimen was founded in 1969 by dancer Judi Sheppard Missett. She repurposed her love of jazz dance into a global phenomenon, and today the Jazzercise program spans 32 countries and roughly 32,000 weekly classes.
The Jazzercise method engages and exercises the entire body during high-energy workouts. Certified instructors ensure that no student, whether just beginning or advanced, gets left behind with aid from step-by-step instruction and an online roster of moves. They blend dance aerobics with resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing to tone and limber up entire muscle groups. Each class kicks off with a warm-up to get everyone’s blood flowing and shake the cobwebs latticed between the fingers of their jazz hands. Instructors then lead students through 30 minutes of cardio, strength training with weights, and a stretch-filled cooldown, all set to infectiously popular tunes. Jazzercise instructors are so committed to their students' health and confidence that they've archived nutrition, fitness, health, and beauty articles online to help keep Jazzercisers motivated and positive.