One of Alicia Cuervo's life goals was to create a safe space where students could share the love of yoga and grow together, a goal she achieved the day she opened the doors to her yoga studio, Yin Yang Yoga Center. From this tranquil space––outfitted with a massage room, fully stocked boutique, and spacious yoga studio flooded with natural light––Cuervo and her 10 instructors guide students of all ages and experience levels through a packed fitness class schedule that features options seven days a week. The studio is kept at 75 degrees, priming bodies to move seamlessly through a sequence of Vinyasa poses. BodyFlow classes combine yoga, tai chi, and Pilates moves into choreographed exercise routines, whereas Zumba classes focus on high-energy dance routines with a Latin theme. The holistic haven also boasts acupuncture, massage, and reiki treatments.
From the bright yellow door that greets students to the dimly lit treatment rooms decorated with Eastern-influenced decor, Yin Yang Yoga Center creates a tranquil environment in its two-story establishment. Even the retail boutique exudes a sense of calm, with sunlight streaming through its large windows and over fitness apparel, equipment, and accessories.
Voted one of the top dentists in the Washington metropolitan area by Washington Consumers' Checkbook, Dr. Henry Lee has served the dental needs of the Olney and greater-Washington community since 1979. After receiving his MS degree from the University of Notre Dame, he furthered his smile-tweaking training at the University of Maryland, where he was elected a member of the Prosthodontic Honor Society and the Phi Beta Cavity fraternity. Lee was also elected a fellow by the American College of Dentists in 1997, an honor bestowed on less than 3.5 percent of all dentists in the United States. A participant in the Ethics Summit's drafting of the U.S. dental code of ethics, Dr. Lee strives to respect the rights of patients and never takes an x-ray without asking the tooth's permission first.
In 2001, Dr. Robert Samit had a vision, which was a pretty appropriate phenomenon, considering that he's an optometrist. He saw in the future a network of eye doctors, united under the banner of a single company that provides quality vision care—plus a huge selection of value-priced and designer eyewear frames.
Together with company president Sue Healey Downes, they have expanded to the Charlotte area, each with a licensed Doctor of Optometry on hand. They equip this army of eye examiners with the latest technology. When a doctor determines that a corrective lens is called for, he or she prescribes them and MyEyeDr.'s team of eyecare consultants helps patients choose from a huge array of frames from such brands as Gucci, Coach, Oakley, and Ray Ban RX.
The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring's 13 courses are color-coded by difficulty level, from yellow for beginners to double black diamonds for experts. They aren't ski trails, though—they're climbing challenges. More than 150 platforms adorn 5 acres of trees, which participants trek among by way of cable, wood, and rope bridges, as well as ziplines. A short safety briefing precedes all excursions, covering how to use the included gear and harnesses.
The park's main courses aren't the only place to test climbing skills. Over in the Monkey Grove, visitors can scale 10 trees fastened with the footholds and grips of a classic rock wall. Younger climbers, meanwhile, can explore The Labyrinth, a small, contained structure featuring more than 40 junior-sized versions of the park's other challenges. The courses illuminate on select Glow-in-the-Park evenings, when food, live music, and hoot-owl choruses await climbers upon their return to terra firma.
Blueberry Gardens' seasoned instructors cultivate whole-body health with a schedule of multi-level classes inspired by ParaYoga, Anusara, and body-balance methods. A composite of breath and movement, ParaYoga challenges students to prod the body's upper limits of flexibility and strength through vigorous postures such as downward dog, dolphin plank, and recumbent Andrew Carnegie. Fueled by an uplifting philosophy, Anusara yoga encourages students to honor their differences, limitations, and talents, and body-balance yoga integrates the body and mind through asanas inspired by Protean animorphs. Each 90-minute class includes mats and props and, if missed, can be substituted in any of the other summer sessions.
"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee, "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere." To make this challenging, yet hopeful philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30–40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation—including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cool-down exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance. Dahn Yoga is also taught at independently owned and operated franchises called Body & Brain Yoga.