Though she's been a professional artist for more than 25 years, April Tracey's career began with a momentous decision. After receiving her BFA from Queen's University, April was accepted to the MFA program at the Rhode Island School of Design. However, she instead decided to strike out on her own, launching an art gallery, supply store, and school. Now she offers her discerning eye to students through critique services. April pores over pieces in all mediums, offering compassionate criticism in person or via Skype, email, or messages hidden behind the work's frame.
Although its classes can provide a physical challenge, South Mountain Yoga emphasizes a mindful, contemplative form of yoga practice that teaches self-empowerment to students of all skill levels. The renovated studio space?housed within a 100-year-old building overlooking Spiotta Park?features modern amenities, such as a new, strand-woven bamboo floor and a back wall of sliding glass doors. This practice area is where the instructors share their passion for yoga?and encourage students to make yoga a part of their everyday lives. During beginner-level sessions, students learn the fundamentals of maintaining safe postural alignment and performing mindful breathing exercises. As they deepen their practice with South Mountain Yoga, they can begin to master inversions and other complex postures while constantly honing their strength and flexibility.
Veterans of the physical training profession, the five trainers at Spa Lady South Orange are dedicated to helping women achieve their weight and fitness goals through motivated lifestyle changes. In their bright, airy weight room and wood-floored class area, the trainers lead these clients through exercises tailored to sculpt each unique body or test the limits of each unique human-impersonating robot. Group classes emphasize exercise's communal appeal, with Zumba, Pilates, and kickboxing helping students burn calories in fun, high-energy settings. In addition to classes and training sessions, the gym also houses a few weight-loss shortcuts; heat body wraps help trim down stubbornly plump parts of the body with fat-melting warmth.
Doing crafts, baking cookies, and reading picture books might all sound like typical camp activities, but at Spanish Camp they come with a catch: they're all conducted in Castilian Spanish. After all, complete immersion in a language is the best way for a little brain to absorb its intricacies, aside from conversing with a foreign imaginary friend. The summer- and winter-break camp sessions include seasonally appropriate activities?outdoor play in the summer and Christmas crafts in December?that teach kids Spanish vocabulary and encourage them to practice aloud. Native Spaniard Se?ora Isabel not only leads the camps but also gives private Spanish lessons to both kids and adults.
Guided by a mission of embracing every student's quest for personal growth, the team at YogaWorks offers programs for all ages and walks of life. Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, expert instructors build lean muscles with traditional Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flow classes enhanced by inspiring music, ambient candlelight, meditation, and props. Their fitness classes further the body-shaping results of yoga, strengthening core muscles with Pilates, increasing endurance and lean muscles with TRX classes, and building stamina with resistance-based SculptWorks.
Instructors also host exotic yoga retreats, which marry the excitement of travel to far-away locales with the benefits of yoga to bestow students with the confident grace required to approach a foreign yoga mat without startling it. Those in search of further training can access online videos by subscribing to myyogaworks.com, which offers a free, 14-day trial for new users. Students can search for videos by workout duration, skill level, and the targeted area of the body.
Seth Weisberg and Alison McCue, cofounders of Garden State Yoga, strive to foster growth and community for both students and teachers of yoga. Along with their fellow instructors, they teach yoga classes inside two distinct studios. Their heated studio offers hot power Vinyasa classes, inspired by the Baron Baptiste style, that detoxify bodies, build strength, reduce stress, and encourage self-awareness. The other studio hosts Vinyasa, Zumba, restorative yoga, and yin yoga classes at normal temperatures. When they aren't striking peaceful poses on their home turf, instructors offer corporate yoga at retail businesses such as Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods. Seth and Alison also pass along their knowledge during regular teacher-training courses for yogis who want to earn their certification through Yoga Alliance.