The flavor-savvy guides of Chew Philly Food Tours acquaint both visiting and veteran Philadelphia taste buds with the dishes that encapsulate the city's culinary heritage. During each 2.5-hour journey, groups visit family-owned restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores? many of which have been around for decades?where merchants show off their specialties to curious palates.
Tidbits about local architecture, city history, and the philly cheesesteak's historic boxing victory against Chicago-style pizza spring from tour guides as tasters proceed with their 1.5-mile jaunt, which keeps feet moving at a moderate pace to accommodate guests of all ages and fitness levels.
When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. MetaBody created a real-life version of that ticket with the MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
The expert fitness instructors at Sweat Fitness's Philadelphia-area locations help students of all ages and fitness levels track down svelter silhouettes with Precor training equipment and fat-roasting classes—including yoga, Pilates, spinning, Zumba, and kickboxing. Committed to fostering a supportive community for all fit seekers, the trainers devote individual attention to each patron to help them meet their fitness goals. Clients first undergo a body-fat analysis to assess their preworkout fitness level and to help them gauge their progress throughout their journey. During group sweat sessions, patrons can tone their bodies in classes such as Group Power and Power Pump, which blast subdermal meat suits via squats, lunges, and curls. A full aquatics center welcomes guests to dive into relatively narwhal-free waters for swimming lessons, triathlon training, and pool parties.
Shiny silver poles serve as each student's dance partner during Awakenings' pole dance fitness classes, which are designed to, "awaken your inner goddess". But the classes aren't just about learning the art of seduction. By mastering graceful moves on the stationary apparatus, students get a full-body workout that combines elements of yoga, aerobics, dance, and strength training. Aerial arts classes deliver similar benefits, but instead of using a pole, students lift off the ground with
the help of silks and aerial hoops that allow them to perform yoga poses and inversions in the air. But Awakenings also has classes for those who prefer to keep their feet on solid ground?burlesque classes, for example, teach the age-old art of the tease, and incorporate the use of traditional props such as chairs, boas, and Nixon masks.
For Maria de Sousa, tango dancing was part of her Argentinian heritage. She embraced the style as a way to reconnect with her native country, and traveled back and forth between her American home and Buenos Aires to master her steps. Conversely, for Pierre Baston, his passion for tango began as a foreign fascination. He watched a dinner show while visiting Buenos Aires that enraptured him, inspiring him to immerse himself not only in dance lessons, but historical and cultural research—he still collects authentic tango sheet music from the early 20th century. Both dancers became certified through a master's program at the Escuela Argentina de Tango in Buenos Aires, and now elucidate the art of dipping and spinning at eight Philadelphia locales.
Maria and Pierre walk students of all experience levels through tango's passionate choreography. They host group classes for social learning experiences, and lead private seminars at their studios or a venue of the client's choice. Because they coordinate all the necessary partner match-ups and music, their protégés needn't bring a companion or play Keep Away with a violin's bow to make it whine.
Bikram Yoga Manayunk's classes aren't meant to be easy, but they are meant to accommodate virtually every student. The studio temperature hits 105 degrees, creating a more dynamic workout while simultaneously loosening taut muscles and helping students sink further into each stretch. Within this environment, the instructors encourage attendees to push themselves while still respecting their physical limits. The defined sequence of 26 poses and two breathing exercises never changes, although anyone can ease the difficulty of a particular asana by modifying the hold or tying helium balloons to their ankles.
As students transition from one deeply twisting stretch to the next, tissues are inundated with fresh, oxygenating blood flow, which helps revitalize the muscles and rejuvenate the mind. Instructors are always on hand to lend assistance when needed and to remind everyone to stay hydrated.