Yoga Tree founder Toni Farris has spent the last 13 years leading group fitness classes. Her warmhearted approach to instruction can be felt in the studio’s group and private yoga classes, which are open to all types of people. Workshops are available for beginners and children. The Yoga Tree team also hosts regular workshops that explore the healing properties of yoga, and its Yoga Alliance–registered teacher-training programs impart the art of tutelage upon others. In addition to the ability to scratch their own backs with their noses, the Yoga Tree staff has earned a 2012 Readers Choice Award from the Star Community Newspapers.
The Jenny Craig Program provides people with nutritious, heart-healthy foods, a personal consultant, and a plan specially tailored to helping them attain their desired weight. Clients meet with a Jenny Craig consultant to assess their current eating habits and to create a scheme for shedding superfluous pounds. Then, the week-one planned menu unfolds like a paper airplane made of phyllo dough (items in blue are included in the plan; orange items are recommended additions). A sample day starts with the breakfast scramble, a mound of scrambled egg whites and turkey ham topped with melty low-fat mozzarella and served over diced red potatoes. Lunch is beef chow mein, which is packed with broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers and remains unpacked with calories (it has only 220). Dinner brings the comfort of mac 'n' cheese and tops it off with a cookie for dessert.
Chief instructor Mike Coffin first experienced life inside the ring at age 16, when the practice of tae kwon do led him to the art of boxing and kickboxing. At 18, his combative repertoire broadened to included wrestling and ground-fighting styles, but his collection of skills felt incomplete until he was introduced to krav maga in 2006 at the world's most brutal speed-dating event. The real-world foundations of the style—developed for use by the Israeli military—drew him in, and in four short years he achieved the rank of a Graduate 3 instructor.
Now, with the aid of five other teachers, Mike imparts no-nonsense self-defense principles to eager students at his personal studio, Crucible Krav Maga. Team members continue to train themselves rigorously to pick up new moves in the ever-evolving martial art, echoing Mike’s belief that the best way to help students is for instructors to become better fighters themselves.
With experience in training UFC and MMA fighters, coach Steve Trentham and a team of trainers use Dallas Underground Strength & Fitness to summon the athlete from everyone, not by using an overabundance of exercise, but by making sure each session is focused, personalized, and effective. In addition to preparing college-bound clients for intense athletic careers that range from Division I soccer players to racing-horse impersonators, the team takes average citizens of all ages, fitness levels, and sizes under his wing. To help determine the perfect workout for each client, they conduct thorough fitness assessments, searching for both obvious and subtle clues in each exercise he has them perform. For instance, they investigates core stability using an exercise known as the plank, looking at the body's alignment from ankle to shoulder to search for weak spots and problem areas. Once they have an understanding of how an individual's body works, the team of coaches blends targeted exercises with full-body workouts and nutritional advice to increase overall strength and performance.
A 168,000-gallon pool shaped like the Lone Star State, The Texas Pool has been an oasis in the scorching Plano summer heat since 1961. For decades, aspiring members camped overnight outside its doors in the hopes of securing access to its cool, salt waters and abundance of recreational facilities. Today, families still flock to the pool, seeking refuge from the sun during open swim sessions, swimming camps, and swim lessons throughout the week. Against a backdrop of a Texas flag mural, swimmers of all ages shoot down water slides, leap off a diving board, and compete in recreational games of water volleyball, all the while enjoying a relatively low risk of a giant-squid attack. Instructors lead students of all abilities in swimming lessons, elucidating the art of the front crawl and butterfly stroke.
Meanwhile, smoke rises from barbecue grills that speckle the rows of picnic tables, and sunbathers stretch out on lawn chairs. On movie nights, audiences gather at the pool to soak up youngster-friendly films.
Recently relocated to Plano, Cobra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial arts training academy that teaches adults and children the art of self-defense. Believing that everyone can benefit from the confidence-building aspects of jiu-jitsu—namely, the idea that a weaker person can bring down a larger opponent using proper technique—the academy trains children and adults of all skill levels in classes that teach respect and discipline. The coaching staff is led by brothers Eddie and Eder Ricardo, Cobra’s Brazlian Jiu-Jitsu professors, who have both trained in martial arts since they were children in Brazil. Eddie has also placed at the top of many jiu-jitsu world championships, and is married to jiu-jitsu world champion and fellow Cobra trainer Monique Ricardo. Padded floors are the central feature in their spacious school, where students grapple and practice holds and sparring during classes led by the Ricardos and their other experienced instructors. Cobra also offers competitive belt programs for members of all ages.