Initially daunted by the demands of his first Bikram class, Om on Fire! Yoga director Doug Shorts accepted the challenge to his physical ability, returning to class again and again to build his form, technique, and stamina. Once he felt he had truly mastered and become at home with the style, Doug committed himself by training to become an instructor, accruing 1,500 hours of in-class teaching experience to forge a patient, empowering instruction style. Now, during studio classes, he leads students of all skill levels through challenging sequences of yoga poses to methodically strengthen muscles, realign vertebrae, and cheer up dejected mood rings amid a heated practice space.
Bikram Yoga on the Island's founders, Suzanne and Joe Elliott, draw inspiration from their students' physical progress and development each week, ensuring that each session addresses the needs of first-day students, casual practitioners, and lifelong yogis. Ten years of experience fuel Suzanne and Joe's work as instructors, with each tapping his or her encyclopedic knowledge to guide pupils through two breathing exercises and 26 poses. Along with a staff of instructors, the two founders demonstrate and describe the proper execution of each posture with the authority of an Olympic Twister medalist.
As students fold and unfold limbs, each movement helps promote healthy organ function by pushing freshly oxygenated blood throughout their entire bodies. Meanwhile, the studio's heating system helps them safely sink into each stretch and sweat out toxins by raising the temperature to 105 degrees with 40% humidity. After class, attendees can freshen up with the studio's indoor and outdoor shower facilities.
After yoga assuaged her chronic neck and back pain, Kim Bolinger was hooked. She decided to pay homage to the practice by opening a studio of her own. At Merritt Island Yoga, she introduces novices to yoga’s basic poses by breaking them down into simple steps while emphasizing proper breathing and alignment. The studio’s advanced classes move more quickly through Vinyasa sequences, focusing on flexibility, endurance, and fighting off killer mats disguised as regular mats. Despite the studio’s name, yoga is not its only offering—the diverse classes also cover belly dancing, tai chi, and chi gong, a 5,000-year-old practice focused on self-healing and meditative movements.
Sky 1 Parasail's power boat departs from Banana River Park in Merritt Island, pulling behind it thrill-seeking patrons held aloft by a giant parachute. The outfit offers 300-foot, 500-foot, and 800-foot flights lasting up to 12 minutes, allowing up to three riders at a time to take in panoramic views of landmarks such as Space Coast and Cocoa Beach. All Captain's hold CPR and first aid certifications as well as a Coast Guard certified Master Captain's License - but participants need no special skills.