At Heat Yoga & Fitness Studio, students line up to sweat it out as a team of talented yogis leads them through classes that explore variations on the theme of superheated stretching. Perched atop wood floors in a sunny studio flooded with natural light, students explore traditional styles such as power yoga, ballet yoga, and yoga Pilates with the added benefit of heat, the force that induces sweat and prevents the formation of sentient snowmen each year. Therapists also treat clients with massages and bodywork to help alleviate back pain, improve circulation, and decrease stress.
Sunder Kaur first discovered yoga on her path to fulfill a lifelong dream: to find her true self. Now, as a certified yoga instructor, she strives to nurture her students' spirits while incorporating the scientific understanding of the human body she gained from her degree in pharmacy. With a friendly demeanor, Sunder and her team of over 30 instructors create a welcoming community as they lead students of all ages and abilities through asanas and breathing exercises that increase strength, flexibility, and balance. They teach these techniques during a variety of classes, including children's, prenatal, and hot yoga. Outdoor classes are available at A Yoga Village's Sunken Gardens location, allowing students to melt away stress while enjoying the fresh air. To further enrich their students' lives, the staff leads specialized workshops that emphasize meditation or improving household communication with storytelling, song singing, and game playing. These dedicated instructors also push budding yogis along the same noble path down which they boldly trod during teacher-training courses.
For the past two decades, Brent Beatty has been singing, songwriting, and performing for fine fans of blues and rock 'n' roll. With two CD releases and more than 100 written and co-written songs under his belt, Brent now turns string slappers into educated strummers after a few short lessons. During each session, students develop technique, theory, and songwriting skills in addition to producing an in-session recording for practical study at home. This tangible reference point promotes an abbreviated learning curve for hardworking students who, if they so chose, may perform in Brent's semi-annual Barn Yard Jam recital. Give the gift of guitar appreciation to a young musician, or reenlist yourself in the nation's guitarmy, where every battle of the bands is fought with honor, discipline, and occasional pyrotechnics.
The palm tree-lined campus at Sunstate Academy betrays its function by appearing on the surface to be an upscale salon. Yet, instead of performing the services themselves, the professionals inside are teaching and observing students as they put into practice their knowledge of cosmetology at the school's Salon Solaris. At pristine styling and wash stations, they cut, relax, color, perm, and condition hair. With the diversity of student interest comes diversity of services, and patrons might be pleasantly surprised to find dreadlocks, candy curls, finger waves, and elephant ears on the menu. The apprentices also dabble in nail and spa services, performing mani-pedis, and facials.
Many of the yoga classes at Pure Yoga & Fitness are performed in temperatures that exceed 90 degrees. In addition to calling forth a little more sweat the usual, this heat has a hidden agenda; when combined with vinyasa poses, it helps increase muscle mobility and cleanse the body of toxins. Although hot yoga classes are the studio's specialty, they're not the only thing on the schedule. The studio hosts pre-natal sessions for expectant mothers, and Hot Yoga and a Movie, which invites to can flex their yoga muscles while supervised youngsters watch movies in a cooled-off play room. For a bit of variety, clients can also cycle through a 60-minute spin class, which boosts circulation cardiovascular endurance with the help of stationary bicycles. No matter which exercises they choose, clients can always soothe sore muscles and help prevent strains with a massage from the studio's in-house therapist.
Prior to opening a yoga studio, Aaron Ledesma had spent over a decade as a professional baseball player—playing for teams including the Mets and the Tampa Bay Rays. This grueling career resulted in a back injury, and it was while recovering from surgery that Aaron first encountered yoga. Impressed with the healing benefits, he made the decision to retire from baseball and take a hot yoga training course instead.
At Yoga 365, Aaron is joined by his wife Karen, who combines her background in psychology with classic yoga techniques to cultivate a deep mind-body connection. The duo—along with a roster of talented instructors—lead 40- to 90-minute classes from the early morning to the late evening inside an airy, modern studio. During classes, the rooms are heated up to 105 degrees to help detoxify the body and loosen muscles for deeper stretches. Should clients like to unwind or untangle, they can step inside a private treatment room for a soothing massage or chakra balancing. The gender-specific locker rooms have showers for post-class primping, along with amenities including shampoo, conditioner, and hair dryers.