Providing graduates with lifetime job placement assistance on a local and national level, the professional shot-pourers at Authentic Bartending train future bartenders and amateur mixologists in the fine art of drink-making. Their seminars propel learners into the world of free-hand, multi-liquor, and trick pouring, and a 16-hour course demonstrates how to make Manhattans, cream-based drinks, and frozen drinks, among others. Covering customer service and state laws—which forbid serving beer to bears on Sunday—the 16-hour course serves as a launching pad into the full 40-hour certification course, including a lifetime of refresher classes.
The dynamic instructors at each of the six centers teach a holistic approach to yoga and noncombative martial arts that targets flexibility, strength, breathing, and energy sensitivity. Schedules vary from studio to studio, with regular open-level classes such as those at BR Holistic Healing integrating a core regimen of stretching, breathing, and strengthening postures that improve keg-stand techniques tremendously. Vibration sessions at the Body & Brain Center in Metuchen and Dahn Yoga in Closter and Oradell can release stagnant energy and recharge bodies to take on exhausting second jobs impersonating the Energizer bunny at birthday parties. Instructors monitor students' progress, suggesting home-workout plans tailored to personal strengths and vulnerability to fire.
Black Belt Institute hosts a variety of fitness and martial-arts classes for students of all ages. Children's classes, which start at age 4, include karate, tae kwon do, and kung fu, and emphasize self-esteem and confidence. Adult classes include yoga, tai chi, and cardio kickboxing, and work to reduce stress and build positive self-image while bolstering self-defense.
After a debilitating car accident left Elyissia Wassung’s mother, Barbara, unable to commute to work, she stayed busy in the kitchen, devising her own homemade chocolates. Nine-year-old Elyissia would then load her mother’s sweets into a shopping cart and sell them door-to-door around the neighborhood, learning entrepreneurial skills that would last a lifetime. After leaving a telecom job as an adult, Elyissia returned to selling chocolates by founding 2 Chicks with Chocolate (the other chick being her mom), teaming up with master chocolatier Patrick Coston and lead chocolatier Stephanie Vazquez. The dessert innovators create diverse flavors, such as spiced pear and caramel ganache, s’mores, and hazelnut praline, from scratch with spices and sea salt. Customers can also create their own bars online without venturing into the store, building on a selection of chocolate bases and toppings that range from pistachios to gummy bears. The store also hosts chocolate classes and enlivens parties with chocolate fountains and chocolate tastings.
Many gyms offer advanced fitness equipment, motivating programs and classes, and a host of amenities. But unlike many conventional gyms, Lady of America Greenbrook caters specifically to women. In spacious, comfortable workout rooms, resistance machines are custom-fit to women’s smaller frames. Trained staff plays with kids 6 months and older in the childcare area, which features health-focused activities as well as a PlayStation 2. The team also offers services such as nutrition counseling with certified sports nutritionists and one-on-one workouts with certified personal trainers. Additionally, fitness evaluations—which come free with every membership—are designed with women’s needs and concerns in mind.
In the gym, free weights build muscle, and recumbent bikes and elliptical machines boost endurance enough to outlast a dolphin or a submarine painted like a dolphin in a swimming contest. The advanced Precor model 956 treadmills’ impact-absorbing system saves joints while an active cardio monitor allows users to literally follow the dictates of their hearts. Instructors provide motivation in group classes such as ball Pilates, fitness yoga, spin, and Zumba. And the therapeutic heat of the infrared sauna allows for a nice post-workout relaxation session.
Yoga & Healing Center offers a variety of classes suited for seasoned contortionists and stiff yogamateurs alike and taught by spirited instructors who boast years of experience in energy-releasing elastitude. Beginners can start with basic fundamental classes or dive headfirst into the damp, purifying world of Bikram or the releasing Soul Sweat class, which packs the wallop of a disco while emphasizing freedom and ease of movement. Gentle Flow yoga is infused with the spiritual laws of Deepak Chopra, cleansing both the body and mind, and silent meditation is open for all students seeking to silence the world’s screams for a while. Students should plan to bring their own mats, towels, and water, though mats are also available to rent. It is best to avoid eating before classes, lest vituperative vittles rebel with belly-based trampoline sessions. Though walk-in classes are available, students are advised to reserve their spaces online.