The walls of Bhakti Barn Yoga bloom with poppy-red and robin's-egg blue, reflecting nature's outer beauty in a space teeming with natural light. Ganesha, the Hindu god of wisdom, dances above yogis in a vibrant mural, waving his arms in encouragement as students stretch theirs skyward to slap him a high-five. Experienced instructors guide students of all levels through meditative Kundalini routines and flowing Vinyasa sequences. Cores grow during Bhakti Basics sessions, which teem with fundamental poses, deep-breathing exercises, and alignment pointers. To promote community and keep stress at bay, teachers pepper classes with calming tea breaks.
From the passenger seats of two 2012 Toyota Corollas, Access2Drive Driving School's English- and Spanish-speaking instructors dispense valuable advice about every aspect of four-wheeled transportation. During hands-on lessons, students of all ages take the wheel to practice parallel parking and find a parking space that's not in the middle of a monster-truck arena. Students satisfy the state's pre-licensing mandate with five-hour courses that span topics such as driving within the transportation system and developing appropriate habits and skills. Those who enroll in the school's defensive-driving course get 10% off on any insurance purchased in New York for a period of three years.
New York Sports Clubs, part of Town Sports International's network of fitness loci, opens up a number of equipment-stocked facilities across New York to exercisers. Strength-training gear, such as circuit machines, free weights, and medicine balls, molds muscles into chiseled depictions of physical might. Sessions on cardio machines, ranging from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent stationary bicycles, inspire burnt calories to pack up and move to cooler climates. Each club offers a schedule of group classes that draws from more than 100 fitness styles, including Pilates, yoga, and boxing, ensuring that no member has to jazzercise without a spotter. Each location rewards exercisers for sweating in its vicinity with special features such as babysitting, saunas, and steam rooms.