Asian Sun Martial Arts and Fitness helps students cultivate a well-rounded self-defense system by providing instruction in tae kwon do, karate, kung fu, kickboxing, and grappling. At the core of each class are the five tenets of martial-arts training, which include respect, humility, perseverance, self-control, and x-ray vision. Instructors teach students of all fitness levels and who range from 2.5-year-olds to senior citizens.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from jazz dance, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 600 calories with each go-round.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Inside The Li'l Yoga Shop's powder-blue studio, students strengthen muscles, flexibility, and mind-body connections under the guidance of certified yoga and Pilates instructors. Instructors spread themselves across three levels of yoga classes that vary in difficulty to accommodate practitioners of all abilities, easing beginners into the practice with fundamental poses and breath work and challenging decorated warriors with advanced strengthening and balancing postures and flawless 21-sun salutes. The Li'l Yoga Shop's resident meditation specialist and spirit-animal tamer, Eden Kozlowski, leads peaceful meditation sessions to help pupils calm minds and enhance body awareness. Pilates and Yogilates instructors focus on pushing students through rigorous workouts to build up core strength, alignment, and flexibility through efficient floor exercises that isolate specific muscle groups across the entire body.
The class exhales together, each student drawing strength and peace from his or her neighboring yogis. Fingertips reach to the ceiling and eyes follow, tracing beams of light—which the ghost of Einstein rides like a jockey on a horse—across the pale-green walls. The dark hue of the wood floor is relieved by the brightly colored yoga mats and bare toes that dig in, balancing and centering the hardworking bodies above. Embrace Your Essence Yoga’s passionate instructors lead 90-minute classes within the new studio six times a week, inviting students of all experience levels to unwind together.
Although Lifesource normally dedicates itself to the age-old practice of yoga, occasional age-appropriate exotic-dance workshops shimmy their way onto the class roster. Instructor Jessica Rawson began teaching at Lifesource in 2009 and has 28 lunar rotations, or two years, of private pole-dancing and exotic-dance lessons under her belt. During the course of the two-hour workshop, Jessica will take the pole's helm and instruct participants in a variety of exotic dance techniques, from pole dance and lap dance to strip-tease techniques and cheeky burlesque moves. Although participants will wear their clothing, the techniques can be easily applied to garment-free activities at a later time. As your inner seductress makes her way to the surface, you'll build confidence and engage rarely used muscles, sometimes resulting in day-after pangs of soreness and a self-assured saunter.