Yoga Desha's founder, Rebecca Bergstrom, is no stranger to struggle, and has long turned to yoga whenever she finds herself in need of physical and spiritual uplifting. Her interest in the mind-body connection began when she was just a teen and fueled her studies in human biology and psychology at Stanford University, as well as her time spent dancing at the Martha Graham School. Her search for spiritual healing took an entirely new direction, however, when she suddenly lost her young husband while expecting their first child. Finding her prenatal yoga practice to play an integral part in healing her emotional ails, she soon decided to become a yoga teacher herself and dedicate her life to helping people from all walks of life heal from their own mental, physical, or spiritual traumas.
She has since earned the 500-hour teaching certification from the Yoga Alliance––the highest possible certification from the program––and compiled a team of instructors that leads classes seven days a week. Classes range from pre- or postnatal yoga and beginner's Vinyasa to sessions that emphasize alignment and focus.
The dedicated instructors at Afro Brazilian Cultural Center of New Jersey see capoeira as more than a blend of dance and martial arts—they see it as a way of life. They train children and adults of all ages in capoeira's graceful movements through classes, therapy sessions, and afterschool programs, many of the instructors drawing from extensive training in Brazil and an understanding of Brazilian folklore and culture. But their instruction doesn’t end at capoeira—many of the Cultural Center's coaches specialize in disciplines including yoga, Zumba, salsa, and West African dance. Though many of the instructors were born and raised in New Jersey, others hail from places such as Guinea and Senegal and infuse their culture into their teaching style. The instructors hold classes at least once a week and more frequently for students preparing to dance-battle chaperones for control of the prom.
For Jagadisha Peter Petrovic, yoga lessons came early and often. What began with a simple stretching exercise on a family vacation blossomed into a lifetime of yogic learning, including stints at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and certifications from global masters including Dr. Jeff Migdow and Bikram Choudhury. Now, he puts those experiences to use as the founder and head instructor at Be Evolution Hot Yoga, where his team of experienced yoga instructors flush away toxins and increase muscle flexibility for deeper stretches during targeted stretch sessions. The center operates two studios side-by-side: one heated to a steamy 106 degrees for traditional hot yoga, and one warmed to a balmy-yet-manageable 78 degrees for less strenuous sessions. After class ends, students can also pop into the center's brand new boutique, where racks of new gear and practice materials await.
Kate Saab is a certified personal trainer, aesthetician, and massage therapist who’s had a passion for fitness her entire life. Today, she extends her love of health and wellness to others at Versa Fit & Spa. In addition to leading dynamic fitness classes, Saab orchestrates relaxing sessions in the SlimLine Oxygen Pod, which uses gentle massage, heat, and light to improve metabolism, detoxify the body, and, in special cases, transport clients to the planet of Pandora.
YOUnique Yoga's instructors oversee their studios' schedules of physically invigorating yoga sessions, which meet in intensely heated practice spaces to boost flexibility. Mainly employing Vinyasa techniques, the instructors teach all levels of students to perform a rhythmically flowing sequence of poses that uses synchronized breathing exercises to help students concentrate as they transition from one pose to the next with balance-challenging movements. In time, pupils learn to focus their thoughts while leaving their mind-body connections as balanced as a seesaw in zero gravity. The temperatures can hover between 98 and 108 degrees at each class, helping bodies safely sink into each stretch and shepherd toxins out the nearest sweat gland.
Vibrant red, yellow, and blue walls envelop a plethora of weightlifting and cardio machines in Body & Soul Core Fitness’s main room. While lifting barbells or twirling legs atop treadmills, patrons can watch flat-screen TVs or peek through the windows into the cardio-kickboxing room lined with red heavy bags swinging under the force of swift kicks and punches. The gym’s classes also include Zumba, DanceSports, spinning, and circuit training. Those interested in more individualized attention can take part in one-on-one personal-training sessions with the gym’s experienced instructors.