AFAA-certified fitness instructor Kari Fundingsland did three decades' worth of research before opening Kari Kardio. Beginning with her first Jazzercise center in 1983, she amassed group- and personal-training knowledge at gyms stationed from the United States to Australia. She took note of club fads and their effects, and experimented with different exercise styles to create the Kardio Flex System—a malleable workout template that allows instructors to pair her proven exercises with their own music playing over speakers or inside their heads. Today, more than 30 group classes per week at Kari Kardio attest to the breadth of her industry savvy.
With backgrounds in competitive athletics, personal training, and other high-level fitness activities, Kari Kardio’s teachers pair time-tested training methods with the latest workout trends. Their classes—which run the gamut from spin to kickboxing to strength training—accommodate all experience levels with safe exercise modifications. Treadmills and stationary bikes line the 9,000-square-foot studio, helping students chase their fitness goals and complete stationary paper routes when not attending classes.
During her 10 years in practice, Dental Expressions owner and dentist Sonal Bhoot has done much more than care for teeth—she has been a caring member of her community. Dr. Bhoot participates in programs that help underprivileged children receive dental care and facilitates training for dental assistants in the area. She has worked in both inner-city and suburban settings, and she is skilled at connecting with people of all age groups. As a member of both the Leawood Chamber of Commerce and the Lee's Summit Chamber of Commerce, in addition to several local study clubs, Dr. Bhoot stays ahead of what's happening in her city and in the dental field.
Along with her associate, Dr. Mary Augustyn, Dr. Bhoot relies on state-of-the-art technology during each of her treatments. She carefully gauges the measurements needed for a root canal with an electronic apex locator and creates tooth-colored ceramic crowns in a single appointment with the CEREC 3-D system. She and her team detect subsurface cavities with the laser DiagnoDent pen, which also comes in handy for engraving one's name on a steel mug.
Physical and metaphysical healing go hand in hand at Alive & Well A Holistic Center, where seasoned practitioners target bodies, minds, and spirits with alternative medicine. Natural-health consultations often include iridology, a technique that involves examining the eyes' irises to uncover potential causes of pain, fatigue, and other unpleasant symptoms. Armed with this information, staffers may guide clients toward healing modalities such as reiki, a Japanese energy-balancing technique, or reflexology, a type of foot massage believed to promote full-body wellness. Herbalists and massage therapists may also recommend nutritional supplements and essential oils to help fight headaches, insomnia, or lethargy. Yoga instructors shepherd students toward stress release and physical vitality during group and private classes filled with ancient poses and breaths as deep as Poseidon's diary entries.
When she’s not standing in front of an early morning boot-camp session, certified trainer and nutritionist Sue Meredith can be found hiking, camping, or crawling over rocks in her jeep. Her passion for the outdoors transfers into her fitness classes, where she inspires women to have fun and make friends while working toward better health. Designed for a diverse range of women—including those of any ability level—Sue’s four-week programs combine fitness instruction with nutritional guidance, as well as the motivation to help students breathe the outdoor air. Two trained experts back up Sue's services with their own work. Dr. John Spencer Ellis holds 15 fitness certifications, which makes him the most qualified instructor since Einstein potty-trained his sons. Kelli Calabrese also pitches in her talents, which include three science degrees and 23 fitness and wellness certifications.
Skilled cosmetic dentist Dr. Ron Drachenberg has presided over The Smile Studio for more than 20 years, where he transforms teeth with the help of a talented team and the philosophy that everyone’s smile is a work of art. Dr. Drachenberg works his magic by employing technology such as custom teeth whitening and instant orthodontics, changing the color, shape, size, and proportion of chompers until they’re elegant enough to chew through cement. When he's not tackling teeth, Dr. Drachenberg can be found at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, brushing up on the latest advances in cosmetic dentistry with advanced continuing-education classes.
Before finding her calling as a yoga instructor, Sylvia taught biology, Earth science, and general science for more than 25 years. Throughout her years in the classroom, she practiced yoga as a way to calm her mind and balance her body. In 2005, she switched gears—she trained for more than 1,000 hours and earned her E-RYT 500 certification. She specializes in Kripalu-style mindfulness yoga, which emphasizes self-acceptance and consciousness of the interplay between life and yoga. Although she primarily teaches multi-level classes, some sessions, such as chair or adaptive yoga, are intentionally geared toward those with limited mobility. At the beginning of class, she occasionally reads inspirational passages or practices levitation.