Inside a room heated to a balmy 105 degrees Fahrenheit, a certified Bikram yoga instructor leads students through eagle, locust, and rabbit poses. These poses, part of a 26-asana sequence designed by yogi Bikram Choudhury, are intended to increase oxygen and blood flow through every inch of the body. Though the physical benefits of a stronger, more flexible body are undeniable, the good done to the mental and spiritual selves can only be described—a greater sense of peace, increased mental clarity, and the ability to tolerate people who talk about their night dreams. Eager to share its passion for the practice, the staff at Bikram Yoga equips new students with everything they need to succeed. Friendly receptionists hand students towels and mats before pointing them in the direction of clean, sleek changing and shower areas. The studio itself is constantly filled with purifying practitioners, as a deep bench of certified instructors teach both morning and evening classes seven days a week.
Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces—including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis—await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln workers help glaze, fire, and de-genie it for them, and they may retrieve the finished piece after a few days.
The first years of a child’s life are some of the most formative, with kids quickly learning the mental and physical skills they’ll use for the rest of their lives. The instructors at The Little Gym help foster this growth with their signature brand of positive, nurturing activities, using scientifically based methods to help kids confidently master the basic skill sets needed to jump-start their successful lives. They tailor their classes by age group and activity type, helping babies as young as 4 months build motor skills and language development while instructing kids as old as 12 years old in karate, dance, and resisting the urge to tattle. Each of the classes incorporates three dimensions of learning, mixing physical movement with brain-challenging exercises and activities that build kids’ confidence away from parents.
ABC Music Studio owner and instructor Alison Edgar has plenty of musical talent of her own—she has a B.A. in music—but developing it in others is where her real passion lies. After earning a graduate degree in education from McGill University, she served on its faculty for four years while also racking up experience working with younger students. Her career has taken her through stints directing children’s choirs and high-school bands and working as a music specialist at the elementary level, and through it all she’s built up a 20-year resumé of private lessons. Edgar is open to working in any style toward any of the student’s goals, whether it’s to play recorder in a student talent show or to found a platinum-selling recorder band.
BC Eldercare Massage alleviates the ailments that accompany age with soothing chair massages designed for senior citizens. Specially trained massage therapists travel to nursing homes, hospice care centres, and other offsite locations to assuage aching muscles, joints, and tendons as patients relax in ergonomically correct chairs. The company also trains students with courses in massage technique.