The certified massage therapists and holistic healers at Om Chakra invite guests to discover deeper mind-body connections inside a sanctuary designed to foster states of sublime serenity. Warm earth tones, zen-like decor, and five private, candlelit treatment rooms envelop guests during multisensory experiential massages or healing reiki sessions, coaxing them to unplug from the synthetic, bustling external world and explore a space within themselves that remains still and calm. This sense of calmness, the staff believes, stems from successful alignment and unblocking of the seven energy channels, or chakras, that run along the spine.
At Chic Physique, women come together during empowering dance classes that tap into their sensuality. The instructors lead students of all skill levels through pole and specialty classes, using poles, suspension training, and body weight as tools to sculpt muscles and increase strength. Pole Basics, along with many other classes, focuses on alignment, pole grips, and muscle building to work up to enough strength to one day carry a chiseled fireman safely out of a fire. Pole Basics, along with many other classes, focus on.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations offer cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
After entering motherhood and leaving a career in social work, Jana Walker discovered Zumba. She was soon hooked on the dance-party vibe of the classes and, in 2010, became an instructor. Since then, she has branched out to a variety of fitness classes, including Total Body Conditioning and Gospel Guts and Glutes.
Alexander C. Nnabue knows that caring for eyes is really about caring for people. After earning doctor of optometry degrees from both Imo State University in Nigeria and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Dr. Nnabue found his own company to help restore patients' ocular health. What began in 1994 as a single storefront has blossomed into six Visual Eyes locations throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Today, the caring doctor leads biannual medical mission trips to Africa, including one trip that, according to a 2006 Nigeria World article, put thousands of eyeglasses and medications in the hands of those in need.
At Visual Eyes, he and his fellow optometrists use advanced technology to diagnose and treat various conditions. A trained technician manufactures lenses at an in-house lab, and Dr. Nnabue specializes in orthokeratology, a vision-correcting process that eliminates the need to wear glasses, contacts, or a sign that says, "Sorry for walking into you; I forgot my contacts or glasses." The team also prides itself on showcasing the latest designer frames, including Marc by Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade, and Guess.
Over her 15 years as a fitness instructor, Ananda Shala's owner, Aimee Firor McBride developed a special passion for yoga and Pilates. Her love of the practice led her to India, and into the studios of renowned teachers such as Shiva Rea during her more than 500 hours of teacher studies. She draws upon this experience as she helms a coterie of certified instructors who lead groups through classes and workshops. On hardwood floors flooded with natural sunlight, instructors guide students through Prana Flow Vinyasa yoga for all levels, hot yoga in an 80- to 90-degree room, and meditation classes.
In addition to yoga, instructors also teach Pilates, including mat classes, sessions that integrate weights and strength training, and machines that help lengthen and strengthen muscles. During private sessions they help students work on individual needs or master a specific technique such as folding laundry with their feet. Corporate workshops help business people soothe their minds during stressful situation, and special events such as yoga parties and classes for kids and teens explore yoga in a fun environment.