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.
In June 2010, all four Gencarelli family members—parents Lou Sr. and Susan, daughter Stephanie, and brother and head personal trainer Lou Jr.—came together to open Hardbodyz Fitness. Today, visitors to the gym will always find at least one Gencarelli chatting with guests, giving out complimentary eye contact, and making sure everything's running smoothly.
The Gencarellis and their red-shirted staff help members navigate a 7,500-square-foot facility to take advantage of a score of strength-building and cardio classes, free-weights, a sunlit spin studio, and a cardio area equipped with individual TVs and iPod hookups at each of about 40 machines. Nationally certified personal trainers, instructors, and nutritionists work throughout the open floor plan to help patrons achieve specific wellness goals or simply blow off steam.
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.
Seth Weisberg and Alison McCue, cofounders of Garden State Yoga, strive to foster growth and community for both students and teachers of yoga. Along with their fellow instructors, they teach yoga classes inside two distinct studios. Their heated studio offers hot power Vinyasa classes, inspired by the Baron Baptiste style, that detoxify bodies, build strength, reduce stress, and encourage self-awareness. The other studio hosts Vinyasa, Zumba, restorative yoga, and yin yoga classes at normal temperatures. When they aren't striking peaceful poses on their home turf, instructors offer corporate yoga at retail businesses such as Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods. Seth and Alison also pass along their knowledge during regular teacher-training courses for yogis who want to earn their certification through Yoga Alliance.
Bare feet squeak against the maple-hued hardwood floors at Verona Yoga and Wellness Center as experienced instructors guide students through yoga, belly-dance, and kung-fu moves. Floor to ceiling mirrors let students self-correct while moving into warrior pose in yoga sessions and slipping through the quick snaps of martial arts.
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.
For the past 25 years, Starseed Yoga & Wellness has provided a space for guests to get in shape and relieve anxiety through yoga and meditation. The staff understands that starting yoga can be overwhelming, so they offer more than 25 classes each week to suit students with different levels of experience or rebellious students who refuse to salute the sun. Students can participate in vigorous Vinyasa sessions or gentle restorative yoga, or head to mind-body workshops held at different times throughout the year.