Three Things to Know About Yoga
Few fitness disciplines meld relaxation and strength-building like yoga. Read on to learn about its surprising origins and incredible diversity.
1. In Sanskrit, yoga means “union.” (The word shares a root with the English word “yoke.”) The things being united are the mind, body, and breath, as practitioners use motion to guide the thoughts toward peaceful awareness and away from the funny-looking dog walking past the studio window.
2. Historically, strength and flexibility were probably just side benefits. In fact, some of the first Indian yogis to arrive to the U.S. explicitly rejected asanas, or postures, as a distraction from meditation. Recent research by yogi and scholar Mark Singleton indicates that, starting in the 1920s, a Scandinavian fitness system known as Primitive Gymnastics became wildly popular in India, and began to meld with far older yoga traditions that were more concerned with breath and focus. Around the same time, other teachers in India traveled the country teaching strengthening and combat techniques under the guise of yoga, in the hopes of preparing to rise against British rule. This complex stew of influences eventually produced the blend of movement and meditation most Westerners recognize as yoga today.
3. Today an estimated 20–30 million North Americans practice yoga. What that looks like in practice is wildly diverse—everything from sweaty, tolerance-testing hot yoga to quick-flowing vinyasa yoga to “laughter yoga,” which combines yogic breathing with deliberate laughter to ease stress. One of yoga’s greatest virtues is its adaptability: props make classes accessible to older students, and prenatal classes teach pregnant women poses that take into account their extra-stretchy ligaments and tendency toward lower-back pain.
The men and women who live alongside Myerlee Country Club know that the serenity of the well-groomed golf course extends far beyond the fairway. Founded as a small active living community in the 1960s, the club now boasts 1,100 condominiums with stunning views and easy access to the palm-speckled links. Perhaps the most challenging feature of the course is its narrow river, which runs the length of the entire property, abutting almost every hole and slicing directly through the rest. The river offers a challenge for golfers and an attractive retirement home for errantly hit golf balls. When members aren't busy working on their short games or grabbing drinks at the Tiki Bar, they're staying active in the community; Myerlee frequently sponsors food drives for the Harry Chapin Food Bank, and hosts charitable golf outings whose proceeds bolster beneficiaries such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Course at a Glance
18-hole, par 60 course
Total length of 3,509 yards from the back tees
Three sets of tees per hole
Drawing on skills showcased on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance and MTV's Made, Elegant Rumba's dance instructors Nery Garcia and Giana Montoya instill feet with the fluid movements and rhythmic steps of salsa and bachata dance styles atop the sleek hardwood floors of a mirror-flanked ballroom. The dancers specialize in LA–style salsa, distinguished by its intense movements, flashy spins, and focused musicality. Bodies sway to saucy Latin beats, becoming fluent in the language of dance through personalized private lessons and convivial group classes. The classes regularly rotate dance partners, allowing students to become more flexible dancers and forego the need to bring a dance-savvy companion or grow a clone of Patrick Swayze. After sessions, students practice newfound steps in a number of monthly parties and events.
Al Herrera is no stranger to cycling. Before founding EA Bicycles, he not only established several bike shops in Colombia, but also raced for the Colombian BMX cycling team and trained with the Colombian road bike team. His enthusiasm for the sport is almost palpable, with many of his clients stopping by the shop just for some friendly advice. They also show up to purchase bikes by brands such as Pinarello, Raleigh, and Lynskey, and drop off their current rides for one of three tune-up packages.
White sand bunkers, bright blue water hazards, and pristine palm trees surround golfers at San Carlos Golf Club, making for some insidiously picturesque landscapes lurking just beyond the short grass. Provided golfers can keep their golf balls dry and avoid dislodging coconuts, their time on the 18-hole, 6,465-yard course should prove a pleasurable one. If they should fall prey to the course's wiles—such as the double-dogleg on the par 5 thirteenth hole—they can always work toward reducing errors with a trip to the aqua driving range, putting green, and chipping bunker in the practice area.
Martial arts at Fort Myers' Taekwondo United is a great workout that will leave you feeling Zen.
Don't worry about packing a snack. This club has a great restaurant so you can keep the fun going.
You won't need to get a sitter before heading to this club — kids are more than welcome at this family-friendly establishment.
If you're seeking a great full-body workout, sign up for a MMA class and get your fitness on.
Parking is plentiful, so guests can feel free to bring their vehicles.