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.
The dedicated instructors at Afro Brazilian Cultural Center of New Jersey see capoeira as more than a blend of dance and martial arts—they see it as a way of life. They train children and adults of all ages in capoeira's graceful movements through classes, therapy sessions, and afterschool programs, many of the instructors drawing from extensive training in Brazil and an understanding of Brazilian folklore and culture. But their instruction doesn’t end at capoeira—many of the Cultural Center's coaches specialize in disciplines including yoga, Zumba, salsa, and West African dance. Though many of the instructors were born and raised in New Jersey, others hail from places such as Guinea and Senegal and infuse their culture into their teaching style. The instructors hold classes at least once a week and more frequently for students preparing to dance-battle chaperones for control of the prom.
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.
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.
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.
The Coloring Room unearths inner artistes with a host of pottery painting events for both adults and kids. The cheerful studio is a great place to get friends together for a small ceramics gathering, ceramics rave, or first ceramics date rave. At BYOB pottery-painting gatherings, guests provide their own libations, and The Coloring Room supplies the paint, tools, and clay canvases, providing Groupon holders with their choice of any unfinished ceramic piece valued at up to $15. If you don't know how to paint, or only know how to paint the Venus of Urbino on a divan made of butter, the friendly staff can help you draw a stegosaurus or emblazon a mug with a well thought-out poem that faithfully represents your feelings about Monday. A color chart assists in the palette-constructing process, and unlimited use of paint, supplies, and instruction grants free rein for burgeoning Rembrandts to compose their earthenware masterpieces.
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