Before she took her first yoga class in 2003, Kelly O'Connell led a very different life than she does today. According to a story by Leigh Medeiros of Seekonk-Swansea Patch, O'Connell spent her days stretching herself thin as a principal in a stock brokerage firm before she decided to try a new kind of stretching: heated yoga. Through the practice, O'Connell found herself growing not only more physically flexible, but also more mentally adaptable. She told Medeiros, "I used to get lost in my emotions, but now there’s space between me and everything else that happens in the world. In that space there’s peace.”
To share the inner harmony she had discovered, O'Connell earned her yoga-instructor certification in 2008. She went on to complete several advanced trainings, including becoming a certified yoga life coach, a certified yoga personal trainer, and an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500) through Yoga Alliance. Today she owns and operates Yoga One, where she and her team guide adults and kids toward finding balance both in and out of the studio. They also host teacher trainings and events, including a book club, Reiki sessions, and meditation workshops featuring chocolate tastings that stimulate the mind and taste buds better than eating a haiku written in alphabet soup.
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For many years, the scariest thing about golf has been the Sansabelt pants. With today's Groupon, trade gentle golf claps for screams of putting panic: for $15, you get four rounds at Monster Mini Golf in Marietta, a $30 value. Come once by yourself and save the other three passes for when you have the hiccups, or bring three friends and see who has the strongest stomach for fun monster statues.
If you’re like most people, seeing another windmill boringly swooping its blades on a standard miniature golf course makes you secretly long for glow-in-the-dark zombies. Monster Mini Golf has heard those silent screams and created a fright-filled attraction perfect for couples, kids, adults with kids, and adults unafraid of sharing a fun evening with Dracula. Monster Mini Golf’s owners created most of the oversized monsters that stalk their greens and constitute the course’s obstacles. The creatures glow under ample black lights, and range in monstrosity from animated cuddliness to Bella-Lugosity. Kids of all ages are able to appreciate Monster Mini Golf's kitschy post-structuralist take on the play of difference between signifier and signified.
The links consist of 18 holes spread over 12,600 square feet, and the focus of the course is on challenging angles. Monster Mini golf offers just the right level of challenge to entertain both kids and adults. The Marietta branch opens its creaky doors from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Check Monster Mini Golf's website for upcoming holiday hours.
Monster Mini Golf also offers themed party rooms, such as the Haunted Mansion; a quarter arcade; and traditional arcade challenges, including skee ball and glowing air hockey. Success at these monster-supervised games offers not only personal fulfilment, but also the thrill of having conquered death incarnate. Plus you win prizes. While playing, be sure to listen for Monster Mini Golf’s own in-house radio station, “W.I.R.D. (Weird Radio),” whose live, on-site DJ hands out prizes for goofy reasons on the links.
CityVoters name Monster Mini Golf as the best mini golf site in the Atlanta area, and Yelpers give it five stars:
- It’s fun! It’s indoors, so can be played year round! The price is right and staff is very accommodating. – prs0, Cityvoter
- Monster Golf totally rules…The kids had a blast! Good times all around. I’d highly recommend this as an alternate for kiddie birthday parties or a cute, fun date spot. – lee y., Yelp
- The 18 spooky holes surprise golfers with challenges and tricks…They play GREAT music…Hopefully this one lasts! – Amy S., Yelp
Riverside Dance Center's teachers have helped fledgling dancers shimmy with precision for nearly 30 years. The studio's owner leads each adult class through a series of steps, emphasizing technique as students explore clicks, stomps, and shuffles. Kids strut to beats and rhymes in Hip-Hop I and II, learning how to ignite a rap battle in case of emergency. Today's Groupon may also be used for Stretch & Tone exercise classes or a Zumba workshop, which shows fitness seekers dance-inspired moves that burn calories when paired with Latin-style rhythms.
All four Total Fitness locations hold a variety of up-to-date fitness equipment and more than 25 energetically instructed classes. From cardio-kickboxing and spinning to Pilates and strength training, the fitness curriculum readies muscles and cardio systems to take on new challenges, such as running a marathon at the bottom of the ocean. Aspiring Zumbalinas can opt for Zumba classes to learn Latin dance moves; time-hindered humans can choose the power half-hour class, a core strengthening and high intensity cardio blast that burns calories like a flaming donut; and those in search of motivation can take boot camp, which comes complete with a military-esque instructor.
Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
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