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From the Editor: The Best Yet

photograph by Bob Capazzo

If the woman on the cover doesn’t look familiar, you probably haven’t perfected that down-dog pose yet. Donna Kuebler is an instructor at Elements Yoga & Wellness Center in Darien, the studio she owns with her husband, Bruce Bassock. The couple opened the studio seven years ago after choosing to leave their high-pressure professions in Manhattan for a different lifestyle here in Fairfield County. Both were successful in their previous careers—Bassock as a commodity and equity trader and Kuebler as an events planner. Yet they say their decision to make yoga instruction a full-time commitment has been incredibly rewarding.

As it turns out, the couple’s passion for this ancient form of exercise is appreciated by many yoga devotees in our towns. Elements has been dubbed top yoga studio by those who voted in our Best of the Gold Coast Connecticut contest, the winners of which are featured in this issue. This is the seventh win in seven straight years for Elements, which draws those who are interested in teacher training and others who simply want to deepen their knowledge of the discipline. We suspect some people just come here for the great atmosphere and staff that’s as friendly as it is expert. “A yoga studio is a place for a great workout, but we believe it can feel like a home, too,” says Kuebler.

Having spent time with Kuebler and Bassock, we know why our readers give Elements the thumbs-up. As you’ll discover, there are many other top picks to review in this issue. This year’s Best of the Gold Coast section is our most exciting yet as we had more participation than ever before with nearly 10,000 people voting in our on-line poll.These discerning readers and residents have selected the finest in food, fashion, fitness, fun and more. Check out all of the winners and let us know if your favorites are here. In keeping with the “best of” theme, this issue also has a feature on the area’s top golf pros (page 138), who offer tips on how you can tee up a great game this summer. But if golf isn’t your thing, we have another kind of green to enjoy. In “East Meets West” (page 146), we present a garden in Darien that couples American and Asian elements. The result is a unique outdoor space that’s as tranquil as it is beautiful. Ultimately, it’s just the type of place you’d want to spend time in as the long and lazy days of summer begin. Enjoy!