Montebello Barnyard Zoo's animals are like rock stars, touring local homes and meeting places for one-on-one encounters and shows. Pony rides headline this traveling attraction, which also incorporates a petting zoo with various farm animals: goats, sheep, chickens, and even a llama.
The animals still spend the most time at their home venue, however. Here, fenced off areas contain larger animals such as cows and zebras, who always show up to work wearing the same black-and-white outfits. Bales of hay, wooden barrels, and a large, red barn create a rustic setting for picnics and birthday parties. Nearby, a merry-go-round spins endlessly and a truck—decorated to resemble a locomotive—pulls train cars on a tour of the grounds.
Most of the class sessions at the YOGA place employ some form of Vinyasa yoga style, linking breaths with movements to create seamlessly flowing sequences of asanas. Although the style incorporates more physical activity than some, it still requires intense amounts of focus as students instinctually monitor their form and alignment. The instructors mainly lead open sessions for students of virtually any skill level; however, they also host intensive advanced-level sessions, which incorporate inversions and controlled levitations, as well as relaxing restorative sessions that use props to support the deeply sustained stretches.
At Gym Box, stereos pump out an energizing soundtrack as clients lift, run, and sweat amidst night-club-inspired decor. Mirrors reflect the silver and black of the new equipment that fills the strength and cardio rooms, and indoor cycling classes are held in the alternating glow of red and purple lights. Boxing classes thwack and strike the heavy bags that dangle from the ceiling of the training room, and TRX classes sculpt stronger bodies from an assortment of hanging ropes and cables.
Yoga Circle Downtown's instructors lead a diverse selection of athletically paced and calming yoga styles that cater to students of all skill levels. The studio’s schedule includes advanced and fundamental classes, such as Alignment & Form, where instructors demonstrate poses, emphasizing correct posture and positioning for each asana, instilling proper technique in beginning students and recently animated sculptures alike. Students in yoga flow sessions achieve a more vigorous workout by using strong breaths and athletic movements to transition from pose to pose, raising heart rates and bolstering stamina. During Kundalini yoga, instructors promote inner well-being by incorporating time for chants and calming meditation, which leaves students’ minds as centered as a hula hoop snug around an overinflated beach ball. Students gather for classes in an airy practice space with lofty ceilings and intricately painted pillars that keep the floor from floating away during class, accessorizing the room's wooden flooring with either their own yoga mats or a rental from the studio ($1).
Pilates Plus By Eden Sassoon's instructors lead group classes that augment the fundamental principles of Pilates with dynamic muscle workouts. The studio utilizes the SPX system, which adheres to Joseph Pilates' postural alignment and flexibility exercises as a foundation for improving muscular stamina, increasing cardio respiratory endurance, and accelerating metabolism. While helping students strengthen and tone bodies, specialized instructors infuse lessons with areas of their own expertise. For example, instructor Kiki enhances her lessons by teaching techniques acquired after 15 years of ballet experience and years becoming a black belt in tae kwon do. Brian enlivens his signature classes with a background that includes martial arts, breakdancing, and being raised by a pack of killer whales. Private lessons are also available for one-on-one instruction.