"It's all under one roof," says former Mr. Universe Peter Nielsen as he tests out one of Beverly Hills Club's more than 200 pieces of fitness equipment. Mr. Nielsen's claims ring true, as the 100,000-square-foot indoor facility is home to both state-of-the-art StairMasters and recumbent bikes alongside group classes in Pilates, yoga, and spinning. The 83-degree water of a 25-yard indoor lap pool beckons backstokers to beat personal records, and personal trainers get new or relapsed exercisers back on a healthy path. Half a dozen indoor tennis courts set the stage for USPTA- and USPTR-certified professionals to demonstrate backhands to students of all ages, and open-court hours let players face off against interior decorators and defend the honor of neon yellow.
The club's all-encompassing atmosphere caters to the entire family, offering whippersnappers an array of youth programs such as tennis and dance lessons, an arcade-style XRKade fitness center, and day camps. The club’s Manta Ray Swim School has 90 years of aquatic education under its belt, keeping youngsters afloat with both lifesaving and recreational skills, such as how to beat an octopus in a game of jacks.
After years focused on human health and nutrition while working in the grocery business, Ray Hesano grew frustrated that he couldn?t find similarly wholesome food for his pets. Today, his partner and nephew Mike Palmer fills Premier Pet Supply?s shelves with the same natural and holistic pet food that once eluded him. The store?s ample selection?which has been lauded by Hour Detroit magazine, CityVoters, and Click On Detroit?includes more than 65 varieties of dog food and 75 brands of treats from brands such as Fromm, Zuke?s, and Charlee Bear. Cat food from Natural Balance, Primal Frozen Raw, and dozens more brands imbues felines with the energy to paw, climb, and glare at the store?s array of toys and furniture. Food for other animals, including hamsters, fish, deer and wild birds, keeps every menagerie sated. Premier Pet Supply also houses an extensive wild bird section.
Premier Pet Supply takes care of humans as well, hosting annual customer-appreciation days that treat them to discounts, magic acts, and photo booths. In addition, with help from rescue groups, the store has matched more than 4,000 adoptable dogs and cats with happy new homes.
South Oakland Shelter partners with more than 60 area religious institutions to provide housing opportunities for displaced people. Its guests receive a place to sleep at the partner congregation, warm meals, and opportunities to plan housing situations with case managers. The shelter also organizes targeted homelessness-prevention efforts including direct financial assistance, career-development and financial-literacy workshops, and support groups. Because of its work with more than 8,000 volunteers annually—who interact with guests and arrange sleeping spaces—SOS was named Outstanding Volunteer Program by the Michigan Governor’s Service Awards in 2009.
Balance Health Center takes a holistic approach to wellness by offering chemical-free body treatments and classes that promote balance within the mind and body. The center's nontraditional healing approaches include acupuncture, Ayurveda, and traditional Chinese medicine, treatments that all aim to heal the body without unnatural substances.
Spa services encompass waxing and seven-step facials, and bodies can acquire a bronze glow with the center's version of sunless tanning that relies on an organic, citrus-scented solution rather than the sun's hand-me-down rays. Relaxation's role in personal balance asserts itself in assorted scalp massages, hot-stone therapy, and aromatherapy as well as in spa massages that integrate essential oils. Helping guests to bring the center's philosophies home, Balance Health Center hosts classes and workshops on herbology, stretching, and yoga.
Surya Center for Yoga founder Lisa Marshall discovered yoga while she was pregnant, when she used the ancient practice as a way to calm and strengthen her body and create a better environment for her little-one-to-be. The Surya Center for Yoga community is available to students seven days a week, and they can drop in on classes in 10 distinct modalities, including sessions exclusively for beginners and all-levels classes. A stable of 10 certified instructors guides students through sessions such as a 60-minute gentle Hatha-style yoga class designed to calm the mind and reduce stress, or a Wednesday-night candlelight session that incorporates blocks, straps, and blankets to ease inflexible joints or injured limbs into position more gently than a lamb moves a Jenga block.
Lotus Garden Meditation Center's two-acre grounds calm nervous systems even before guests ease into their first meditative pose. A koi pond rests beside a gazebo, plants sprout from the organic garden, and waterfalls and bamboo gardens surround swimmers in the pool. Inside a barn-turned-yoga-studio, teachers walk students through muscle-strengthening Hatha yoga series, a rare 64-posture style of tai chi, and free stress-relieving meditation classes. Transcendence continues at free weekly Kirtan sessions, a form of group meditation rooted in singing and chanting ancient mantras. Free vegetarian dinners follow weekly Bhakti yoga classes, and weekend events such as vegetarian cooking classes teach students how to take holistic methods off the mat. For more sustained quietude, one- and three-day retreats combine extended meditation, philosophical talks, and vegetarian meals.