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Everyone on Bikram Yoga's team of instructors has a conversion story. Some, such as Andi Martin, figured out how to rein in rampant chronic pain practicing the 26 asanas, while others weaned themselves off medication they had been taking for years. This enthusiasm infuses the expansive yoga studio with a peaceful energy that has drawn a community of 20,000 members.
During 90-minute sessions, up to 90 students flow through 26 postures taught by Bikram Choudhury–certified instructors, stretching muscles in the heated room. Fresh air circulates within the 2,500-square-foot studio as students practice deep breathing and tone cores while sweating out the toxins responsible for making them feel sluggish or swear at the mailman. Rented mats and towels unfurl along the length of the odorless, moisture-resistant Flotex flooring, and out in the lobby guests relax in various bamboo-bedecked nooks that encourage socialization. Parents can drop off children at the kid-watching room before cartwheeling into a class or taking in a relaxing massage.
5289 Prospect Road
Inside, Fire Works Ceramics’ studio looks more like a cozy cottage than a storefront, its shelves of blank ceramics and hardwood tables awash in sunlight as they wait to be painted at handsome kitchen tables. Visiting artists take their pick of blank mugs, dishes, vases, and figurines, all poured in-house rather than sourced from archaeologists’ garage sales. After decking out their chosen piece in as many colors as they like, guests surrender them to staff to receive a coating of glaze and a trip into the kiln. In addition to walk-in sessions, the studio can also host birthdays, bridal showers, and butterfingers’ support groups.
483 Hope St.
Surrounded by craggy peaks, three men in bright-red helmets stand in the midst of wilderness, surveying the mountains around them as their group of hikers break for a snack on the rocky ground. This interface with the majesty of nature is all in a day's work for this trio of adventurers—Paul Mangasarian and Jakob and Daniel Laggner. Still, their passion for open-air exploration grows with each expedition they lead. Paul, Jakob, and Daniel cofounded Treks and Tracks with the dream of orchestrating excursions into nature that combine ancient means of travel—such as sailing, horseback riding, and hitchhiking on a centaur—with modern sports ranging from surfing to rock climbing. Though they focus on introducing novice outdoorsfolk to unspoiled wilderness around the world, Treks and Tracks' cofounders also strive to leave the awe-inspiring surroundings they visit as pristine as they found them by rigorously upholding practices of environmental stewardship on each expedition.
15000 Skyline Blvd.
For the better part of a century, Spartan Stadium has been a cornerstone of San Jose State athletics and university life, hosting more than 300 home football games since 1933, as well as soccer games and concerts packed with more than 30,000 fans. Open during home football games, the Jeff Garcia Hall of Champions pays tribute to more than 300 former athletes and coaches, including pro football stars, golfers, and judo experts. Beyond the football team's keep, the other bastion of SJSU athletics, the Event Center, opened its doors in the late '80s to house men's and women's basketball contests as well as a weight room for students and a take-a-foam-finger, leave-a-foam-finger depository for fans. Spartan athletics maintains a high pedigree throughout their programs, including recent WAC championships for their men's and women's golf teams.
1251 S 10th St.
San Jose Stage Company has been producing and premiering works of explosive power and social resonance since 1983. Professional actors fill the stage with new and classic works by the likes of David Mamet and Neil LaBute every year, but the company’s work extends beyond its intimate theater space—whose capacity of 200 ensures that no one gets a bad seat or, probably, runs into the evil twin they haven’t met yet. Programming spills out into the streets of San Jose in events that have included indie hip-hop concerts, art-walk performances, and partnerships with smaller theater groups and high-school drama classes.
490 S 1st St.
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