With the help of a friendly and knowledgeable staff, the owners of The Gym Next Door make clients feel like family. They personalize their wellness services, including hydrotherapy massage and spa treatments, and lead classes for all levels of athleticism. Zumba Gold eases seniors and those with knee injuries into fitness with low-impact shimmies to Latin music, and P90X classes expedite inch shedding with intense core workouts that torch calories and deplete dangerous sweat surpluses.
Within Carpinteria USSD Karate Studio—part of the United Studios of Self Defense family—fitness instructor Jessica uses her gifted limbs to lead exercisers of all experience levels through cardio kickboxing workouts. Performing flurries of punches and kicks, participants keep their heart rates up and break a healthy sweat en route to healthier, fitter physiques.
Mestre Mariano Silva, a dancer and student of the Brazilian martial art capoeira, has always believed that "if you can walk, then you can dance." This positivity permeates everything he does, from his work with underprivileged youth to his time professionally dancing. It was this contagious optimism that caught the attention of master Amen Santo in Brazil, who invited him to tour globally with the renowned Ballet Folclorico do Brasil. As it turned out, Mariano was a huge hit, playing to sold-out crowds all over the world. His skill and popularity on the stage led Amen to convince him to relocate to Southern California and bring his passion for Afro-Brazilian dance to the States. Today, Mariano owns Capoeira Batuque Santa Barbara along with the Brazilian Cultural Arts Center of Santa Barbara, sharing his talents and affirmative worldview with adults and children through a slew of classes and community-outreach programs.
Each of mestre Mariano's fast-paced classes introduces pupils to the rhythmic techniques and cultural significance of traditional Afro-Brazilian dance forms. Capoeira—considered Brazil's second national sport—fuses martial-arts techniques with the rhythmic and collaborative elements of dance. He teaches stylistic combat maneuvers, which weave in aerial acrobatics and various instruments. During his Afro-Brazilian dance class, he'll calibrate students' hips to swivel to movements that fuse traditional African dance with Brazilian moves, and in his Samba classes, he introduces students to the history, culture, and traditions inextricably linked to each movement. He also lets dancers try their hand or fourth toe at banging timbaus, repiniques, and other Brazilian drums in the Brazilian batucada drumming course.
At G'nique's Spa Services, owner, aesthetician, and massage therapist Genique Freeman guides her team with the conviction that total wellness is achieved when each patient feels beautiful, relaxed, and cared for. Freeman's staff makes a point of opening communication lines with each client, welcoming both English and Spanish speakers and discovering their patients' treatment preferences and favorite Kevin Bacon films via a simple online health-history form. Organic and wild-harvested ingredients from product lines such as De La Terre ease health concerns, and skin-purifying treatments are frequently paired with massages to heighten the therapeutic effects of both. Calm lighting and soft music welcome clients to leave their workplace stresses at the door, and a no-walk-in policy ensures patient comfort by safeguarding against overcrowding or a sudden influx of encyclopedia salesmen. Also supporting the spa's philosophy that physical and psychological health go hand in hand, G'nique's encourages veterans and their families to take respite in pampering by offering military discounts on specialty services, such as massages and facials.
BodyKind Pilates's founder and principle trainer, Jennifer McCandless, has dedicated most of her life to the healing arts. She has spent the last 20 years exploring functional anatomy, biomechanics, yoga, and meditation, and achieved a master’s degree in holistic health and wellness. Entranced by Pilates's innovative blend of Eastern and Western body-healing approaches, she then went on to open her own studio. Here, she and a crew of seasoned instructors foster a noncompetitive community, welcoming students of all fitness levels to practice the strength-developing workout regimen. The bright, private studio is loaded with sticky mats, a collection of specialized equipment, and spandex pants that magically fit everyone. The instructors conduct private and small group classes in the Reformer and mat Pilates styles, helping students build bodily awareness, strengthen their cores, and improve their posture, flexibility, and coordination.
Highlights of Rodrigo Clark's two-decade Brazilian jiu-jitsu career include training with Master Carlos Gracie, Jr., reaching 2nd-degree black belt status, and medaling at the World Nogi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship seven times. At Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu Academy Santa Barbara, Clark shares his vast knowledge of the Gracie style of self-defense during programs for all ages and skill levels. His and his team's teachings don't just show students how to defend themselves, though. They can also boost self-esteem, burn calories, reduce stress, and improve one's ability to dice vegetables with their bare hand.