Originally founded more than 45 years ago, Gold's Gym promotes a results-oriented approach to personal fitness, chiseling bodies into shape with a variety of one-hour group classes. Customers can sweat socially in a low-impact cycling class, in which instructors guide students through bike-bound sprints and climbs across multiple simulated terrain types, or dance off the pounds to a Latin beat in Zumba. The BodyPump barbell class sets weight-room exercises such as squats, presses, and curls to music to make muscles burn with satisfaction, like an insult uttered from the lips of a sarcastic fire swallower. PiYo and FusionFlow mix yoga, Pilates, and other fitness disciplines, while students in High-Intensity Interval Training focus on burning fat by stimulating muscle confusion, similar to taking a midterm exam on the first day of anatomy class
Diane Tellier will walk all over you. Gripping overhead bars for balance, she performs ashiatsu massage, kneading her clients' backs with her bare feet for extra firm pressure. This helps keep bodies limber and pain-free, as does a host of yoga classes inside The Place's quaint, airy studio. The sessions cater to all skill levels, whether you're just beginning, dropping in for a yoga dance session, or trying out for the Downward Facing Dog in the local production of 101 Dalmatians. In addition to yoga and ashiatsu massge, The Place also offers modalities such as craniosacral therapy and Reiki.
The second-place winner in Valley Advocate's 2010 Best of the Valley Reader's Poll, Vega Yoga stands out by catering to flexible students of all ages. Children's yoga classes are designed to coincide with classes for parents and are offered to children as young as three. On the other end of the spectrum, Yoga in the Chair caters to elderly students with injuries or other limitations. The studio also offers classes that accommodate Spanish-speaking students and a Mid-Day Stretch class, held during lunchtime, for those fluent in business jargon. Overall, classes take place two to four times daily in the light-soaked studio, allowing cores and minds to flex, stretch, and transcend the time-space continuum.
The pressure was starting to get to Karoun Charkoudian, much like a teakettle when an entire family stares at it impatiently. She had completed grad school and was looking for a corporate gig, and this new phase in life was causing her a lot of confusion. But all of that went away when a friend brought her to a Bikram yoga class in 2003. There, she discovered newfound peace and clarity. In the years that followed, Karoun completed teacher training for several types of yoga, including Vinyasa flow and Iyengar, and became heavily influenced by the meditative movements of Chinese qi gong.
Now she shares her expertise within the bright green walls at Karoun Yoga. The intimate, modern studio is also home to other experienced instructors who approach yoga from the realms of fitness, rehabilitation, dance, and spirituality.
At X-Scape Fitness, Maria Pereira McCullah uses her Zumba license to teach fun, energetic classes that combine dance and fitness. She teaches basic Zumba, which uses upbeat Latin-themed music to inspire clients as they perform dance routines designed to help them burn calories. She also leads yoga sessions, kids' fitness ZumbAtomic classes, Zumba Toning classes that use toning sticks to help boost strength and tone the body, and Zumba Sentao classes that use chairs to help improve strength and muscle definition.
Licensed acupuncturist and herbalist Stan Baker draws from extensive experience in Eastern healing methods to adeptly perform numerous Eastern-medicine modalities. Baker's acupuncture and bodywork sessions help to stimulate the body's vital energy channels, working to alleviate such medical ailments as migraines and musculoskeletal pain. A Sun Do mountain yoga instructor with a black belt in aikido, Baker bolsters his understanding of the East by attending weekly chen-tai-chi classes and boycotting three out of four cardinal directions.