For two days, ScotsFest transforms the Orange County Fair and Event Center into an outpost of Scotland by reproducing its music, food, and traditions. The sound of bagpipes floats over a sea of kilts, joining with nearby drums to create a soundtrack for Highland dancers. These rug cutters showcase national dances such as the Highland Fling, which calls dancers to step, turn, and hover in place atop a small round shield. Athletes flex their muscles at events that range from hammer throws to the National Heavy Athletic Championships, and young visitors partake in potato-sack races and archery. Traditional Scottish food tempts the appetites of visitors, who can wash down native eats with flights of whisky or ales brewed in the inner chambers of truck-size bagpipes.
It used to be that in order to perform acrobatic feats high in the air, you had to run off and join the circus. Now you simply have to run off to Aerial Fitness Orange County, where the circus exists in the form of aerial fitness classes. Here, students learn basic skills on the silks and the trapeze, building strength and flexibility for everyday fitness or in hopes of making it into the studio's performance-level classes. Once they arrive at the top level, they could audition for the performance troupe or test out their new techniques on nearby construction scaffolding.
The trainers at Americana Fit inspires others to reach fitness goals with workouts that feature everyday actions such as lifting groceries and climbing a giraffe. Because the movements are functional, they imbue charges with the strength, agility, and speed to accomplish all physical activities safely. As boredom can derail even the most motivated, the routines change each session, having classes lift weights and do pull-ups one day and run obstacle courses while hauling medicine balls the next. Trainers also encourage students to make nutritious, well-balanced diets a regular part of their lives.
YAS Fitness Center's signature fitness class started with an annoyance: founder Kimberly Fowler's regular trek from her spin studio to her yoga studio, which took her all the way across town. At the time, she was the COO of a major corporation, but her curiosity at why someone hadn't combined the two workouts soon grew larger than her desire to maintain her cushy job. Just like that, her new career was born.
Kimberly equipped the first YAS studio—a simple acronym that stands for yoga and Spinning—with stationary bikes on one side and floor space for mats on the other, a unique design that matched Kimberly's unique attitude. She eschewed yoga's more spiritual, crunchy aspects—hence the huge letters on the studio wall that read "no granola"—in favor of effective, accessible workouts. Her philosophy resonated, and that first studio has expanded into four, with expanded schedules to boot. Beyond the signature fusion class, the studios host pure cycling sessions and Yoga for Athletes, designed to stretch muscles tight from running, basketball, or competitive clenching.
The trainers behind Meraki Barre don't just want to help their clients get in shape. They want to make the world an all-around healthier place by leading dynamic fitness classes in a 900-square-foot studio space built with eco-conscious, exercise-encouraging decor from the ground up. Padded and sustainable bamboo floors cushion exercisers during workouts, and energy-efficient LED lights keep the studios bright. Along the walls, 80 feet of ballet barres provide stability, and a 14-foot, multimount TRX installation allows for group classes using the suspension-training equipment.
Seven days a week, the staffers lead total-body training sessions that enhance classic fitness methods such as yoga and barre training with the incorporation of free weights and other strength-developing circuits. Their specialty Pound classes draw on musical inspirations that transform the motions of playing the drums into a series of core, leg, and upper-body conditioning moves. Students wield weighted drumsticks called Ripstix to echo the rhythms of the Poundtrack, a playlist of everything from rock to dubstep broadcast over the professional-grade audio system. As the music plays, the color-controllable LED lights cast club-like hues around the studio to help students get lost in the music or pretend to be a rainbow.
Studio founder Patrice Simon established the Bikram Yoga College of India "to nourish the soul as well as the body," a mission reflected in the studio's noncompetitive environment, highly trained instructors, and deliberately designed practice space. Each of the studio's certified instructors studied Bikram at the feet of the style's eponymous guru Bikram Choudhury, where they learned to master the athletic Bikram style, and to shepherd students of all skill levels through Bikram's 90-minute, unchanging 26-pose regimen. During each of the seated, lying, and standing poses, instructors assist students by supplying modifications to accommodate inexperience, injury, and pregnancy. Every posture methodically pushes oxygen-rich blood throughout the entire body, encouraging healthy organ function and building muscle tone. A pair of mindful breathing exercises helps students maintain focus amid the practice space's sultry temperatures of up to 105 degrees, a sweat-inducing environment that allows attendees to safely push each stretch further while perspiring away any toxins that fail the body's citizenship test.