Occupational therapists Dr. Brian R. Foltz and Ross E. Sato founded Pediatric Motor Playground to help children aged 2.5–12 develop physical and academic skills needed to succeed in school. At centers in Lafayette and Danville, the therapists and their team of educational-fitness instructors guide kids through the company's patented Motor Curriculum: 50 straight minutes of activities specifically designed to develop skills such as hand-eye coordination and social interaction. During these sessions, instructors might have kids play basketball, climb on foam-padded gym equipment, exercise with fitness balls, and practice their handwriting.
Dr. Foltz and Mr. Sato aren't comfortable just letting any instructor or animated snowman teach their curriculum. Each educational-fitness instructor completes at least 240 supervised hours of training and must pass both written and physical evaluations.
The Studio's high-end workout facility espouses active lifestyles with a 2400-square-foot fitness center and a schedule of group classes staged inside five exercise-specific studio rooms. Endowed with 7 or 14 day passes, guests can hone ghost-story plot lines near the lounge area's fireplace or incinerate calories with the fitness center's free weights or medley of strength and cardio equipment—including a smith machine, circuit line, ellipticals, and treadmills. One-hour cycling classes churn heart rates with a fleet of stationary bikes equipped with CycleOps PowerTap technology, which monitors progress by tracking the force behind each pedal. Yoga instructors demonstrate poses inside a studio with wooden floors and an arched window that mimics the arch of spines and dutifully impressed eyebrows as students tackle a variety of yoga styles, such as gentle, Hatha, Iyengar, Vinyasa, or Yin.
San Ramon Valley Fitness hosts a wide variety of sassy classes, so cardio achievers can burn fat and feel sexier through a sassy set of dynamic exercises. Founded by personal trainer and nutritionist Cori Ann Lentz, San Ramon Valley Fitness offers a full schedule of aerobic and body-sculpting exercises that are much more exciting than running on the treadmill or playing hacky sack with a cannonball.
With an ERYT certification from Yoga Alliance, more than 200 hours of training, and 2,500-plus hours of teaching experience under her belt, instructor Umang Goel strives to instill mind-body wellness in her students during classes in a variety of yoga modalities. During classes that can be filled with children and adults alike, Umang emphasizes the connections among the physical, spiritual, and spandex aspects of yoga practice, encouraging students to perform challenging poses as they clear their minds through meditation, which she studies in basic and advanced courses at the Art of Living Foundation. Umang incorporates life-coaching skills into classes such as laughter yoga, helping students of all skill levels reap a host of benefits, including stress reduction, increased body awareness, and sharper vision in the third eye.
Started by Billy Wee—a student of Bikram Choudhury, the original founder of Bikram yoga—Bikram Yoga East Bay is a hot yoga studio dedicated to helping its students discover the healthful benefits of Bikram yoga. In each 90-minute class, students stretch and twist into 26 postures, working every major organ system in the body while sweating in a room specially heated to help release toxins. Classes are intense and challenging, but suitable for beginners and experienced yogis alike, and the studio is spacious and mirror-lined. Open 364 days per year, Bikram Yoga East Bay offers complimentary towel service to its members as well as a feeling of community in each class.