Lavender walls evoke a tranquil dusk sky as students and yogis make the transition through the ancient poses of the Hatha, Ashtanga, and Bikram traditions. Here, experienced teachers guide groups toward states of intense focus and increased physical fitness with a series of stretches, bends, and deep-breathing exercises. An emphasis on safety abounds as the instructors help students align their bodies properly, and padded, Zebra floor coverings absorb joint pressure that would otherwise build up in knees and backs until it took over bodies and forced them to be spokespersons for aspirin.
The schedule of classes meets students of all skill levels where they live. Easy-going Vinyasa classes weave poses and breaths into a graceful, dance-like sequence, and more demanding Bikram sessions explore 26 classical poses in a 95-degree room, which helps loosen muscles and oust pent-up toxins. After class, students retire to an ADA–compliant changing room, where they can bask in showers and relax like a kitten reclining on a pillow made of sunbeams.
Koko FitClub Smartraining system, which debuted in Entrepreneur magazine's 33rd annual Franchise 500 rankings, gives patrons personalized control over their own fitness with 30-minute custom workouts at automated stations. Each person's tailored regimen begins with a body-composition test, which helps trainers to build a program based on weight loss, toning, or whale-wrestling goals. Staff members then load workout plans onto the client's Koko key, which plugs into Smartraining machines. The workout equipment greets guests by name and instructions steer limbs through a medley of strength and cardio maneuvers, all of which take place at a single station. Because the system stores each visitor's progress, workouts adapt daily to keep muscle groups from starting a fight club out of boredom. A personal website tracks fitness data for at-home viewing.
A top-notch pool is essential to competitive swimmers' training needs. Fortunately for them, Calphin Aquatic Club was cofounded by Xiaohong Wang, who was named to the Chinese National Team at age 16 and eventually earned a silver medal at the 1992 Summer Games. Now a coach, she has a distinct understanding of why quality counts when it comes to swimming. To that end, the club's main Fremont location houses a small indoor pool heated to 88 degrees and a larger pool heated to 82 degrees. The other locations also offer heated pools, including the Olympic-sized outdoor one in Sunnyvale.
All of these watering holes are kept pristine for lessons and training sessions. Young children tackle the small pool in Learn to Swim or Aqua Baby classes that teach them how to float and communicate telepathically with marine life. Meanwhile, older kids and adults can go from swimming novice to competitive master during group or private sessions that focus on the basics or specific strokes. But recreational swimmers shouldn't intimidated by Calphin Aquatic Club's professional edge. The pools also offer fitness programs, including swimming for fitness, aerobic exercise, and low-impact workouts for people with arthritis.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition? With an experienced faculty of qualified dance instructors, our goal is to provide the San Francisco Bay Area with the finest dance instruction in the greatest variety of styles in the area. Dance classes are offered for students from age 2 or older.
What's one tip for first-time students that will make them feel like veterans? Feel free to ask any student to show you around our school, and make a new friend as well.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business? Introducing the wonders of art to the community.
What do you love most about your job? Seeing the progression of our students' growth year after year.
The views from an airplane can be stunning, so long as you're lucky enough to snag a window seat. But those faraway sights don't compare to wind in your face and birds-eye views of mountains, valleys, and coastlines during East Bay Hang Gliding's thrilling self-propelled flights. Since 2011, instructor Robert Booth has introduced more than 600 students to the world of hang gliding, teaching them flying techniques and safety protocol at their own pace. A specialist in the field, his goal is building up a strong hang-gliding community pilot by pilot, which has informed every piece of his comprehensive and breathtaking training program. Along the way, students can opt for tandem flights or solo expeditions, an advantage that birds don't even get when they're first starting out.
Earl Anthony's Dublin Bowl is an homage to champion bowler Earl Anthony, a six-time PBA Player of the Year and a member of the PBA and ABC Halls of Fame. Fittingly, Anthony's namesake bowling alley takes the sport as seriously as he did?it features 40 championship lanes, each equipped with Brunswick Vector automatic scoring to prevent players from having to borrow their neighbors' fingers and toes for adding purposes. In between games, players can wet their lips in the full-service bar, chow down on pizzas and sandwiches at the snack bar, and catch the game on the lounge's big screen TV. And, on Saturday nights, the lights drop and lasers flare during Solar Extreme bowl, a cosmic event that features a light show with music and videos, and rages until 1:30 a.m.