GTI Fitness' cycling instructor, Davidjon McFarlane, helps students spin their way toward trimmer frames with a schedule of 50-minute spinning and personal-fitness classes. Davidjon strives to maximize participation and perspiration by demonstrating how to best approach marathon cycling sessions and how to properly massage your bike's wheels after each session. Off the spin circuit, the studio's group personal-training sessions infuse high-rep workouts with light weightlifting to help students achieve their goals.
For more than 10 years, massage-therapists-in-training have learned therapeutic modalities and a caring touch from seasoned teacher and Fair Oaks Massage Institute director Madonna Polley. Polley—who has more than 40 years of experience in the massage-therapy world—works alongside more than 10 instructors. They teach students in small groups and incorporate plenty of hands-on training, unlike the people who teach psychics how to read minds. Then the pupils—who must complete more than 250 hours of training to be certified—bring their knowledge to the treatment room as they practice Swedish and deep-tissue techniques on real spa clients. They focus each massage session on the spa-goer's needs and help reduce stress, relieve pains, and strengthen the immune system.
Polley brings decades of experience to the institute, from instating a massage program at Mt. Hood Community College in 1979 to founding the Fair Oaks Chiropractic & Wellness Center with her husband in 1980. But she also ensures she and her team keep their skills current through participation in continuing-education courses.
Fair Oaks Massage Institute also offers public classes and workshops that teach techniques such as reiki and cranial-sacral therapy, as well as specialty modality certifications, which include learning how to massage without wearing boxing gloves.
Seven days a week, students flock to the balmy studio to sweat out toxins and build strong, lean muscles in Hot Yoga At Sunrise's all-levels yoga classes. Each of the studio's passionate instructors specializes in specific yoga modalities, including the athletic Vinyasa flow, strengthening Core Power yoga, restorative Yin yoga—which emphasizes stillness and healing—and Bikram-inspired classes performed in sweat-inducing 105-degree heat to melt any snowmen trying to pass as humans. This hot-yoga style originally inspired owners Bobby and Robin Carpenter to open their studio in 2005, after they noticed that Bobby's running vastly improved with dedicated practice. Now, the two share their passion for the workout with others and practice it daily in their 60- to 90-minute sweat sessions.
Lotus Garden Meditation Center's two-acre grounds calm nervous systems even before guests ease into their first meditative pose. A koi pond rests beside a gazebo, plants sprout from the organic garden, and waterfalls and bamboo gardens surround swimmers in the pool. Inside a barn-turned-yoga-studio, teachers walk students through muscle-strengthening Hatha yoga series, a rare 64-posture style of tai chi, and free stress-relieving meditation classes. Transcendence continues at free weekly Kirtan sessions, a form of group meditation rooted in singing and chanting ancient mantras. Free vegetarian dinners follow weekly Bhakti yoga classes, and weekend events such as vegetarian cooking classes teach students how to take holistic methods off the mat. For more sustained quietude, one- and three-day retreats combine extended meditation, philosophical talks, and vegetarian meals.
Bryan College Massage Clinic employs a team of nationally certified therapists to forge a new generation of bodywork experts through intimate one-on-one instruction. As teachers proudly look on, students can promote healing with hot-stone therapy or alleviate lower-layer aches with Thai acupressure and deep-tissue techniques. To maximize relaxation, clients may also request a full-body salt scrub, a restorative mud wrap, or soak their feet in a warm tub of adorable puppies.