The staff at American Visions Art Gallery know that shopping for artwork can be intimidating. So when customers fall in love with a piece at the Sutter Street shop, they can bring it home, hang it up, and continue to stare at it for up to 48 hours before making a final decision. It's all part of the gallery’s at-home trial system, which enables clients to make sure a piece fits in with their decor and won't come to life at night. They can test-drive pieces from a vast selection that includes originals and limited-edition work from 60 artists, and special receptions allow prospective collectors to rub elbows with one of the shop's featured artists between bites of light hors d'oeuvres. The shop also provides framing services for a range of personal pieces, and curates a curriculum of paint-and-sip workshops, where novice brushstrokes are steadied by a complimentary glass of wine.
Art teacher Kimberly Godinho sees her studio as a haven for students who might be otherwise afraid of exploring their artistic sides. Her background includes earning her bachelor degree in fine arts, and her current work as a professional artist underscores her expertise. Heartened by friends and wine, visitors of all experience levels follow Kimberly’s instructions to brush up the chosen project, which may include wine glass tableaus, pastoral landscapes, and the inky insides of a camera’s lens cap. All materials are included with each class, including canvas, paints, and smocks.
On the wall above the inner entryway at Bikram Yoga Folsom, a hand-painted quote reminds practitioners why they keep coming back: "You're never too old, never too bad, never too late, never too sick to start from scratch once again". It's this eternal potential for personal betterment that fuels the studio's superheated classes, which combine Bikram yoga's 26 postures and two breathing exercises into workouts that stretch the mind as well as the body. Seasoned instructors lead each class, using experience gained through their extensive training and own personal journeys to create an atmosphere that's both nurturing and challenging, helping students of all skill levels to learn and thrive. In addition to an expansive practice room that's often awash in ample natural light, their vibrant facility houses spacious locker rooms with private showers, and even a relaxing seating area.
The instructors at Joyfulution guide bodies through a full schedule of diverse courses aimed at fortifying mental, physical, and spiritual health. Rhythmic and energetic Prana Flow sessions unfurl in a room heated to 78 degrees, helping students to find focus through sequenced poses, chanting, and 15 minutes of silent meditation. Sensory-based, empowering Nia classes are set to soul-stirring tunes and draw from martial-arts, dance-arts, and healing-arts disciplines, and Belly Bliss Belly Dance introduces pupils to the ancient practice of french-braiding via skillful torso twists. With 12-foot-high ceilings and 2,500 square feet of toe-massaging floor, Joyfulution accommodates everyone, even students on pogo sticks or under top hats.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level (starting as young as 6 weeks) and designed to incorporate the latest physiological, psychological, and meteorological research. The Elk Grove and Folsom locations offer classes for all developmental degrees, including the Tiny Tykes class, a session for parents and babies that focuses on movement, and the Champions class, designed to help 5- to 9-year-olds master sports and gymnastics skills. Exact schedules vary by location; click here to see the Elk Grove lineup and here for Folsom's lineup.
Power duo Angelo Nunez and Cary Williams-Nunez opened their first Prime Time Boxing Club location in 1998, determined to spread their love of fitness and boxing to one small group at a time. Today, their boxing fitness empire extends to three gyms that been spotlighted by such reputable publications as the New York Times, Men's Fitness, and Shape. Angelo, Cary, and a team of encouraging trainers lead 45-minute fitness classes that build boxing skills from the ground up and increase stamina through an intense combination of basic jabs, bobbing and weaving, and sashays that best show off Americana shorts. The boxing aficionados train students aged 13 and older, with younger classes focusing on overall cardio and playing nice with pendulous speed bags.