When students sign on for a Rock About climbing class, they don't just learn to rope their way up mountainsides and trade banter with goats. The company's certified guides also educate clients about the cultural history and complex geology of the climbing sites. On climbing treks to Reimers Ranch Park, owner Adam Mitchell and his team teach top-roping and belaying techniques while exploring the notion that climbing allows humankind to commune safely with the earth's natural wonders. For those uneasy about vertical exploration, the guides offer non-climbing adventures such as interpretive hikes.
The Yoga Space’s experienced team of limb-bending yogis unbundles participants' tightly coiled muscles and repositions them into rejuvenating Hatha yoga postures. From within their intimate studio space, instructors meld breath and movement through a series of poses at variable paces, tailored for all levels of stretchers and soft-pretzel impressionists. Beginners classes slowly transition from one basic pose to another, and flow classes align each smooth reaction with the pace of timed breaths. All-level classes allow advanced yogis to court beginning downward-facing dogs with impressive displays of perfect warrior poses and ear-scratching with outstretched toes. Providing convenient courses for all lifestyles, The Yoga Space's flexible class schedule stretches evenly across seven-day spans, like a weeklong ration of Jell-O.
The motivating trainers at The Center for Fitness mold muscles and tone tensors through a variety of active, movement-oriented classes. With a three-class package, patrons can mix and match exercise routines with sessions culled from four disparate disciplines. Borrowing moves from South American dance, Zumba programs shake up fitness routines with a variety of groove-inspired workouts. Search for centered living through soothing tai chi, discovering innermost points full of soothing calmness or delicious nougat. Experienced instructors eliminate fat and calories with Pilates, making sure every muscle gets pumped up to its full potential, and yoga classes rejuvenate fizzled out flexors with stress-relieving positions and bends. Each class occurs within a brightly lit 1,600-square-foot studio outfitted with workout-enhancing equipment, letting exercisers burn calories to beats from a bumping sound system, refresh overheated bodies beneath breezy air conditioning, and commemorate muscular milestones with a turn in the gym's photo booth.
The low-hanging branches of southern live oak trees stretch out over the house and pavilion areas at Don Strange Ranch, dappling parties, weddings, and corporate team gatherings with splashes of sunlight. Since 1952, the 125-acre longhorn ranch in the Texas Hill Country has hosted myriad events, including scenes from the PBS music documentary series Live from the Artists Den and the wedding of country music stars Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton.
More than just a picturesque backdrop, the ranch’s rugged natural surroundings host outdoor activities such as ropes courses and kayak trips down the Guadalupe River. And the friendly staffers who man 350- to 400-foot ziplines work to ease guests out of their comfort zones, like a mother bird pushing her young out of the nest for their first extreme base-jumping lesson. :m]]
After being ranked 19th on Golfweek's "Best New Courses" list in 2011, the course at Vaaler Creek Golf Club has been stacking up acolytes for its challenging play and picturesque Texas Hill Country setting. The Michael Lowry and JR Newman design stretches through oak forests as well as rocky outcroppings, encountering water on nine holes. Throughout each round, players steer new E-Z-GO golf carts over Bermuda 419 and TifSport grasses, taking advantage of the carts’ automatic braking systems as they stop to smell the flowers or the glorious scent of victory over manual controls.
Though the varied layout presents all manner of challenges, the par 3 12th hole requires a particularly cautious approach. Players must exhibit firm control over iron play as they aim for a peninsula green—discipline that must be then be duplicated four holes later to keep drives dry and on the isthmus fairway. Finally, players round out the round by facing a daunting approach over water, made even more difficult by the tree in the center of the fairway that obstructs flight paths and distracts would-be winners with its self-contained, elf-operated cookie factory.
Course at a Glance:
Chiropractor and owner of Serene Oasis Dr. Katherine Van Dyke redirects rogue energies with 4,000-year-old acupuncture techniques. Each 60-minute full-body session begins with peaceful zen music that tickles clients’ cochleae as they recline and let worries melt away like timepieces in a Dalí painting. Next, Dr. Van Dyke inserts fine, single-use needles into strategic areas, such as the ear, neck, and back. The placement of the needles can address a variety of conditions, including addictions, indigestion, back pain, and fear of needles. During each session, many patients report little sensation or only slight discomfort, which typically fades once the needle is inserted into the skin. Afterwards, clients may feel energized or relaxed as their newly unblocked chi stretches its legs. Clients can learn more about the session and acupuncture in general by perusing Serene Oasis's frequently asked questions page.
At her eponymous medical laser spa—which has attracted media attention from Great Day SA and KABB Fox 29’s Daytime @ 9—Dr. Elizabeth McRae draws on 20 years of experience to enhance exteriors with noninvasive procedures. Starting with the face, she and her team of nurses rejuvenate complexions with treatments ranging in intensity from a classic European facial to intense-pulsed-light therapy. Visages that have begun to sag or accrue wrinkles from years of staring at a Rubik’s cube are smoothed with Botox or dermal fillers such as Juvéderm. Clients maintain their looks at home with beauty products from brands such as Obagi and SkinCeuticals.
In addition to pampering faces, Dr. McRae caters to entire bodies with Zerona laser body-slimming treatments and laser hair removal. She also uses minimally invasive ultrasonic liposuction to suction out liquefied fat and stockpiled cotton candy.