For more than 20 years, Carrie Heller's life has been a balancing act between honing her circus talents and helping others. Today, the licensed clinical social worker, a founding member of the American Youth Circus Organization, blends therapy methods with big-top techniques at the Circus Arts Institute, benefiting children and adults alike with mind- and body-benefiting acrobatics that send students swinging, twirling, and laughing through the air.
Carrie and her team of instructors acquaint students with circus-performance fundamentals using the trapeze, tight wire, Spanish web, and juggling balls. They bolster core and upper-body strength during Circus Arts Fitness workouts, which have been featured on CNN for their exciting approach to toning. For students with special needs, such as sensory challenges or ADD, they host Circus Arts Therapy classes. These sessions channel playful and positive energy as small groups learn to navigate circus equipment, enhancing their confidence, social skills, and physical coordination in a much more natural way than going on a handstand speed date.
In the year 2000, after hundreds of hours of yoga practice, workshops, and conferences, Tanya Edwards's hard work culminated in the opening of her very own studio, Art of Yoga. And today, alongside her team of certified yoga teachers, Tanya helps practitioners of all experience levels build strong bodies and sound minds with an eclectic teaching style grounded in the Hatha yoga tradition. The serene, sage-colored studio heats up to a balmy 95 degrees during hot yoga, a 90-minute routine of stretching and sweating that encourages the body to expel harmful toxins, such as liquefied body parts of T-1000. Other class styles include a gentler restorative class, an intense core-centric yoga class, and a Bollywood fusion class that infuses low-impact Eastern dances with Western fitness techniques.
Guests searching for Essentials Day Spa and Salon will find it discretely nestled at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains inside the DoubleTree by Hilton Claremont hotel. Calming music fills the air as staffers enhance clients' natural beauty in equally elegant rooms enhanced by rich, dark wood accents and ornate, gold-framed mirrors. Hair stylists and color specialists create new looks with products such as Redken and Pureology, and aestheticians exfoliate and hydrate skin during facials, pulling complexion-revitalizing tonics from the highly customizable Dermalogica line. Massage therapists ease muscle tension with four different modalities and reflexology treatments, and the team also soothes the nerves of clients hearing wedding bells or suffering from tinnitus with all-encompassing bridal packages.
While devoting countless hours of their creativity and skill to making human beings more beautiful, Essentials' staff also remains mindful of the health and beauty of both the environment and the local community. Day-to-day efforts include recycling all possible materials, recycling or donating old equipment, and using only biodegradable laundry soap. They frequently donate to local schools and charities, and collect hair for the Matter of Trust Foundation, which uses shed strands to help clean up oil spills and build toupees for balding walruses.
To weather his career as a master sergeant and a decorated Special Forces combat veteran, Shihan Randy McElwee needed a solid grasp on combat maneuvers. Nowadays, the retired McElwee teaches the pragmatic self-defense skills that got him through battle at his martial-arts studio, American Black Belt Academy. The school specializes in the official hand-to-hand combat system of the US military: Gracie Brazilian jujitsu. The system’s standing and ground moves harness leverage to take on larger opponents as well as help participants neutralize surprise attacks. For a broader focus, students can opt for an integrated martial-arts fitness workout, which combines jujitsu with muay thai kickboxing and Japanese shotokan karate. Regardless of their specificity, all of the studio’s classes enhance focus, self-confidence, and courage when the laundry room’s light goes out.
At Formwell, owners Rami and Heather Odeh and Andy Berman keep their mission focused on personal training by seeking out credentialed trainers—including elite trainers who have worked at Formwell for at least five years and who possess a combination of a master’s degree in exercise science and advanced training certification. Throughout the indoor and outdoor facilities, they lead clients through tailored workouts that may incorporate traditional fitness equipment, such as free weights and cardio machines. They may also draw upon alternative exercises, such as lifts on Olympic rings, kettlebell swings, and tug-o-war with a horse.
Beyond personal training, Formwell’s team leads partner training and small-group classes, such as CrossFit, plus a weight-loss program that extends to nutritional education. Tiled bathrooms with showers let guests transition between work and the gym, and a children’s room entertains young ones with a television, DVD player, and video games.
The fitness experts at Body Evolution snap muscles into shape during hour-long boot camp sessions and workouts held as early as 5 a.m. In boot camp and CrossFit sessions, trainers work to fight fat and sculpt muscles by leading cardio and weight intervals beneficial to both men's and women's physiques.