For more than three decades, ABC Tree Farms have provided the Bay Area with seasonal fun October through December. Summer inspires the first round of recreation in the form of Summer Fun Zones packed with inflatable bounce houses masquerading as castles and slides and fresh harvests of local cherries, peaches, melons, and other fruits. During October, they run 20 pumpkin-themed locations, some of which also feature inflatable bounce houses and other attractions. Once Thanksgiving passes, groves of Christmas trees spring up, having made their way south from Oregon and Washington. There they will stand until Christmas Eve, hoping to decorate homes or become the model that inspires a revamped line of evergreen air fresheners.
Lesha Kastl, operator and co-owner of Hercules CrossFit, is also a certified trainer who lifts at an Olympic level. But she favors movement-based workouts including Muay Thai boxing, Pilates, and runway-overthrowing Ms. Fitness competitions. Bryan Kastl, co-owner of Hercules CrossFit, muscled his way to certifications in Olympic lifting in 2009. But he has studied fitness and physiology since the early ?90s, when he became a certified personal trainer through Hayward State University. Both Lesha and Bryan have studied massage therapy to supplement their expertise of internal musculature. Bryan even sought the guidance of a chiropractor to learn injury-specific techniques such as active-release technique.
The Kastls area also both Level 1 CrossFit trainers with certifications in CrossFit mobility and gymnastics, which they rely on during CrossFit classes comprised of nonspecialized, functional exercises. Weightlifting and gymnastic-ring work, for example, are selected because they can be easily adjusted according to fitness level and directly improve mundane tasks such as hauling groceries or catching trapeze swings to work. As a result, the workouts are remarkably inclusive, and the Kastls have guided energetic kids and those struggling with physical ailments toward strength and cardiovascular health. Lesha's background in sports nutrition enables her to design dietary programs that boost performance and bolster the effects of exercise.:m]]
Though using all-natural and locally grown ingredients is becoming popular in today’s restaurants, Straw Hat Pizza has been dedicated to these forward-thinking practices since serving its first pie on July 10, 1959. For more than 50 years, Straw Hat Pizza has followed some very down-to-earth guidelines: tomatoes are handpicked and hand-sorted from its own fields, cheeses are free from fillers, and all produce originates from within 150 miles of the store. Of course, this is pizza, so the local focus is accented by Old-World practices. For example, the Idaho wheat is grown in volcanic soil at least 4,500 feet above sea level, according to Italian pizza and pasta tradition.
Straw Hat’s pizzas, like the best blind dates, arrive dressed in a diverse selection of veggie and meat toppings⎯such as lemon-pepper chicken, chorizo, and bell peppers⎯but pies aren’t its only signature item. In the 1970s, Straw hat introduced the Hot Hat, a stromboli-style sandwich stuffed with melted cheese and ham, meatballs, or pepperoni. Additionally, the cooks whip up an eclectic choice of sides, including onion-battered green beans and garlic-parmesan bread sticks.
Chelsea Martin dabbled in ballet, jazz, and salsa before she truly began to experiment with dance. Belly dance proved to be the catalyst for her evolution—she studied under several experts and performed with ensembles throughout California, mastering the sinuous moves enough to hold her own classes and blend in at snake family reunions. When hip-hop entered her repertoire, Chelsea didn't want to split her energy between the two styles. Instead, she blended them, inventing Belly Dance Funk techniques that she also teaches in addition to Zumba routines. With multiple upcoming showcases and a tireless passion for choreography, Chelsea plans to continue shaping and sharing her signature moves.
Lose weight. Get fit. Have fun. It's a simple three-part mantra, one that's guided Francisco Flores through more than 25 years as a professional fitness expert. The principle trainer behind Hercules Yoga, Flores helps his clients embrace the same goals through group classes designed with individuals in mind. Whether they're gaining flexibility with Yoga FitFlow, repairing muscles with Relax, Restore & Renew the Body, or tightening cores with Pilates, clients each benefit from personal attention and goal-setting from experienced instructors. In addition to physical changes, clients can also track lifestyle improvements, using the classes as an opportunity to shed bad health habits and picks up better ones.
Recycled, earth-friendly materials lay the groundwork for Tierra Yoga’s studio. Reclaimed wood turned art adorns the jade-green walls, and natural, biodegradable rubber yoga mats rest on the recycled flooring. Tierra Yoga’s instructors lead Hatha-based classes within the serene, open, thoughtfully designed space, breathing in time with their students as they practice self-awareness and connectivity to nature. Their classes, like phone calls to various ex-spouses, range in difficulty. This range provides a space for students of all fitness levels, from gentle yoga that focuses on perfecting foundational steps to athletic, vigorous classes in power-yoga sessions.