With the ocean a glowing, blue line along the horizon just outside the sunlight-filled windows, LYFE Yoga Center maintains a calm, earthy feel. The jade-green walls complement the russet-colored ceiling within the serene elevated studio, where students stretch and strengthen their bodies, almost able to hear the crashing of the waves and the soothing lullabies from a family of seagulls. Drawing from an extensive training program, the instructors lead students through Iyengar classes, teaching the ancient art through movement and postures, as well as Kundallini and Astanga. They uphold LYFE’s philosophy of seeking tranquility through mental clarity in all their classes, which also include yoga styles such as Vinyasa flow, in addition to prenatal yoga and breath meditation. The center caters to smaller class sizes and also offers props and free parking. The team at LYFE Yoga teaches students of all levels but specialize in fostering yoga beginners.
An oasis in downtown Manhattan Beach, The Guru’s Gate fosters an environment of health and wellness through soothing Yoga and meditation sessions and healing therapies. Lisa Vitta, a Kundalini Research Institute–certified instructor, owns the studio and has handpicked an encouraging staff of her very own “gurus,” including Yoga and Pilates instructors, physical therapists, and chiropractors. Together, the team hosts an array of sessions such as healing circles, energy therapy, subconscious programming, and a selection of nearly 30 Yoga and healing classes, from the classics, such as mat Pilates and Vinyasa flow, to sessions tailored specifically to pregnant women, new moms, and even kids themselves.
Beyond the wood-floored Yoga and meditation studio, The Guru’s Gate opens to private rooms for one-on-one holistic wellness therapy sessions, such as reiki, prenatal massage, and a stress-reducing phenomenon called the Emotional Freedom technique, which combines gentle taps on key meridian points with positive affirmations. Clients can also stop in for The Guru's Glow organic spray tan, or to simply peruse the onsite boutique, stocked with eco-friendly Yoga clothing, organic juices, and even Dr. Alkaitis Skin Holistic Organic Skin Food products made solely from living, edible ingredients, such as fruit or self-aware Twizzlers.
Bionic Body's motivating instructors are not content to create a space that just feels like an ordinary gym or training center. Instead, they bring clients into an atmosphere that helps them escape the outside world and focus on realizing their strongest, healthiest selves. Bionic's two complete studios offer everything from spa services to nutritional counseling to a full complement of fitness classes, such as strength, suspension, and functional training. The latter form of training creates a regimen unique to each client, with exercises geared toward helping them in their day-to-day work and lives. As a testament to its belief in the benefits of nontraditional exercise, Bionic Body does away with typical cardio and weight machines, opting instead for workout equipment ranging from kettlebells and sandbags to cardio equipment fully powered by user energy. Clients can also park across the street from the gym.
At times, CrossFit's workout of the day can look as if it's written in a different language. Fortunately, the CrossFit Level 1-certified coaches at CrossFit Horsepower can teach you what "double unders", "burpees", and "love" mean. During CrossFit Fundamentals classes, newcomers learn how to perform the each functional exercise properly. From there, students can either sign up for the CrossFit workout of the day or venture into one of the Boot Camp style CardioFleX classes.
The instructors at Hermosa Pilates channel their varied fitness backgrounds into a range of Pilates classes, motivating students to improve their core strength, flexibility, and posture. Reformer machines and mirrors span the spacious, high-ceilinged studio, in which pulsing tunes amp up students as the instructors lead them through 55-minute classes. The classes blend Pilates and yoga moves with cardio circuits, and include bouncing atop the jumpboard and bouts of TRX suspension training, which uses Thera-Band elastic exercise bands and ropes to challenge patrons with heightened resistance as they are suspended in the air working multiple muscle groups or practicing Peter Pan imitations.
White House Pilates, a second generation Pilates legacy of the method’s founder, Joseph Pilates, with a team of seasoned instructors, imparts the teachings of Joseph to help clients build enough strength and flexibility in their abs and lower back to crack a walnut in a single sit-up. Whether training clients privately or in groups of four to five per instructor, Caroline and her team lead workouts that incorporate mat-based movements and spring-powered resistance machines, such as reformers and towers.