One has been a martial artist for more than 35 years; the other has been a bus driver for almost as long. Instructors at Lakeview Yoga and Wellness Center, Vidal Bitton and Joyce MacFarlane know what it's like to balance a busy schedule with the demands of staying healthy. Vidal's approach to yoga incorporates his knowledge of tae kwon do, hapkido, and tai chi, especially as to how physical exertion can lead to painful injury. Joyce also practices yoga with a mind toward healing—her years behind the wheel of a school bus have resulted in several spinal injuries. By juggling a demanding job that can take physical tolls, Joyce's empathy and spirit shine through in each class she teaches.
Along with the other instructors, Vidal and Joyce bring their distinct backgrounds to hot and power yoga classes that strengthen muscles and boost flexibility. The mind and spirit are considered just as vital; on-staff wellness practitioners augment the effects of yoga with services such as massage, acupuncture, personal training, and therapy.
Dirk Dahl discovered the joy of ceramics in high school when his artistic nature immediately took to the elegant accidents and random, dramatic shapes even a beginner could coax from clay. Ceramics became the bread and butter of his long artistic career, but—like many artists—he found his studio confining, and sought a way to interact with more people. That's when he decided to start teaching, an exercise that compelled him to create Dahl Arts Ceramic Studio as a way to introduce people to his beloved ceramic arts.
"Every time I teach a class or workshop, I learn something," remarks Dirk. Watching his students experiment for the first time or hundredth time in one of his many classes or workshops inspires the sculptor to experiment in his own work, from sculpting faces into pottery to reassembling the broken shards of old pieces into Frankenstein's flatware. The results have landed his work in international juried and invitation exhibitions and even allowed him to open his own personal gallery in Santa Monica, California.
Though Fusion Hot Yoga's philosophy emphasizes the release of the ego, it's hard not to feel special in Fusion’s heated studio. The instructors—each of whom brings a different teaching style to classes—dole out personalized tips during Hatha and power Vinyasa sessions. They also remain after class, answering students’ questions while they extinguish the coals within the walls. By helping every visitor to discover the mental and physical benefits of hot yoga, the staff recalls their own journeys from such backgrounds as competitive gymnastics and service in the Navy Reserve.
In addition to the quality of its teachers, the studio's setting also probably contributed to its ranking on KING5’s Best of Western Washington list, where it was voted second of 96 nominees for the area's Best Yoga Studio. The space's antibacterial, Tatami-textured floor cushions feet to counteract slipping, and dressing rooms with showers permit guests to rinse off after lessons. At the onsite boutique, shoppers can purchase mats, healthy refreshments, and baking thermometers that tell them when their partner is ready to cool.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers in cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group sessions, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, bolster flexibility during yoga, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
At the Gold's Gym Northwest locations, instructors lead water-aerobics sessions within 25-yard salt-purified pools before cooling off in spacious hot tubs. The gyms also boast innovative cardio cinema theaters, where popular films and concession-stand advertisements flicker across massive flat screens as guests peddle away on treadmills and elliptical machines. After lively rounds of racquetball, members can unwind in steam rooms and saunas or sip on replenishing smoothies at the juice bar. During the week, the gyms keep round-the-clock hours.
The fast-paced steps of mambo, the seamless grace of waltzes, the improvisational stylings of west coast swing?American Ballroom Dance Institute embraces dance styles from across the world and helps students of all ages master the footwork and the showmanship of each one. The instructors break these styles into five basic categories: ballroom, latin, swing, social, and fitness. For each style, the institute offers separate classes specifically tailored to beginners as well as more experienced students. Private lessons and group classes build upon a particular style's fundamentals while helping attendees learn anything from the cha cha to the country-western two step with confidence. Additionally, the institute's Zumba sessions can provide an invigorating aerobic workout by setting basic, easy-to-follow choreography to energetic latin rhythms and engaging public-service announcements.
Each of the guitar coaches at American Guitar Academy are certified in the school’s signature teaching method. Developed over 25 years, this house-honed instruction technique incorporates scientific research to help fingers learn to shred frets up to eight times faster than alternative methods. During private half-hour lessons, instructors guide budding rock stars aged 4 years and up through the basics of strumming chords and seamlessly stitching together riffs. These comprehensive lessons on classical, electric, or acoustic guitars are offered once a week with a live instructor or online and guarantee that students will be playing their favorite music within six months of training. Students may begin lessons without owning a guitar, but are encouraged to gain access to one quickly for mastering scales and the ability to solo with their teeth.