Upon entering YogaHop's boldly colored confines and hearing vibrant pop and hip-hop tunes blasting from the classrooms' speakers, exercisers know they're not in a typical yoga studio. At both the Pasadena and Santa Monica locations, students immerse themselves in energetic classes that, like the Taj Mahal after hours, blend the ancient practice of yoga with pulse-pounding dance music that forms a workout InTouch magazine dubs “insane” and Maxim calls “inspiring” and “spiritual.” No matter the ability level, students find their stride thanks to patient and effervescent instructors who lead them through a continuous flow of poses, stopping only to gently correct a position or ask occasional student Reese Witherspoon for her autograph.
In 2011, brothers George and Charbel Ghaby became business partners as well as siblings when they opened the first Rounds Premium Burgers. The concept for their joint venture was simple: a classic, American, build-your-own-burger stand that combined quality meats with surprising toppings. The idea caught on, and the burger joint soon spread to multiple locations, gathering awards as it went. Recently Rounds won Best New Restaurant in Pasadena Weekly's Best of Pasadena 2013, and it also secured top honors on a Best in Chow episode titled "Best Burger in Hollywood".
Rounds take the concept of customization to the next level. Diners can choose from four types of patties ranging from fresh-ground chuck to a homemade veggie burger. From there, they can pick from 10 types of sauce (thousand island, chipotle aioli, jalapeno ranch amongst them), six premium cheeses (American, pepper jack, bleu cheese crumbles), and 16 extra toppings, ranging from classics like bacon and grilled onion to surprises such as peanut butter and jelly and grilled pineapple. Then, the only thing left to do in choose what holds the whole delicious meal together. Traditionalists can pick a fresh classic, wheat, or pretzel bun, while those with dietary restrictions might prefer to have their burger wrapped in lettuce or stuffed inside an envelope and mailed to their nutritionist along with a break-up letter.
Dr. Elena Gabor is a medical hypnotherapist as well as an acclaimed hypnotherapy instructor and author. She employes medical hypnotherapy, NLP, and life coaching to assist others with self-improvement and well-being. Through coaching and the power of suggestion, she helps clients with afflictions such as depression, insomnia, and anxiety. With clients opening gateways to their subconscious, she can also aid them in losing weight and quitting smoking. Even chronic pain is no match for the healing powers of the mind. Whatever the obstacle, Dr. Gabor works with clients to discover long-term solutions.
At Pilates Barbell Club, Lauren Saracione and her team of trainers, dancers, and bikini competitors lead a regimen of weight-lifting, conditioning, and Pilates workouts known as PBC 5X7. The studio's schedule boasts ample semi-private, 45-minute workout sessions of four people, which begin with a warm-up of rocking, crawling, and squatting exercises. Students segue into barbell hoists for strength training and move on to high-intensity interval training to get blood pumping for heart-strengthening conditioning. Sessions end with a series of Pilates mat exercises that include twisting, turning, side bending, and desert-snake sidewinding.
The instructors of French Kiss Fitness model their group classes after the acts of performers such as Pink, the pop star who thrilled audiences at the 2010 Grammys with a dance routine derived from circus acrobatics. Like a dark room plastered with Lou Ferrigno posters, the studio's workout style both develops and shows off muscle. Fourteen poles support physiques as they execute moves that build core strength; off the pole, students learn floor- or chair-based routines to replicate at home. Aerial classes build center strength with the help of silk ropes, dangling hoops, and a trapeze. For more traditional workouts, students can attend core-strengthening Pilates classes or yoga classes to relax the mind and body.