Machines and hybrids line the room. Their creator, the mad scientist of fitness Amy (Sowers) Jordan, has transformed her passion for Pilates and a flair for engineering into the newest incarnation of the Pilates reformer, called the WundaFormer. The patented design combines a Pilates reformer, Wunda Chair, jump board, and ballet barre into a muscle-toning juggernaut that Amy uses in her intense, fast-paced workouts. Obsessed with efficiency, Amy designed the sessions to target as many muscles as possible in the shortest amount of time.
After creating the innovative machine, she took her show on the road, opening studios to showcase what the muscle-sculpting apparatus could do. She now helms a passionate group of certified instructors who lead small groups of 10 guests at a time through the routine.
In a spinning class, the goal is simple: pedal as much as you can. This an easy goal to achieve at PEDAL Spin, thanks to classes that combine energizing music and visuals to make riding a stationary bike even more fun than the real thing. Different instructors inject their own personalities into their classes, ensuring that no two workouts are quite the same. But regardless of who's leading them, spinning classes always boost the heart rate, build strength in the core and legs, and provide an excuse to break out the ol' riding hat.
In February of 1999, Rose Malmberg, owner of Bikram Yoga La Cañada, woke up without back pain for the first time in years. The day before, she had taken her first Bikram-yoga class in an effort to alleviate a number of back problems, including the results of a car accident years before. From that day forward, Rose devoted herself to Bikram yoga, and experienced full relief of her painful symptoms. After years of taking classes, she achieved Bikram teacher certification, and eventually bought her own studio to share the practice that had helped her heal. Bikram Yoga La Cañada, set against a mountainous backdrop, draws students into its carpeted confines for 90-minute classes heated to 105 degrees. Bikram postures build on each other in a carefully arranged series to work muscles all over the body in addition to the cardiovascular system, allowing practitioners the lung capacity required to help a centenarian tortoise extinguish his birthday candles.
Winter-sports enthusiasts have coasted the slopes of Mt. Waterman since 1939, and today the venerated mountain sports more than 30 runs for skiers and snowboarders of all experience levels, including a sizeable number of advanced areas. Located just 45 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, the resort's three chair lifts transport visitors to runs across the 325-acre grounds, including well groomed slopes for beginners and yeti-infested wilderness for seasoned pros. Non-skiers are welcome to take advantage of the views from the lifts or lounge at the warming hut. The hut soothes exhausted skiers with a cozy fireplace and a restaurant, which serves up hot burgers, sandwiches, and poached snowmen.
A 150-acre oasis of beautiful flora, Descanso Gardens is cozily situated in a secluded section of the San Rafael hills and offers visitors a refreshing glimpse of Mother Nature when she's not busy. Guests can stroll through the various gardens and soak in the sights of roses by the thousands, examine native California flowers, parley with old oaks, and meditate in a Japanese-themed sanctuary that features a picturesque arched bridge, a tea house, and a pond. Upcoming special events include Botanic Bling on December 11 & 12, hosted by Mark-Alan Harmon, and Enchanted Railroad Storytime on December 18, hosted by professional storyteller Bill Ratner.