When twin sisters Izzy and Coco Tihanyi decided to pursue a career that combined their passion for surfing and their love of the ocean, their calling came in the form of starting Surf Diva. Before long, they were on course to becoming a lauded school for coed surfers in California and Costa Rica. Augmenting the pair's teachings is their team of certified instructors, all graduates of their school's intensive training program and certified in CPR and first aid. Committed to their expertise in surfing, many of the instructors also hold down careers as firefighters, paramedics, and snowboarders, granting them the combined know-how to put out beach bonfires with a casual backflip.
The team's instruction ranges from coed group lessons and competitive coaching sessions to two- or five-day women’s weekend surf clinics. When they're not teaching surfing, crew members commit themselves to alternative teaching programs in yoga and standup paddleboarding, helping surfers to conquer the water with their bodies as well as with their very buoyant hearts. The twins' Costa Rica program also helps women and families hone boarding skills abroad while becoming fully immersed in the Costa Rican culture.
Long-time La Jolla residents Gerhard Gessner and Alexandra Oehmigen-Gessner founded Prana Yoga Center in 2001 as a way to share their mutual passion for the ancient practice with fellow certified instructors, yogis undergoing teacher training, and students of all experience levels. Fluent in the styles of Hatha, Ashtanga, and Iyengar, Gerhard puts his 28 years of practice and training to use, leading challenging yet accessible classes, adopting an integrated, nondogmatic approach to the form. Known for his signature all-level Vinyasa Flow course, he is no stranger to tailoring course regimens to suit the diverse needs of his students. Gerhard and Alexandra, along with a massive team of 19 other instructors, also fill their robust class schedule with gentler Hatha yoga and specialty classes, such as prenatal yoga for mothers-to-be, teen yoga for girls, and kids yoga for little ones and overly stressed teddy bears.
"Music is my diet and dance feeds my soul," says "Salsa Susie" Ngyen, who quit a six-figure career at Xerox to start Ooh La La Dance Academy—in the midst of an economic crisis. Her risk paid off, because since then, the company's dance troop, the Cosabellas, earned the title of Best 2010 Performing Artist of the Year by Raw Artist and sparkled onstage for celebrity judges during a live-taping of America's Got Talent in 2011.
The Cosabellas not only entertain; they share their enthusiasm of dance with others by teaching kids and adult dance classes at Ooh La La Dance Academy. Boasting over 15 years of experience each, the instructors teach the dance they pioneered, a blend of Latin and burlesque, as well as fitness-inspired classes and classical dance forms such as ballet and The Beethoven Shuffle.
Muscular instructors help exercisers of all fitness levels slim silhouettes and chisel muscles with motivating boot camps, one on one personal training, and fat-evicting nutrition plans. During boot camps, a certified fitness coach draws on more than 15 years of experience to build up bodies with a series of high-intensity interval and metabolic resistance training. The encouraging trainer conducts a symphony of grunts as students strain to lift sandbags and tires within the indoor gym before hitting the fresh air to hurdle over motionless freeze-tag players and other outdoor obstacles. They’ll also compliment their rigorous workout regimes with nutrition guidance that equips students with grocery lists and recipes that ensure balanced meals.
Recognized by the Green Yoga Association for its eco-friendly space, Sol Yoga helps students trim down and limber up while treading lightly on the environment. Inside the softly lit practice room, yogis stretch in the sun-like warmth that shines down from overhead radiant heat panels, loosening up tight muscles, and escorting toxins from the body through pores. HEPA filters fill the studio with fresh air while sustaining a relentless, merciless rampage against odors, airborne contaminants, and dust bunnies disguised as dust people. After cleansing their bodies and minds during vigorous Vinyasa power flows, students relax in the spa-like locker room complete with hardwood lockers, slate-tiled floors, and private showers.
We Love Tourists saddles sightseers on segways to glide along San Diego's landmarks and La Jolla's coastal views. Prior to each adventure, the guides introduce explorers to the basic techniques needed to balance, steer, and outwit their futuristic rides. During the roll-about, the team of locals shares inside knowledge and embarrassing baby pictures of city landmarks while gliding past storied locales including San Diego Harbor, the Gaslamp Quarter, and PETCO Park. While trundling through La Jolla, adventurers discover a few of the seaside resort's most stunning surf spots and beaches, wildlife, shopping areas, and parks where segways can play with other two-wheeled pets.