At the ?Latin Food Fest! Grand Tasting Village, Latin culinary aficionados Richard Sandoval, Roberto Alcocer, and Javier Plascencia join with restaurants, distillers, artisan food makers, brewers, and winemakers for the annual Latin food grand tasting event in California. Guests rub elbows with the likes of TV host chef George Duran, or share a wave with Baja culinary icon and Misi?n 19 owner Javier Plascencia. Throughout the festival, dedicated pavilions focus on specific topics, ranging from the Wine Tasting Tent and Beer Cabana to the ?Taste Baja! Pavilion and the Craft Spirits Expo & Awards, where distillers and mixologists hold tastings. In addition to the tastings, the festival holds competitions for Top Chef, Best Restaurant, and Best Dish to showcase local culinary excellence. Other senses are delighted by live music from Latin sensation QUATTRO and an art show, and a silent auction of culinary supplies and memorabilia will benefit non-profit partner Feeding America.
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.
In a heated, 4,000-square-foot facility, Bikram Yoga La Jolla’s instructors guide students in a body-bending curriculum that aims to cultivate strength, flexibility, and inner peace. These pliable pros help students hone the body and the mind by leading them through a flowing regimen of 26 poses. The classes are performed on clean, non-absorbent Lonseal floors situated in heated rooms that foster greater muscle fluidity and faster metabolic functioning. Other benefits of yoga may include stress reduction, improved concentration, pain relief, and increased self-esteem. After they are cooled down with ice cold lavender towels at class's end, students can head to the remodeled changing facilities, including an expanded women's room. The facilities provide cubbies for storing possessions and showers to sluice away sweat and caked-on pranas.
"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.