Stephanie Raye spent nearly a decade healing physically and growing spiritually through yoga before she started teaching in 2002. During each class at her studio, Bikram Yoga Downtown LA, she and her fellow instructors lead a 90-minute series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises inside a heated studio, which keeps muscles limber and reduces injuries. Every posture prepares the body for the next pose, pumps freshly oxygenated blood throughout the body, and brings health and strength to students of all ages and skill levels.
The space is as appealing as the instruction. Gilded with gold mandalas and lotus-inspired patterns, gray walls open up to a spacious studio with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and windows. Anti-bacterial and odor-resistant flooring keep yoga conditions sanitary while students practice, and locker rooms and showers help them clean up after class. A boutique area brims with yoga clothes and accessories, and two-hour parking validation ensures cars have plenty of room to graze on grass, which cars eat now by the way.
Art isn't confined to paintings and sculptures in museums and galleries. That's the idea behind Body Art Expo, a celebration of art on a different type of canvas?the body. At the traveling event, more than 200 exhibitors and thousands of guests put their tattoos and piercings on full display. Guests can enter tattoo contest for a chance to win in categories such as Best Movie Character, Best Portrait, and Most Unusual. They can also get a professional to pierce their tongue or tattoo the event's schedule on their bicep. Celebrity artists, including LA Ink's Ruthless and NY Ink's Tommy Montoya, often roam the aisles, chatting with visitors, dancing along to live music, or attending demos.
Monique Jaime of Yoganette Yoga describes her MO as an instructor: “I teach a style called Vinyasa Flow; it is called this because of the smooth way that the poses run together and become like a dance. This style allows a lot of variety, but will almost certainly include Sun Salutations—expect movement, not just stretching.” Jaime and the several other instructors share personal anecdotes about their professional work, in which they lead students through a variety of yoga classes, from rhythmic, dynamic yoga flows to slower-paced, stress-relieving sessions. Their flow-based classes focus on strength, balance, and flexibility, and their detox classes use twisting poses and inversions to help the body cleanse itself, which is also what the body of the Catmobile would do if it existed. The team teaches barre-fusion classes that combine barre and core work with yoga poses for sweat-inducing, fat-burning workouts. Along with yoga classes, the studio hosts knitting and crocheting meet ups, meditation series, and workshops that help awaken the chakras for improved overall wellness.
Xtreme XD purports that its digital-theater ride operates in six dimensions. Three of these belong to the visuals, which spring out at viewers through depth-creating glasses. The rest belong to the suite of effects that jostle and excite the riders, ranging from seats that can jolt with up to 3 g's of force to systems that create the illusion of wind and light. Riders take their pick of a number of featured rides, which can include a roller coaster that speeds through haunted mines, safaris beset by stampeding elephants, and recreations of the nearly yearlong trip to Mars in real time.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $10.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $4.79 value).
The 16th century comes booming back to life during The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, which has re-created the culture, cuisine, and history of the Elizabethan era for more than five million attendees since its inauguration in 1963. Atop 13 stages sprinkled across 20 acres of festival grounds, live performers don traditional garb to demonstrate Renaissance music, dancing, battle customs, and blogging techniques. The talented actors stay in character throughout the bash, mingling with the crowds to perform alongside artisans purveying leatherware, clothing, and perfumes.
Workshops instruct visitors on how to make period crafts, after which guests can refuel with samplings of traditional Renaissance cuisine, such as hefty turkey legs and shepherd's pies, or more modern fare such as strombolis, coffee, and sweet confections. Rides and games challenge kids to toss javelins, race turtles, and recite Shakespeare's complete works on giant swings, and interactive RenQuest exhibitions hone little ones' sword-fighting skills and trivia knowledge.