Just as the thermostat inside Beyond Hot Yoga’s studio fluctuates between 75 and 105 degrees, the classes themselves include a wide range of poses tailored to various levels of experience. Calories and inhibitions melt away with each successive pose in Bikram- and Vinyasa-style yoga classes that put students in touch with their bodies through continuous stretching. Aerobics offerings such as Zumba and boot camps suit different fitness tastes, favoring energetic movements instead of meditative poses.
Though the studio hosts a diverse slate of lessons, an undercurrent of camaraderie remains a constant. Instructors emphasize serenity and fellowship both inside and outside classes, making it easier to achieve inner peace by hosting rambunctious youngsters in a childcare room and holding donation-based sessions whose proceeds benefit South African orphanages.
Guests can also harness a sense of inner calm through the studio's various wellness treatments. Skincare services, massages, and custom nutritional tips refresh physiques, and a stop in the women-only steam room can help detoxify the body and shrink oversize yoga mats.
For more than a decade, physical therapist Amy Fischer helped clients recover from a range of orthopedic and sport injuries. These days, she blends her knowledge of the body with her passion for Pilates at her two Pure Pilates studios—one in Laguna Niguel and the other in Ladera Ranch—each of which host regular classes alongside specialized sessions for golfers, breast cancer survivors, and moms-to-be.
Surrounded by tranquil Asian-inspired décor, Amy and her team of instructors guide students of all levels through private and group Pilates classes, which aim to strengthen core muscles while improving flexibility and posture. After being divvied up into Level 1 or Level 2–3 sections, students learn a variety of exercises on a reformer machine built from adjustable ropes, pulleys, and springboards reclaimed from the days of vaudeville. Amy and her team also offer slower-paced courses for seniors as well as physical therapy sessions that speed healing with modified Pilates exercises paired with a personalized at-home exercise program.
While seated in a boat on Laguna Niguel Lake, visitors feast their eyes on the surrounding rolling hills and lush forestry while taking advantage of 44 acres of fishing spots. The staff constantly stocks the waters with new fish, sending thousands of pounds of rainbow trout, catfish, and other species to swim amid the watery depths. With the fishing arena prepared, they then rappel down on fishing lines to awaiting customers to supply permits, poles, and bait, which they use to entice bluegill and other aquatic passersby.
Though all share the same lake, visitors can embark on fishing adventures in multiple ways. They can wrestle with carp from the lakeside, steer a rented boat, or bob across the water in float tubes, a single-person watercraft reminiscent of the floating easy chairs used by retired penguins.
Joanna Cotta Leadbetter spent more than a decade as a ballerina, wowing audiences with feats of graceful athleticism. Now, as the founder and lead trainer at The Sculpt Barre, Leadbetter blends this passion for dance with fitness—drawing from different disciplines to create intense, low-impact workouts. Leadbetter and her instructors lead small groups through different intervals at the ballet barre, which allows exercisers to use their own body weight for resistance. Combined with stretches, these barre exercises promise numerous benefits, including increased strength, better posture, and enough flexibility to finally fit inside a piece of carry-on luggage.
For more than 25 years, seasoned performers have spread the joy of kinetic expression at LonDance. Fluent in the art of "social dancing", the twelve qualified instructors on staff are competing professionals who invigorate each class with fun and energy. Two or three classes are held each day, in styles as varied as ballroom, salsa, and swing, and can be used for weddings, events, or just to get in to shape. Weekly studio parties enable dancers to show off their moves or scrutinize the mirrors to catch any vampires brushing up on the waltz they originally learned in 1790s Vienna.
Named one of the top five best Pilates studios in the OC in 2008 and 2009 by CityVoters, ABC Pilates molds muscles and tones tendons with a variety of classes and techniques. Mat flow classes combine traditional mat work with free weights, bands, and stability balls, improving your ability to walk while holding a chest freezer overhead. Rubber band enthusiasts can try TRX, a suspension system designed to increase strength using your own body weight. Zumba is a cardio carnival that blends Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a sweaty dance-off, and boot camp is an indoor/outdoor class that mixes cardio, body weight exercises, and interval and strength training. To build strength, flexibility, and balance while working the mind, take a yoga class.