A writer–producer–director with nearly 20 years of industry experience, Chris Soth has garnered credits including the 1998 action-adventure film Firestorm, as well as several independent projects. Through in-person seminars or his book Million Dollar Screenwriting, Soth divulges his personal philosophy of screenwriting known as the Mini-Movie Method, in which he breaks down the often-intimidating structure of feature films into eight digestible sequences.
HitPLAYyoga.com is an online library of “Yogacasts,” streaming audio yoga classes taught by certified instructors all over the world. Believing that everyone should be able to access the transformative powers of yoga at any time, the founders of hitPLAYyoga.com bring yoga classes to those who may not be able to access or afford a studio practice.
HitPLAYyoga.com also has its own Empowerment Fund—a portion of every member’s hitPLAYyoga.com dues are donated to the Africa Yoga Project and the Yoga Vedanta Kutir Orphanage, both of which bring yoga to underserved and stressed areas.
GlucoFitClub acts a hub for overweight people who want to lose weight, with diabetes, or with pre-diabetes, drawing together different companies, products, and resources to assist in health and education. It partners with YMCAs across the nation to encourage those with diabetes to remain active, as the disease is exasperated by conditions that include high body-mass index and hypertension. Members with diabetes may also receive a glucometer that can upload their fitness-test results and blood-glucose levels to an online database, helping them become more knowledgeable about their own condition. Access to nutrition and diabetes classes at the Y educates members and helps them make good health decisions.
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.
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.
Like a blacksmith at the anvil, the trainers at Extreme Pilates temper cores against the Reformer. Over the course of one hour, students leverage their own body weight on a system of ropes and pulleys to sculpt bodies with long, lean muscles. The workouts target abs to help students improve posture, straighten alignment, and protect their delicate caramel centers. After sweat sessions, patrons may take advantage of the spa-like facilities, which include showers and a steam room. An onsite nutritionist and massage therapist further foster relaxation and wellness, and the daycare staff preserves parents' sanity.