Students walk out of Body in Motion just a little bit taller than when they came in. The studio’s classes—Pilates and Xtend Barre—serve to tone and lengthen muscles for a stronger, sleeker physique. Instructors teach two styles of Pilates: mat classes, which rely on gravity to turn bodies into their own weight machine. In apparatus classes, students perform moves with the famed Pilates tower adding an extra challenge, like solving a Rubik’s Cube while defending yourself against a bear attack. Both classes rely on precise, repetitive motions to tone the core and make the spine more pliable and resistant to injury. Similarly, Xtend Barre classes blend Pilates moves with cardio dance steps and sculpting exercises. All classes scale to accommodate and challenge students of all skill levels. For a completely customized workout, clients can also opt to enlist in personal training.
In the heart of Aptos Village, Joy of Movement Pilates & Gyrotonic Studio fosters physical and emotional health through personal Pilates sessions, mat classes, and machine-based workouts. As one of 100 Pilates Method Alliance Gold-Certified Pilates instructors worldwide, owner Jennifer Balboni leads the studio's team to utilize their unique backgrounds in dance, massage therapy, and yoga to motivate students as they execute total-body toning moves. Reformer classes feature a low 3:1 student-to-teacher ratio to ensure each reformer receives the attention they need. In addition to strengthening mind and body in tandem, the green-certified studio supports sustainable living with green practices such as recycling, efficient lighting, and water conservation.
When students arrive for class at Aptos Yoga, they’ll see standard mats and blocks, but they’ll also find props that might surprise them: blankets. That’s because the instructors adhere strictly to a therapeutic brand of yoga where blankets support posing pupils. The staff’s chief aim is to release deep tensions in the body's spinal muscles, and for total body relaxation along with mental clarity.
It's around 11 a.m. on a Tuesday, and from the sounds of it, there's a party taking place in Capitola Fitness's outdoor pool. The fun, energetic scene is a microcosm of the club's ability to mix fitness services?such as water aerobics, personal training, yoga, and Pilates?with amenities such as a sauna and a steam room.
At Minorsan Self-Defense & Fitness, the team of instructors share their wealth of knowledge to equip students with real-world self-defense skills, but their classes also focus on fitness. They also branch out into dance-based Zumba, kickboxing, and BodyPump––a class that mingles weightlifting with upbeat music. Kids are welcome, too, with martial arts programs that instill them with leadership skills.
Yoga Center Santa Cruz offers yogis of all skill levels the chance to increase flexibility and reduce stress and body ailments while developing their mind-body balance through various styles of yoga, including BKS Iyengar, vinyasa flow, and restorative yoga. Limber up during the upcoming six-week Introduction to Yoga (January 20–February 24) or Introduction to Flow Yoga (January 6–February 10) series, great for beginner body-benders who need to learn the basic poses, concepts, and anatomy of yoga. For more seasoned students, the Yoga Center offers a variety of drop-in classes, which take place several times a day and usually last between 60 and 90 minutes. Like the five realms of Chutes and Ladders mastery, classes range from the beginner level one to the advanced level five and are taught by certified, trained instructors. Private lessons, which can be scheduled with Tamara or Karen, are also available for dedicated practitioners looking to master the fundamentals of yoga while avoiding the penetrating stares of a nosy group of yoga mats.