Having first encountered yoga in 1990, Robin Duffy quickly fell in love––a love that culminated in her founding Being Yoga eight years later. Certified to teach both Bikram and Kriya styles, she works alongside instructors, who also teach Yin yoga and meditation classes. These yogis pass on traditions that stretch back for millennia inside their peaceful studio, marked by stenciled drawings of bamboo branches. The facility features locker rooms, a bamboo floor, and a boutique stocked with yoga equipment by Gaiam and Prana. To keep her karma levels on the jubilant end of the spectrum, Robin also aligns her studio with the Green Yoga Association, which encourages eco-friendly practices such as avoiding plastic water bottles and saluting ladybugs.
Fueled by a passion to make the Asia-born sport of badminton more accessible and popular here in the United States, the founders of Bay Badminton Center lovingly maintain 37 regulation courts across three locations. They’ve designed everything to let players concentrate on their game, from an electronic court-queuing system that keeps everyone in order to adequate lighting that reduces strain on the eyes. They even installed a full Robbins flooring system that allows players to lob shuttlecocks back and forth without worrying about slipping on a mat or being unkind to their leg joints. After games, guests can hit the shower-equipped locker rooms to rinse off. Players who haven’t yet surgically replaced their hand with a racket can rent one or buy one at the fully equipped pro shop at each location.
Founded in 2000, the Burlingame Aquatic Club initially catered exclusively to competitive athletes, many of whom rose to win several swimming events and earn spots on Olympic Development teams. In 2011, the City of Burlingame recognized the nonprofit's successful track record by granting it management of all the aquatic programs run from the facility (except for high-school athletics), allowing the club to now host open swims, lessons, and community events. Visitors of all ages and experience levels can glide down the 50-meter lanes of the outdoor, Olympic-size pool, or acclimate to the water in a wading area. They can also splash away calories in aqua-aerobics classes, or learn how to yell "shark!" in semaphore during CPR and lifeguard training.
LA Boxing’s instructors thumb their noses at the suggestion that fighting has no place in public. They happily subvert this social convention, leading students through safe and noncontact fitness classes inspired by the pugilistic arts. Each boxing, kickboxing, or group MMA class is lead by a professional fighter, who teaches basic skills during the up-tempo, one-hour workouts. Students warm up with plyometrics before strapping on 16-ounce gloves and hitting a heavy bag with combination of kicks, knees, and elbows. Classes may burn between 800 and 1,000 calories per session, improve coordination and stamina, and increase your tolerance for listening to the theme from Rocky IV on repeat.
The ClubHouse Training Schools help aspiring baseball players reach new athletic peaks under the tuition of seasoned coaches and MLB scouts. Well versed in the arts of hitting, pitching, and yelling for bags of peanuts, the instructors hone players' skills in a 17,000-square-foot training facility, which facilitates year-round practice with indoor batting cages and a full on-site gym with free weights and stationary bikes. A regimen of fitness and performance training helps athletes stay in shape on and off the field—sure to be an asset during the ClubHouse's fall high-school baseball league, when students put their skills to the test by pitching crumpled math homework.
Bally enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day membership includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, and Step Fitness (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts an array of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.