Fit For Life Bootcamp?s seasoned instructors replace drill-sergeant screams with encouraging mantras in their one-hour indoor classes that welcome clients of all fitness levels. During sessions, trainers round out weightlifting sessions, resistance drills, and core workouts with cardio routines such as light running and obstacle courses. They switch up class routines regularly to ensure courses are never the same from day to day, leading wild-card days that incorporate hiking, crawling, and high-stakes Uno games played with 50-pound cards. In addition to bolstering workouts with nutrition guidance, trainers work to cultivate an atmosphere of positive camaraderie designed to push campers further toward their weight-loss goals.
Yoga Belly's misty-blue studio with its inviting wicker love seats envelops students in a soothing ambiance to match its invigorating yoga schedule and strong sense of community. A stable of savvy instructors guides stretchers of all levels amid heated classrooms stoked to warm the muscles, enticing stubborn sweat and room-temperature leftovers from the body. Yoga Belly's San Jose studio affords each stretcher enough space to sprawl atop rich, chocolate-colored wooden floors. Yogis can bring their own mats and towels, or can rent them for class or makeshift-fort duty.
Casablanca Market brings its collection of leather ottomans, hand-painted tables, Berber pillows, intricate mirrors, Moroccan tea glasses and tagines as they arrive stateside straight from the hands of Moroccan artisans, many of whom learned their skills as a family tradition. Hand-painted chairs and hand-woven carpets enliven rooms with vibrant colors and boast unique designs, unlike template rugs sewn by unimaginative robots. Shoppers can further their knowledge of Moroccan culture by attending the shop's cooking classes, which feature traditional recipes and ingredients. The market follows fair-trade practices to ensure artisans receive good compensation for their work and have their pay in hand before their goods ship overseas.
When Jess Dang started Cook Smarts in 2011, she didn't entirely realize what she was getting into. At the time, she was working a corporate desk job by day and unwinding in the kitchen by night, mastering the skills she would soon introduce to the digital world. Her culinary hobby became a blog, then a catering service, and then a supper club for her friends. Cook Smarts was a way for Dang to make cooking a full-time gig, and started as kitchen lessons for home cooks and high-school students. But one thing became clear the more lessons she gave: most Americans simply don't have a firm grip on the fundamentals of the kitchen?from knife skills to food storage to making the most of a limited budget.
That's where meal plans come in. By designing simple, delicious, and healthy meal plans in week-long increments, Dang makes it easy for even beginner cooks to earn their kitchen legs. These plans take into account such lifestyles as vegetarianism, paleo, and gluten-free diets. Even better, the plans build off of each other by reusing ingredients and incorporating leftovers to simplify grocery shopping. Supplemented by Dang's informative online lessons, meal plans demystify the kitchen from the pantry to the broiler.
The instructors at Firebird Dance Studio, who have been teaching for 22 years, share their passion for dancing through lessons for students as young as 14 months. Aspiring dancers learn contemporary, ballroom, folk, Latin, and modern dance styles. Classes also give students opportunities to perform. Additionally, the studio has won the Best of Mountain View Award for two consecutive years.