Schulein Fit Enterprises' boutique fitness centers keep bodies toned through innovative classes taught by savvy, experienced instructors. Shimmy through women-only Zumba classes at the Athletic Club for Women, which fuse fitness with Latin-inspired dances such as salsa, tango, flamenco, and the Cicero. Rippling abdominals and self-aware biceps begin with BodyRoXX classes at Back Bay Fitness, blending the core methods of spinning, cross training, Pilates, and treadmill trekking to render bodies as chiseled as an ice sculpture of Mount Rushmore. Laguna Health Club offers classes such as beach boot camp, which guides participants through rigorous military-style fitness routines in an environment that promotes both communal support and sandcastle construction.
Students at Villa Pilates & Yoga sweat in an earth- and body-safe studio furnished with sustainable bamboo floors and bathed in nothing but nontoxic paint and natural light. Owner Carly Farmer and her staff carefully cultivate the noncompetitive atmosphere at what the OC Metro called a “little gem” by teaching a seven-days-a-week schedule of classes that welcomes all skill levels—from beginners seeking a comfortable environment to begin their practice to experienced yogis looking to perfect advanced moves in a private or semiprivate class. Steadily transitioning poses form the basis of Vinyasa-style yoga flow classes, whereas music yoga classes rely on melodies and rhythms to help move yogis through a choreographed sequence. Reformer Pilates offers a change of pace from the studio’s yoga sessions by putting students through a more intense, calorie-burning session than either yoga or traditional Pilates. Students in need of a mat can rent one for a dollar or visit the studio’s boutique store to shop for accessories such as yoga mats and water bottles, as well as exercise clothing for those who forgot to dress their shadow before class.
Before yoga was a household activity and people meditated to guard their minds from computers' thought-control beams, Yoga Center of California was already teaching students a rigidly traditional yet relaxed approach to yoga. Within the center—established more than four decades ago—instructors who have all trained for at least five years under internationally renowned guru Ramakrishna Ananda demonstrate time-honored poses and emphasize meditation techniques from each yogic style to help students find the technique that suits them best. These professors of flexibility also guard pupils against strain as they find each group's comfort zone, showing them how to relax a pose and modify positions to match skill levels. In each class, such as Hatha, Chinese, or prenatal yoga, two instructors introduce the philosophy of yoga while training participants in asanas and meditation. Yoga Center of California also teaches children in specialized classes.
Equipment: Stott Pilates Reformers
Students should bring: Grip socks, work out spirit
Average class length: 50 minutes
Number of Staff: 11?25 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: You can do it.
Though Core Reform Pilates' classes blend both strength training and cardio exercise into a new class structure daily, raising or lowering the difficulty of certain exercises according to the level of the class they are teaching. They also enhance the workout with an ever-evolving soundtrack of pop music blasted through the studio's professional sound system.
Though the energy, variation, and instructor expertise keep folks coming back for more, the clean, bright, and all-around pleasant studio doesn't hurt. Bathed in light from a wall of windows and overhead fixtures, the white walls, pale hardwood, and mirrors reflect the glow throughout the space. This ambient light not only keeps the mood aloft, but makes the studio an ideal space for its ample potted plants to thrive and, hopefully, someday grow into Pilates instructors themselves.
Business partners and firm believers in the power of Pilates, Pliates Plus OC founders Amy Briant and Vanessa Malchev lead a team of strong and experienced instructors that share their passion for not just fitness, but visible results. During 50-minute workouts, elements of traditional Pilates on a Megareformer are mixed with heart-pumping exercises designed to maximize core strength while toning and slimming the physique. Clearly, it's working: Pliates Plus OC has been voted 'Best Pilates Studio in OC' three years running by readers of the Orange County Hot List.
Pilates on 17th’s instructors help patrons to sculpt long and lean muscles adhering to the spine-stretching and body-toning methods originally developed by Joseph Pilates. Conceived as rehabilitation exercises for those suffering from back injuries and Celtic knots seeking untangled physiques, the gentle yet challenging exercises stretch one muscle group at a time while strengthening another and improving abdominal strength. In addition to East Coast–style Pilates, the studio offers a variety of private and small-group classes, including cardio-trampoline classes as well as RedCord suspension strength-training classes. The instructors are trained on all Pilates apparatuses and attend yearly continuing-education classes to ensure they are providing students with proper technique.