As a lifelong member of the NRA and a sport shooter since he was 11 years old, John Taylor felt pained every time he read about or heard of an accidental shooting. Now as chief firearms instructor at Best Handgun Training, John and his team strive to end such incidents by teaching clients how to safely to handle and operate a firearm in the event they should need to use one. An array of classes, including a selection of NRA-certified courses, trains participants in armed self-defense. Best Handgun Training's locations let instructors utilize a combination of classroom, puppet theater, and on-range instruction to demonstrate not only the technical skills of wielding a gun, but also developing a responsible attitude.
Founder swami Vishnudevananda created the nonprofit Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm to foster a community of students and instructors interested in introspection, self-discovery, and their holistic health. Located within an 80-acre expanse of the Sierra Nevada's foothills, the secluded farm enfolds visitors with oak- and pine-filled hills, three nearby rivers, and enough wildlife to stage a cartoon musical.
Under the tutelage of three swamis, a staff of volunteer instructors uses the peaceful setting to help focus students’ attention on personal growth and bodily awareness during traditional outdoor yoga classes and specialized workshops. They faithfully teach the five points of yoga—proper exercise, breathing, relaxation, diet, and meditation—as they lead students down the four paths of yoga. Through the path of action, the path of devotion, Ashtanga, and the yoga of knowledge, they help their students forge a union of body, mind, and spirit. They weave specialized psychology, philosophy, and spirituality lessons into their asanas, which are bolstered with wellness programs and treatments such as massages with herbal oils, nutrition and detoxification programs, and ayurvedic therapies. To further unite their students with the world around them, the yogis promote sustainability with well water, solar-power systems, and an organic vegetable garden with which they can learn permaculture strategies.
The farm has onsite accommodations, including tents and heated cabins that overlook a pond. To keep their guests well-fed, a team of cooks whips up organic vegetarian cuisine following yogic and ayurvedic dietary principles, which means that meals are free of meat, fish, eggs, onions, and caffeinated beverages.
At California Fame, award-winning instructors give youngsters the skills and encouragement to achieve their dreams of becoming successful gymnasts, tumblers, and even stunt artists. After lacing up their sneakers, kids can improve their coordination, agility, and overall athleticism during an array of dance classes—including jazz, ballet, and tap—and multiple levels of tumbling classes. While learning how to set dance floors ablaze or perfecting their gymnast routines, kids also absorb valuable lessons in self-esteem and socialization. Although kids might eventually raise a first-place trophy with some of the techniques they learned at California Fame, the gym's environment is designed to be friendly and non-competitive.
Channel the exercise of kangaroos and beans with a two-hour open jump session. Slip on sky shoes and prepare for 120 minutes of aerodynamic excitement as you bound up and down, side to side, and through dimensional planes. The all-ages activity is an uplifting alternative to treadmills and stagnant fitness routines, and no athletic prowess is required. Fill out a quick liability waiver before living out leapfrog fantasies during dodgeball (subject to availability) or other over-the-top events. Check out a virtual tour here. Pioneered by an inventor more prolific than Thomas Edison, Rick Moranis, and Inspector Gadget, Sky Zone's special concept was awarded a patent for its originality, leading to the creation of the first court in 2002. The floor-to-wall jumpery allows attendees to live out video games and dreams about being a California condor. Deftly maneuver while whirling through the air, get a three-dimensional workout, and finally get over the bitter regret of never having gone to space camp.
Inside ShriKula Yoga's spacious, citrus-hued studio, owner Trish Pietrzak fosters a community-oriented collective of instructors and students who gather for classes designed to accommodate all skill levels and physical abilities. Under the tutelage of certified instructors, students work at their own level during more than 25 weekly classes, such as wall yoga, yin yoga, bliss yoga, yoga for kids aged 7–12, and hot power yoga taught in 100 degrees. At all other times, the main studio boasts temperatures of 80 degrees, which helps promote pliable muscles and comfort cold-blooded spirit geckos. Students looking for a way to strengthen their core and improve their flexibility outside of class can try out the apparatus wall in a separate room, where a system of supportive straps and swings helps them achieve advanced poses and tone muscles safely. After class, mat mavens can change back into the costumes of their pedestrian alter egos in men's and women's changing rooms, then enjoy a complimentary cup of tea in the Kula lounge and tea bar or in their outdoor seating area.