After spending time in Quaking Grass's furnished loft studio, you learn why some of the yoga, Zumba, and holistic-dance instructors refer to the space as their "big living room." Once inside the studio, you find yourself in a sprawling, high-ceilinged loft. Natural light spills in from tall windows and onto green walls, where African art and decorative Asian fans hang. Scanning the room, you see plush furniture, a kitchenette, and a massive Native American dream catcher, painted white and hanging 6 feet to the floor.
Quaking Grass is home to the Healing Arts Collective; many of its members left positions as businesspeople, teachers, and lawyers in favor of a more relaxed lifestyle. According to director Heather Straube, they each felt called to help others through techniques such as massage, yoga, and dance. Instructors lead students through progressive poses in Vinyasa yoga, dances set to Latin and Caribbean beats in Zumba, and blends of meditative martial arts and freeform movement in Earthquake Ecstatic and Nia dance. Though they guide some classes step-by-step, instructors emphasize free exploration over adhering to a strict routine—reminding students that they can meditate silently, pair off with partners, or dance alone to practice leading and following at the same time.
Once each month, Quaking Grass's members also host an open community clinic, experimental salon, and potluck. Practitioners stationed throughout the space introduce curious guests to basics of tarot-card reading, massage, hypnosis, quantum touch, and a host of other holistic methods—with the hope that visitors, like babies balancing their first checkbooks, experience something new. Individual members, artists, or community practitioners may also lead workshops or lectures explaining their craft.
For more than 35 years, guests of Courthouse Fitness have conquered every hindrance to personal health, taking advantage of a multilayered approach that addresses fitness, diet, and broader facets of well being. Beyond basic features such as weight training, cardiovascular equipment, and immobile floors that force walking, membership grants access to more than 320 group fitness classes that populate each week's schedule, integrating practices such as Pilates and yoga along with aqua Zumba and Jazzercise. Courthouse Fitness's follow the philosophy that being fit means being empowered to embark on any kind of adventure you want. A core tenet within that philosophy is the belief in fun.
The staff does not emphasize a rating system or hierarchy, instead evaluating progress in terms of whether clients become more able to experience an enjoyably active life. Onsite childcare providers take care of young ones while parents work out, and many youth activities also keep kids busy, including swimming and special-needs dance classes. Courthouse Fitness is also part of a network of 70 clubs in the Pacific Northwest; members can work out at those facilities as guests when on the road.
An equine veterinarian founded Sound Equine Options (SEO) in 2009 after witnessing the plight of horses whose owners had succumbed to financial crises. Without the funding to provide them with adequate care, owners were forced to watch horses languish, and many could not find adequate resources for the animals. Sound Equine Options filled this void by strengthening the safety net for horses in need through a variety of programs. The Emergency Veterinary Care Fund helps reduce immediate suffering with the help of a local veterinarian, and the Rescue Blankets program distributes waterproof blankets to keep horses warm during the winter. SEO also supports equine rescues that make sure neglected horses have shelter.
As part of its mission to trumpet the joys of natural living and community-fueled sustainability, Common Circle Education conducts a Sustainability in Motion tour, teaming bicyclists up with a like-minded biker gang of 20–40 riders for a scenic week of riding, eating, camping, and learning. Each tour begins with a guide leading the group through bike safety and mechanical fundamentals before escorting them out onto scenic, low-traffic farm roads. Pedal pushers spend the week eating healthy, organic vegan fare, visiting organic farms, and biking anywhere from two to six hours (20–60 miles) every other day. During nonbiking days, the group absorbs the productive philosophies of permaculture, sustainability, and regenerative design via hands-on activities—providing a productive respite from mind-numbing TV shows such as News, Sport, and Louder News.
Factory Fireworks Outlet enhances night skies with thousands of colorful, spraying, exploding, and sparkling lights. Its options include everything from Unicorn Fountain fireworks to snappers and sparklers. Killer Bees, Ground Bloom Flowers, Jack in the Boxes, and much more fill out the shop's massive array of festive fireworks.