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.
As a citizen of “Track Town USA,” Jeff West has vast experience with all varieties of endurance athletics. An accomplished rower and rowing coach, Jeff balances triathlon training and ultra-distance running with volunteer work as a firefighter and paramedic. At The MultiSport Advantage, Jeff leads a team of coaches as they work with and challenge athletes. Up to eight cyclists hook into the CompuTrainer system, riding against each other in classes that help max out aerobic capacity and refine the economy of one’s biking motion. The center’s custom-made TRX apparatus can also accommodate eight athletes, helping them build dynamic strength by blending body-weight exercises with plyometrics and BOSU balls. The center’s metabolic testing identifies the baseline and limits of an athlete’s capacity, and helps trainers craft a plan for the triathlon students. Triathletes can also rent wetsuits that will keep them dry during the traditional Gatorade and kombucha bath they receive after crossing the finish line.
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.
Since 1977, Cascade Athletic Clubs have distinguished themselves from typical gyms with their vast array of amenities, which range from big-screen TVs to a seasonal waterpark. In their fitness studios, instructors boost students’ flexibility during Pilates workouts, lead seniors through age-appropriate workout techniques during Silver Sneakers classes, or teach students how to dance to fast-paced music during Zumba. The dedicated team of personal trainers, meanwhile, help athletes stay motivated on a one-on-one basis, and tailor their regimens to individual goals that range from weight loss to preparing for an upcoming marathon. For independent workouts, athletes can play pick up games on the gyms’ basketball, tennis, and racquetball courts or swim laps in the indoor salt-water pools. They can also bulk up with Life Fitness machines, free weights, and Stair Masters designed to build strong enough leg muscles to conquer even the most daunting out-of-order escalator.
After an eight-year career in minor-league baseball, Coach Victor Hernandez went on to instruct hitting in 1986 at Eastern Oregon University, where he helped the team set most of its hitting records that still stand today. These days, Coach Vic teaches youth baseball players the same philosophies that penned EOU into the record books. At his indoor facility, he perfects students' hitting techniques in a professional batting cage furnished with a Home Plate pitching machine that lobs baseballs at speeds of up to 90 mph. The multitalented pitching apparatus can throw fastballs, curveballs, sinkers, sliders, change-ups, and kitchen sinks with a slight rising action, emulating various in-game situations with pinpoint accuracy. Softball players can also hone their hitting fundamentals similarly with the cage's Atec fast-pitch softball machine.
During one-on-one or group sessions, Coach Vic unveils the elements of a homerun swing, including proper stance, bat grip, and load. Through a series of drills, he gets batters to focus on proper hand action through the hitting zone and teaches them how to repeat the motion in every swing. As an all-around baseball player himself, Coach Vic can also instruct pitching mechanics.
Stoneworks Climbing Gym's climbers while away their days on the gym's vast top-rope, lead, and bouldering walls. The walls soar to the ceiling and bear holds with multicolored tape to delineate each climbing route, which start at 5.6 and vary in difficulty. The diverse set of routes and climbing difficulties have made Stoneworks an ideal gym for climbing the past 21 years and for competitions, such as the annual Boulder Joust.
Avid climbers themselves, the route setters and staff at Stoneworks are also guides, leading teams of beginner and skilled climbers into the mountains of Oregon for outdoor climbing. They also equip members with the skills needed to scale their routes in both group and private lessons that focus on technique, sport climbing, and vertical Twister. Kids are welcome to join the junior climbing team or summer camps.