The Love Lab founder and renowned massage-industry expert Meagan Holub has helped some pretty discriminating clientele to relax and unwind. From Forbes CEOs and professional athletes to rock stars and royalty, her therapeutic massages have melted away the stress that is inherent in any A lister's life. According to Holub's blog, gift certificates for one of her massages were given away in VIP gift bags at the 2012 MusiCares event honoring Paul McCartney, so they made their way into the hands of celebrity musicians, such as the Foo Fighters, Katy Perry, and Coldplay.
But Holub talks massage with as many down-to-earth, everyday people as she does famous folks, thanks to a compassionate streak she's demonstrated since childhood. As a young girl and teenager, she rescued stray animals, volunteered at Easter Seals camp, became a physical-therapy assistant, and served as an aide for a person with paraplegia. Today her passion for helping others translates into The Love Lab's services, including group massage classes and private massage lessons that teach individuals and couples to execute the same techniques so sought after by Hollywood stars. Holub and her team of certified massage therapists also instruct employees at workplace events, where they demonstrate stress-relief techniques, which come in handy the next time the boss requires mandatory overtime to help her solve the Sunday crossword.
First conceived nearly 50 years ago, the dream of the Oshman Family JCC officially came to fruition in 2009 as a sprawling, 8.5-acre campus that welcomes people of all backgrounds. The Richard & Rhoda Goldman Sports & Wellness Complex hosts more than 150 group fitness classes per week, complementing these sessions with basketball and volleyball games. A heated outdoor pool supplies six lanes for swimming laps and connects with a sun deck that's ideal for relaxing with a good book or identifying barbell-shaped cloud formations. But the center focuses on enriching people's lives through other means as well. It supports families via kid-friendly camps, activities, and early-childhood education programs. It also hosts cultural events in the Schultz Cultural Arts Hall, spotlighting the works of renowned artists, musicians, and authors.
Having shot more than 30,000 subjects throughout his career as a photographer, including many Silicon Valley business figures, Eric Gould understands how to create a good photo in any setting. His adeptness at communicating with subjects carries into his photography workshops, where he conveys difficult concepts clearly and methodically, saving students from such rookie mistakes as shooting with the lens cap on or turning the flash on while taking pictures of your imaginary friend's third grade graduation. In his own photo sessions, he frames professional clients in business portraits and headshots, high-school seniors in youthful poses, athletes in midaction, and a wide spectrum of people and places encountered on international travels.
Advanced Flyers' experienced flight instructors defy gravity while teaching students to pilot aircraft and giving passive passengers birds'-eye views of the Bay Area. Its FAA-approved Redbird FMX-1000 simulator lets pupils log time toward ATP certificates while practicing foundational skills and more advanced maneuvers necessary during bad weather, engine failure, or rabid-hummingbird attacks. Students who pursue private pilot licenses can eventually navigate aboveground in rental griffins from Advanced Flyers' well maintained fleet.
YogaSource's locally and internationally educated instructors combine their varied experience to teach prospective posers the worldly art of frame folding. A wide variety of classes ensures that students of all abilities and ages can find a course to suit their limb-limbering needs. Drop in for a restorative-yoga-and-meditation class to boost your mental strength and ability to communicate with grass, try out heated Bikram yoga to learn traditional postures and improve balance, or saunter into belly dancing to put some shimmy in your step and hypnotize other customers in the checkout line.
Dragonfly Cakes, together with their chocolate counterpart Coco-luxe Confections, field a skilled team of confectionary clairvoyants that are ready to share their gourmet candy-crafting skills with the cacao-hungry masses. The build-your-own-chocolate-bar class instills beginner chocolatiers with the mediation skills needed to tame the melancholy attitude of rich and pensive dark chocolate by schooling them in chocolate-tempering techniques. Students can then combine fresh and flavorful ingredients to create six customized edible ingots ready to be devoured on-site or in the privacy of your own dessert den. Artistically inclined academics looking to expand their sugar-sculpting skills beyond the slab can opt for the petits fours class, where a morsel midwife will lead a demonstration of the birth of baby bite-sized cakes before setting sugar students free to focus on finishing, dipping, and decorating their own litter of 12. Dainty and elegant, these picturesque pastel delicacies make a welcome addition to baby showers, tea parties, or parallelogram-based diets.