Following the CrossFit ethos, instructors design high-intensity workouts that build strong, resilient bodies. Depending on their fitness levels, participants may begin the muscle-manufacturing process with exercises that use only their body weight, such as squats, pushups, and tonguestands. As tone and technique improve, trainers tack on tonnage with sonorous dumbbells and hissing kettle bars, as well as with plyometric boxes and medicine balls. Cardio blasters such as rowing, running, and rope jumping also enliven workouts. CrossFit’s physical-transmogrification techniques work for all healthy humans. To encourage progress and accountability, trainers urge clients to set incremental goals and record their achievements, preferably in a magical tome with a face on the cover that screams encouragement whenever it smells sweat.
Bikram Yoga Grass Valley/Nevada City's community of instructors and students come together each day of the week to practice the restorative poses of Bikram yoga. Inside the serene studio, yogis lead 90-minute classes in a heated room in order to detoxify the body, increase blood circulation, and prevent injuries. The schedule, which includes sessions specifically designed for beginners, has classes that begin as early as 6:00 a.m. on weekdays. Bikram Yoga Grass Valley/Nevada City recommends wearing workout clothes, drinking plenty of water before class, and not bringing any ice sculptures to the studio.
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.
Guiding Fitness’s staff doesn’t believe in quick fixes or fads. Instead, they’re partial to the simple approach of informed exercise and eating. The team of certified personal trainers do their part during private and small-group personal-training sessions, and the team of fitness instructors schedules month-to-month in-studio and online fitness classes.
Part of yoga’s beauty lies in its adaptability. Whether performed by an experienced practitioner or a first-time student, the postures can be modified to become simpler or more complicated. For students looking for an added level of impact, another variable awaits: heat. During sessions at Bikram Yoga Lincoln, instructors lead students of any age or ability level through a series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises in rooms infused with sultry waves of super-heated air. Deep breath work awakens the body with a refreshing jolt of oxygen before muscles, ligaments, and joints shed stress and stiffness. A final series of balancing postures closes classes, as students push the limits of their concentration, patience, and prior training as a unicyclist.
Illuminated with natural light coursing in through a wall of large windows, Bikram Yoga Lincoln’s studio is lined with a sweat-proof and antimicrobial Flotex floor. Guests are invited to converse with peers either before or after sessions in a community lounge, and enjoy a refreshing cool down in spacious steam showers.
Bright flashing lights swirl in the low-lit studio as Latin-inspired music moves hips through high-energy dance moves. The Klubhouse 2's popular West Sacramento Zumba classes lead exercisers from all walks of life through easy-to-follow, calorie-torching moves demonstrated by energetic instructors 19 times a week. The fitness studio offers bountiful group fitness classes to help guests slim profiles and bolster muscles during R.I.P.P.E.D. classes. The driving force behind these sessions is an aversion to plateaus that other, less-inventive and less-varied workout regimens can engender.