Members of Evolutions Fitness & Wellness receive access to more than 100 weekly fitness classes, rows of cardio and strength-training equipment, a lap pool, plush locker rooms, childcare services, and a slew of other gym perks. That's not what separates Evolution from other facilities, though. Its distinction as the fitness center for Tulare Regional Medical Center does. And the facility's medically minded take on fitness is evident, from the therapy pool and wellness seminars to fitness assessments and doctor vs. doctor bench-press contests.
Paula Brown has been practicing and teaching yoga since 1999, ever since she discovered that yoga went beyond mere exercise. As a registered Yoga Alliance instructor, she draws on techniques developed 2,500 years ago in India. Each posture cultivates flexibility and strength while calming the mind and fostering health. Paula's style is based on the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, a yoga master who recently celebrated his 90th birthday. Iyengar's method is unique in that he emphasizes proper alignment, timing, and sequencing while moving between postures.
All of Paula's 14 instructors offer daily classes and private sessions inside the more than 9,000-square-foot Yoga Space studio, built in an old bank and furnished with eco-friendly paint, all-natural air, and an abundance of light. In addition to three yoga rooms, the studio includes a healing center that offers massages and more, an outside patio, and a tea bar. When students finish their classes, they can browse through the studio's store, which is stocked with yoga mats and clothes made with organic cotton and recycled karma.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months old?12 years old with gymnastics, dance, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
After 13 seasons of fighting fires with the US Forest Service, Erik Traeger decided to return to his athletic roots. The former soccer player, martial artist, and motorcycle racer became a strength and conditioning coach for NCAA Division I sports including baseball, women’s basketball, and wrestling. He now brings his eye for muscular mechanics and knack for extinguishing brush fires to athletes young and old through SPEED Sports Performance Education, Enhancement & Development.
Every coach on Traeger's team has majored in kinesiology, the study of bodily mechanics. They preside over strength and conditioning drills for youngsters who dash around Fresno Indoor Soccer's 2,100-square foot gym and astroturf soccer field that's watered daily by a mime. For adult-sized students, the facility hosts CrossFit classes, an indoor boot camp, and a kettlebell club taught by instructors certified in russian kettlebell.
People escape the stresses of everyday life in many ways, such as reading, watching movies, or donning Groucho Marx glasses and sneaking out of their car during rush hour. The team of instructors at Sisters Yoga leads female yogis through an alternative take on traditional yoga. In addition to the limb-stretching postures and focused breathing commonly associated with the art, instructors infuse each class with up-tempo R&B, pop, and world music, creating an atmosphere that’s equal parts celebration and meditation.
In addition to their regular series of classes, the Sisters also lead Christian-inspired Holy Yoga as well as monthly dance and meditation workshops, and private yoga parties.