As Ross Valley CrossFit states on their website, they’re focused on creating a workout that’s “productive, not destructive.” That said, the CrossFit system is intense, and the trainers push their students to the limit during daily workouts populated with a variety of challenging but functional movements and exercises. Through the use of intuitive movements such as pushing, running, and pressing, they prepare class participants for anything the day can throw at them, from hauling groceries to fireman-carrying a large person, running a marathon, or climbing a mountain. They mix up routines each day to keep things interesting; students may perform pushups and deadlifts one session before swinging kettlebells and running sprints the next. Paired with nutritional advice, workouts help those of all ages and fitness levels slim down, enhance agility and flexibility, and build brawn across all muscle groups.
At Sol Studios Fairfax, co-owners Teya Valentina Chavez and Chris Krotky combine forces to create a culturally rich studio. Chavez, a yoga practitioner of 20 years, heads the instruction of the studio's multi-level Vinyasa yoga classes, which are staged in both heated and non-heated rooms. Other yoga classes include Valentina core fusion, which integrates weights to build core abdominal muscles, Valentina dance method, a high-energy class that incorporates various dance techniques from throughout the world, and yin yoga, which uses deep stretches to challenge yogis of all skill levels. Krotky––a drummer, composer, and music producer––oversees the studio's monthly lectures and performances and creates the soundtracks for the yoga classes.
When they moved to California from England, mother and daughter Linda and Amber Scriven brought their talents for alternative medicine along with them. Linda had practiced homeopathy for years and operated her own practice. She had passed that passion for Chinese and holistic medicine down to her daughter, who followed in the family footsteps by becoming an acupuncturist and herbalist herself.
Today, the pair shares its expertise through services including cupping, homeopathy, and qi gong, which are performed individually or as part of larger treatment plans.
During a tumultuous period in her life, Amber Scriven turned to yoga as a way to find balance and a new perspective on the world around her. It led her to becoming an instructor in the Vinyasa style, in which she incorporates breath and flowing poses into the most natural of classrooms—nature, itself. Her all-level classes begin with an easy to moderate hike up one of the many trails in Marin County. When they reach a clearing with stunning views, Amber leads students in setting down mats and engaging in a series of poses that rejuvenate the spirit and integrate acupressure points for increased health.
Craig Fruchter and Stephanie Schreiber, a husband-and-wife duo, team up with an impassioned troupe of instructors to lead students toward mental and physical health through a lineup of Bikram and power-yoga classes. Their dual locations swirl with balmy temperatures to loosen tight ligaments and help students ease deeper into the tension-relieving stretches. The warm air pricks beads of sweat on shoulders and brows while flushing out toxins and the spleen's discarded Funyun bags. With an eye on preserving the environment, both studios are scrubbed with nontoxic cleaning products each day and feature textured rubber floors and fresh-air ventilation systems. Marin Magazine in 2010 named Red Dragon one of the best yoga studios in Marin, and Pacific Sun named the business the best Marin yoga studio in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Most gyms don't limit their membership enrollment, which is why Meridian's Bodies in Motion does. By managing their member count, the workout areas are less crowded and visitors can step right up to machines without wasting precious calorie-burning minutes waiting in line. The staff can focus on keeping the facility clean and getting acquainted with clients, adding personal touches such as greeting members by name every time they enter and swipe their membership card, which means "hello" in several languages.
At each facility, a team of certified fitness instructors encourages exercise efforts during an array of group classes, including Zumba, spin, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, and cross-training. The certified personal trainers devise customized workout routines and monitor exercisers' forms as they carve muscles lifting free weights and slim down on cardio and strength-training equipment from Icarian, Hammer Strength, Precor, and FreeMotion. Special features—such as racquetball courts, swimming pools, saunas, indoor basketball courts, boxing rings, childcare, and cuddly kitten pits—vary depending on location.