Where as many people prefer to chat with others during lunchtime, patrons of Yoga at Change look forward to quieting their minds. These 30-minute meditation sessions occur three times a week, and like the rest of the non-profit's curriculum, strive to inject some introspection into otherwise bustling days. Though "yoga" is in the studio's title, meditation figures heavily in many of its class and workshop offerings—Slow Flow yoga mixes it with Hatha poses, and Integral lessons combine chanting, meditation, and restful movements. Mothers can also channel meditative energy during Mom Baby Yoga and Yoga with Babysitting, specialty classes that allow them to engage in relaxing postures and meditation while staying connected to their little ones, who spend the sessions stretching out with their parent, sleeping, or playing.
The holistic philosophy of Yoga at Change is that all people have the right to spiritual insight, a healthy body, and a peaceful mind. The instructors strive to accomplish this through a blend of self-reflection, breath, and physical balance. The staff believes that there are several roads to wellness, and that all of them should be accessible, regardless of the client's skill level. They schedule several discounted or free demonstrations, and also offer a scholarship program to fund yoga practice for those in need of financial aid. Students attend classes based on their desired intensity—gentle, moderate, or vigorous. They can also register for workshops that address a slew of alternative health topics, which in the past have included treating lower back pain.
Traditionally, the zoo provides the comfort of seeing animals that could not make a surprise visit to your backyard; this is a comfort CuriOdyssey dispatches to give weight to its message of science education. The menagerie of nearly 100 mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds primarily showcases local species like the Channel Island fox and the red-shouldered hawk, which have relatively small niches that have been squeezed by environmental degradation and human encroachment. Native species can be glimpsed within a complex of 25 lush habitats, including a 4,000-square-foot walk-through aviary and a replica of the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Sunny, outdoor gardens fill more than 1.3 acres with plots that rotate with the seasons and plants to attract butterflies and hummingbirds for live study. Among the science exhibits, Forces explores fundamental forces in nature such as gravity and magnetism. All the exhibits are designed to enable close observation and experimentation characteristic of the scientific method. This aim is supported by shows, such as daily otter feedings—spied from behind the glass of a cross-sectioned riverbank—and a variety of classes.
Junior Gym's instructors believe that physical activity and self-confidence go hand in hand. That's why they keep all of their gymnastics, tumbling, and fitness programs noncompetitive. Kids aged 6 months to 7 years old can step through the entrance's blue archways and into the 4,600-square-foot fitness facility, where, under the tutelage of seasoned instructors, they might learn to walk a balance beam or partake in social-development activities replete with music, movement, and parachute games. These activities unfold amid a maze of mats, bars, and obstacles, which the instructors rearrange weekly to confuse any infants plotting a mutiny.
As an alternative to regular fitness classes, Junior Gym's instructors also host camps and the Terrific Tots program. During these loosely structured sessions, CPR- and first-aid-certified teachers tell stories, help kids make arts and crafts, and serve healthy snacks.
Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.
Bel Mateo Bowl, home to 24 newly-installed Murrey synthetic alleys, fully automatic scoring, brilliant LCD monitors, and automated bumper bowling, provides family-friendly pin pulverizing seven days a week. Black-lit lanes illuminate bowling balls as they travel down the center's slick alleys during Planet Bowl, held each Friday and Saturday evening and fueled by colorful lights, upbeat tunes, and gravity. In addition to hosting leagues and bowling camps for kids, the colorful bowling center stocks a snack bar and serves drinks at a cocktail lounge punctuated by big-screen TVs. The alley's arcade room, complete with glowing air-hockey table, driving games, and pinball, hosts gaming kids and inner children alike, and karaoke on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday encourages lively covers of popular tunes and somber odes to fallen bowling pins.
The Boss had a job for her. Bruce Springsteen needed a massage, and so he turned to Andrea Kramer, a 15-year veteran therapist trained in six different modalities. He ended up visiting her a few times, adding to a list of clientele that already included athletes, CEOs, and redwood trees whose knots had persisted for hundreds of years.
Andrea owns and operates Elle Spa, a massage-centric facility where clients seek relief in one of five different massage therapies. Elle Spa also offers massages which help support women during pregnancy, menopause, and the time when their heels sprout their first stilettos.