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.
Big Jim’s BBQ entrances diners with a menu of tempting contemporary and barbecue cuisine arranged by chef Jim Modesitt. Like the annual westward migration of wood-smoking grills, the sauce-slathered bill of fare unites gourmet California treats with rustic southern cooking traditions, pairing juicy pulled pork, chicken, ribs, and brisket with hearty risottos, traditional cornbreads and beans, assorted cheeses, and crostinis. As clients sup on the tasty bounty or enroll in courses to learn the dark arts of cookcraft from the kitchen’s professional chefs and caterers, rich flavors and aromas lavish the nose and palate with a sensory celebration of fine food.
Tamalpais CrossFit's coaches are not content to teach the same curriculum day in, day out. Instead, the CrossFit specialists mix up their routines on a regular basis, linking innovative sequences of exercises that increase strength and prevent fitness plateaus. Whether leading students through deadlifts, pull-ups, or lunges, the trainers keep students on their muscle-bristled toes. In addition to leading training sessions at various levels, the gym's fitness experts dish nutritional advice for complete body-revamping programs.
In an effort to share his passion for cycling, Pelo Cycling and Fitness founder Alan Roberts looked to the peleton, the close-knit group of riders clumped together during a road race. His studio aims to recreate this closeness by fostering an easygoing atmosphere where people can workout and hangout.
Before class, riders reserve a bike online then head into the studio to pedal mile after mile against an auditory backdrop of high-energy music. Each stationary bike is outfitted with a proprietary system that adjusts to match the fitness level of the rider sitting atop it. Classrooms are also stocked with an abundance of absorbent, micro-fiber towels, which can sop up sweat or celebratory Gatorade baths for the instructor at the end of class.
Owner Janette Jones combines 15 years of Pilates teaching experience with a love for therapeutic massage at her studio, where instructors guide students with hands-on adjustments to ensure safe technique and correct form. Together with a staff of trainers and an arsenal of Pilates equipment, Janette runs classes catering to students of all skill levels. During apparatus-based Pilates workouts, students generate gentle resistance using the mattress-worthy network of springs that lines the Reformer and the Tower Pilates machines. Instructors can also enlist a series of mat exercises, which, much like doing chin-ups over a tar pit, require attendees to support their own body weight.