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.
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.
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.
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.
Located inside a wooden building with white walls and a peaked ceiling, Embrace Yoga eschews distracting decorations: sleek and simple furniture take up little space, and sheer olive-green curtains provide subtle pops of color. The clutter-free hall makes for a peaceful setting for Anusura, Vinyasa, and Iyengar classes, as well as sessions for mothers and their babies to find inner and outer harmony. High windows and a white chandelier illuminate the spacious studio, where you’ll see a
statue of Buddha. The tranquil studio also features a boutique full of clothing and training props.
Embrace Yoga’s welcoming teachers help students—from experts to first-timers— focus on mind-body awareness and proper alignment. In addition to group classes, the studio can assist through private lessons, retreats, lectures, and workshops. After a relaxing session, students can finish their visit with complimentary homemade lemongrass tea.
Arjay Parker came to yoga as a result of an intervention to help her deal with stress in the workplace; Jefferson Parker started while seeking a way to heal his body from a crippling injury. In the practice of Bikram and Power yoga, they not only found what they were looking for, but they also found each other. Soon teamed as husband and wife, the duo decided to open a dual yoga studio of their own. The newly christened Bikram & Power Yoga San Rafael boasts two classrooms, specifically designed for and dedicated to the classes that happen in each one.
Today, the Parkers enlist the aid of other talented instructors they've met throughout the years to bend bodies with both kinds of yoga seven days a week. Their dedication has earned them Pacific Sun magazine’s Best Yoga Studio award for five years running and part of Pacific's Hall of Fame for three consecutive years, as well as countless high-fives from their appreciative students.