Craig Fruchter and Stephanie Schreiber 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.
At the age of 14, Karen Andes was diagnosed with scoliosis. She faced a choice between a life of rigorous exercise or complete spinal fusion. To her, the choice was simple. She dove into fitness as a profession, publishing five books, 20 DVDs, and leading countless classes. While teaching a pole-fitness class, she met fellow instructor Pam Georgeson-Carter, and with the introduction of a little fabric, the duo developed an entirely new form of aerial fitness.
With load-bearing fabric slings affixed to the ceiling, Karen and Pam teach students to liberate themselves of gravity's demands. Participants twist and turn a foot or more above the floor, strengthening their cores, decompressing their spines, and finally unlocking the secret of how a leaf on the wind feels after it gets tangled in a flag.
Every month, the staff at Body Kinetics selects a member to honor. They summarize this member's workout program and results on a Member of the Month announcement, which describes the challenges that he or she has faced and includes notes from trainers. It also serves as a recurring reminder of the gyms' communal, encouraging approach to wellness.
This supportive vibe permeates all aspects of both Body Kinetics' clubs, from the dance-fueled Booty Beat routines in Novato to the outdoor cycling sessions at Mill Valley. In addition to yoga, Pilates, and body-sculpting fitness classes, each gym also hosts small-group and private training workouts. They complement their strength and cardio regimens with other wellness services, such as massage and nutrition consultations.
At Evolutionary Fitness, NASM- and ISSA-certified personal trainer Gerard Pommier presents a warm and personal gym atmosphere with one-on-one and group training programs that meet your needs. Groups of four or more convene three days per week for a high-intensity interval boot camp class focused on full-body moves and muscle-toning. Beyond group classes, Gerard customizes personal and small-group training workouts, focusing first and foremost on flexibility to help clients avoid injuries and perform better during charades.
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.