To some, visiting another country is a reprieve from everyday life and an opportunity to learn about another culture. To others, it is a life-changing experience. Jennifer Pritchard’s sojourn in Mysore, India cemented the foundation for what eventually would become The Yoga Shala. During her travels, Jennifer was inspired to return home to create a warm and inviting space for practicing yoga, and is one of 14 Canadians to receive teaching authorization from the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute. At her studio today, which was voted Best of the City in 2010 by readers of Victoria News, she and her team of instructors uphold authentic yoga principles to help students improve their physical and mental well-being.
The Yoga Shala’s curriculum is rooted in the Ashtanga style of yoga, in which practitioners synchronize their breath with postures to build up internal heat, flushing out toxins and convincing the spleen that it’s vacationing in Mexico. The instructors cater classes to beginning and advanced students alike, encouraging them to work at their own pace, detailing easier or more challenging modifications to poses. Advanced-level courses focus on arm balances, deep hip work, back bends, and solidifying core muscles. On November 8, The Yoga Shala is hosting a show featuring Dave Stringer, a musical performer who practices Kirtan, a form of devotional chanting. The studio also offers teacher trainings each spring and fall and plans a group yoga retreat and a 200-hour immersion to south India in January.
With the Pacific Ocean on one side and scenic Strathcona Park on the other, Mount Washington Alpine Resort is a sought-after destination for all forms of winter sports. But the natural beauty and winter bounty of the area—which includes an impressive average of 11 metres of annual snowfall—has been made even more accessible and skier-friendly since the privately owned resort opened in 1979. What began as two double chairlifts and a single rough road has evolved into more than 1,700 acres of skiable terrain with five lifts, four magic-carpet conveyors, and tube park, all reached by the paved Strathcona Parkway. The park’s crystalline snow glitters under the stars during night skiing, acts as fodder for nordic skis, snow tubes, snowshoeing, and covers rails, decks, and boxes at The Stomping Ground terrain park.
To further familiarize guests with the mountain slopes, trained snow-school instructors lead programs designed for beginners, as well as group and private lessons. Adults can drop off little ones at The Bear's Den daycare center before sitting down for burgers and craft beers at Ted's Bar and Grill or quick bites at a number of grab-and-go eateries. The resort also offers accommodations ranging from private chalets to vacation condos and breathtaking chairlift rides in the summer.
At Freeway Lanes, families and friends bond over their shard passion for slippery shoes as they send balls careening down 18 lanes in pursuit of the elusive 300. Friday night Rock and Glow bowling sets the alley alive in a whirlwind of live DJs spinning tunes, colorful lights, and glowing pins, each activated by the superpowers of a radioactive ball. After each 10-frame game, bowlers can retire to the Starlight Lounge for savory grill fare or a round of pool.
Although it originally opened in 1974 as a picnic, camping, and fishing site, the area currently known as Wild Water Adventure Park has changed dramatically over the decades. The three fishing lakes are still there—stocked with everything from bass and catfish to bluegill and sushi rolls—but its 52 verdant acres now hold 38 water slides and 20 different attractions, creating an expansive all-ages retreat at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
More than one million gallons of crystalline water power the massive wave pool's four-foot waves. On the slide side, tube-riders can brave the pitch-black twists of the Vortex and the Sidewinder's three-story plunge. Even younger children can savor appropriately scaled thrills in the play area's splash pool plus 15,000 square feet of toddler-friendly activities. This range of aquatic amenities has made Wild Water Adventure Park a perennial staple on The Fresno Bee's People's Choice Awards, routinely winning the title of Best Water Park.
Not every activity at Wild Water Adventure Park requires a bathing suit, however. Sand volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, and a softball diamond all provide ample space for outdoor fun. Numerous barbecue stations dot the grass, allowing families to cook up a hearty lunch.
Our Playroom's indoor play and enrichment center entertains sock-clad youngsters below the age of 6 with engaging rides, toys, and classes. Kids can race down the rocket-ship slide, scale the rock-climbing fort, or throw their hands up during drops on the mini roller coaster. Elsewhere they can bounce on trampolines, stock up on plastic food at the grocery stand, and perform the unabridged text of King Lear at the puppet theater.
As the older children play, those younger than 1 can explore the infant corner's soft play mats, while adults use the facility's free WiFi or join their kids for peanut- and nut-free bites at the snack bar. Along with open play, Our Playroom hosts engaging classes ranging from story times and art projects to basic cheerleading instruction and kid-friendly Zumba led by a certified Zumba teacher.
By dooming yourself with a VIP Combo Ticket, you'll be tricked out and treated to front-of-the-line access to all four of Fright Night Scream Park's ghoulishly garish attractions. Flex your trembling muscles in the undead quarters of Necropolis reVAMPed, or unicycle through three rings of terror in the clownscaped Psychosis in 3D gallery. Scare-savorers can become besties with the misunderstood zombies in Desecration: Quarantine, and the Asylum unleashes lobotomized lurkers on Mensa members and the average-of-intelligence alike.