Since she was a child, Pla Schneider dreamed of writing and illustrating her own children's book. She earned a degree in visual communications and exhibited some of her work in boutiques and galleries, but she couldn't find that spark of inspiration. She was able to find a muse in her daughter, who inspired Pla's first book, Sassy Cassie A True Little Princess. At Sugar-n-Spice Studios, Schneider helps art students circumvent creative blocks by guiding them step-by-step in a fun, playful environment. Patrons dab acrylic paints onto stretched canvases, rendering images of flower-filled parks, technicolor giraffes, or mermaids swimming alongside seahorses and other imaginary animals.
Massage therapists often help only the individuals they treat, but Carol Carpenter had a broader vision than that. She copied the notes she took when studying massage therapy and opened her own school in Oakland, elucidating Eastern styles, Western styles, and kinesiology alike. Eventually, the school was supplied federal financial aid through the U.S. Department of Education and became one of the first accredited massage schools in California. Today, it spans seven campuses and has garnered a mention in the book The History of Massage.The school aims to prepare students for careers they’ll love, and the program boasts an 85% job-placement rate. The curriculum demands that students complete a 744-hour program, which includes anatomy study, hands-on practice with real clients, and massaging life into a mannequin.
The instructors at Haleh Art Studio can turn a blank canvas into a work of art. They regard each new student with the same sense of limitless possibility, realizing that the right instruction and motivation can help turn anyone into a skilled artist. During drawing and painting classes, with special expertise in acrylics, instructors nurture artistic talents with structured lessons that slowly build technique and confidence. The difficulty of the work increases over time, until students can create their own photo-realistic self-portraits to replace lost driver’s licenses.
More than a thousand years have passed since healers learned that illnesses could be cured through stimulation of certain body parts. A wide array of frameworks developed for how best that healing should be brought about. Licensed acupuncturist Winston Wang has taken components of these frameworks to craft his own: understand the patient's condition, set up a treatment plan, and test it. At Orange Acupuncture, clients can seek Winston's techniques to treat maladies ranging from depression and insomnia to seasonal allergies.
Earthly Juices supports and nurtures health with fresh organic juices, living fare, and detox programs—using many ingredients grown in its own sustainable quarter-acre garden. The juice gurus cold-press fresh nuts, fruits, and vegetables that match the season into juices, smoothies, and cold-brew teas teeming with probiotic cultures. Earthly Juices composts all leftover pulp and serves each of its elixirs in Ball mason jars for $1 per jar, though patrons can bring their own jars or mammoth skulls to avoid the fee.
Patrons can purge environmental toxins or old love-letter residue during comprehensive cleanses, each customized for the individual’s allergies and personal goals and ranging in duration from one weekend to an entire month. Empathic detox counselors remain on-call via Skype, phone, and in person for the duration of each cleanse to troubleshoot as well as fortify minds with motivation. In addition to its culinary and detox endeavors, Earthly Juices supports whole-body and lifestyle health with services from home-garden design to classes on raw foods and international cooking.
Enerji Fitness’s team shares the joy they find in fitness by holding classes every day of the week. The staff unites their diverse backgrounds—from locales as far-flung as New York, Venezuela, and England—to pursue their shared passion for helping others get fit. During yoga sessions, they use gentle warmth (78 degrees) to limber up limbs for power Vinyasa flows that strengthen body, mind, spirit, and the building’s foundation. The barre classes fuse ballet-inspired cardio barre workouts with core work and lightweight toning, and instructors get their students kickboxing, doing plyometrics, and thumping heavy bags during Enerji Knockout classes. The global party beats played during Zumba classes animate bodies, as the staff teaches Latin-inspired dance moves in a fun setting. Enerji Fitness’s sleek, modern studio’s hardwood floors, brick accent walls, and creamy, mocha-tinged colors set a stylishly serene stage for this abundance of exercise.