In business for 20 years, Santa Barbara Yoga Center boasts diverse instructors who shepherd students through more than 100 weekly classes in styles stretching from Anusara to Iyengar to Ashtanga. Each instructor channels a passion for tranquility through beginner- and advanced-level sessions, fitness-oriented classes, and specialized instruction for soon-to-be mothers, athletes, seniors, and those suffering from injuries. After the deep breathing and mantras of meditative Kundalini sessions, students emerge centered and better calibrated to weigh the souls of others. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Peak Performance yoga classes mold and fortify the physique through a mix of Vinyasa and strength training. As a bonus, Groupon holders will receive a 10 percent discount if they purchase an additional class series within one week after their month of classes.
State Street Ballet's lithe dancers gracefully pirouette to classical masterpieces during performances modernized with special effects and digital technology. The season's first show, Starry Night, celebrates Vincent van Gogh's art in a multimedia performance that juxtaposes art, music, theater, dance, and text from the post-Impressionist's recovered Twitter feeds. Choreographed by celebrated dancesmith William Soleau, the ballet aims to mimic the flow of oil paint across a canvas through dancers’ movement as videos project a backdrop of collaged paintings and letters. The surfaces of the recently renovated Granada Theatre are also draped with art, from Moorish-inspired geometric patterns on the golden walls to decorative niches imbued with Old World grandeur.
CorePower Yoga’s instructors guide students through creative yoga classes that meld movement, breathing, and music into entrancing routines to energize the body and mind. Much like a butler with a teleportation pod, they welcome students at studios across the U.S., with locations in more than 10 different states. During the signature CorePower yoga class, teachers lead students through dynamic, Vinyasa-style flows with demonstration and verbal cues, helping pupils to tone core muscles and cultivate balance.
Most classes convene in a 90- to 95-degree room, which intensifies stretches, bolsters coordination, and melts stress. To foster full-body strength and cardiovascular health, some yoga workouts include the use of free weights to pump up heart rates.
Highlights of Rodrigo Clark's two-decade Brazilian jiu-jitsu career include training with Master Carlos Gracie, Jr., reaching 3rd-degree black belt status, and medaling at the World Nogi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship seven times. At Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu Academy Santa Barbara, Clark shares his vast knowledge of the Gracie style of self-defense during programs for all ages and skill levels. His and his team's teachings don't just show students how to defend themselves, though. They can also boost self-esteem, burn calories, reduce stress, and improve one's ability to dice vegetables with their bare hand.
James Pike started riding waves when he was 8 years old, when his father would drive him out to the boardwalk in Santa Cruz to go boogie boarding. As he grew up, he learned to surf with a local club, buying and repairing his own used surfboard, which was weathered after 40 years of challenging the ocean and being used to write down mermaids’ phone numbers.
As an adult, James founded Pike’s Surf School, where he teaches students of all ages how to balance on boards in surfing and skateboarding classes. Following lessons on technique and etiquette, students can glide through the waves or fly over pavement, and youths can take a combination surfing and skateboard clinic in groups of four. Pictures and video help pinpoint errors in technique, and cross-training improves students' ability to maintain their balance in different situations.
The instructors at Santa Barbara Festival Ballet have honed their teaching skills just as much as their dancing ones. All of them have been extensively trained in tutoring dance, and they coach their students using the renowned Cecchetti Method?a syllabus that progresses from fundamentals to professional-level techniques. The school welcomes dancers of all ages to learn from their practiced staff.