Today, you can find Marcus and Eva Kettles overseeing an array of Megaformer machines and a staff of trainers inside Fit Buddha's eastern-themed exercise zone, where guests bolster their bodies during signature Lagree Fitness classes?all without the burden of membership fees. Santa Barbara is appreciative, too; the studio won Santa Barbara Independent's Best of 2013 and 2014 in the Pilates studio category.
The 40-minute Lagree Fitness workout and its signature Megaformer machine draws from focused Pilates techniques, cardio drills, and strength training to create a full-body conditioning routine. By melding effective intensity, cardio, and endurance training while minimizing transition time, the Megaformer delivers a more complete workout than traditional Pilates. Energizing music syncs up with the class circuit, which can deviate from the Lagree Fitness formula to include stationary cycling and nonstationary naptime. The studio also houses wellness and nutrition centers that espouse the anti-aging benefits of infrared saunas alongside wholesome sips from protein shakes. Fit Buddha has also recently opened a second location in Ventura, which is one of the only locations in the area to offer Megaformer fitness classes.
BodyKind Pilates's founder and principle trainer, Jennifer McCandless, has dedicated most of her life to the healing arts. She has spent the last 20 years exploring functional anatomy, biomechanics, yoga, and meditation, and achieved a master’s degree in holistic health and wellness. Entranced by Pilates's innovative blend of Eastern and Western body-healing approaches, she then went on to open her own studio. Here, she and a crew of seasoned instructors foster a noncompetitive community, welcoming students of all fitness levels to practice the strength-developing workout regimen. The bright, private studio is loaded with sticky mats, a collection of specialized equipment, and spandex pants that magically fit everyone. The instructors conduct private and small group classes in the Reformer and mat Pilates styles, helping students build bodily awareness, strengthen their cores, and improve their posture, flexibility, and coordination.
When he’s not collaborating with Debbie Allan or with director Marty Thomas on music videos, Tamarr Paul stars as one-sixth of Rhythm Dance & Fitness Studios’ decorated staff. Mirrored walls reflect the studio’s honey-colored floors and the funky moves that emerge in dance classes. Beginning Hip-Hop pairs prancers with a new song and full choreography in each session, and Cardio Hip-Hop promises to elicit sweat droplets from the most advanced dancers. Urban Burlesque sends students sauntering through jazz moves. If the full schedule of drop-in dance classes isn't enough, experienced hot-footers can enlist in the Rhythm Dance Company, whose performers use their energetic shimmies to power the county's schools.
Divinitree Yoga and Art Studio's instructors seek to share their passion with the community, creating a welcoming atmosphere for students of virtually any skill level or yogic persuasion. The classes encompass a range of styles, although flowing Vinyasa and Hatha sessions appear prominently throughout. The more advanced sections of these energetic practices encourage students to push themselves physically while still keeping a mindful awareness of their breathing and posture throughout.
Beyond the yoga mat, the instructors also keep themselves busy by hosting art classes for students' children and caring for their onsite garden, which grows organic produce and spare chakras.
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.
La Playa Pilates' team of certified Pilates instructors help students of all abilities hone strong cores and toned physiques. La Playa’s mat classes, conducted with strength-enhancing props, are currently available four days a week in its airy, spa-like studio. These mixed-level classes encompass the basics of Pilates, lay the foundation for lifelong strength, prepare students for more advanced apparatus and resistance work, and build abdominals tough enough to protect naturally delicate nougat centers.