TriYoga's classes guide students through traditional poses supported by rhythmic breathing and a deep, centered focus. The practice’s founder, Yogini Kaliji, travels the world to teach her signature style, with occasional stops into TriYoga Center of Santa Cruz to lead master classes. Yogini Kaliji designed her method and classes to shuttle beginners and experts alike toward deep relaxation, attainable elsewhere only by convincing a sea breeze to sing you "Happy Birthday." As students graduate through levels and master TriYoga’s wavelike movements, they often note boosted strength, flexibility, endurance, and breath control.
Whenever she strolled down a sandy beach or marveled at the redwoods of a lush forest, LeTa Jussila would be reminded that Santa Cruz was the most beautiful place in the world. It seemed a shame to her that most people spent so much of their days inside houses and offices rather than taking advantage of the diverse landscapes of their surroundings. Inspired, she spearheaded the foundation of Optimal Health and Fitness—a multidimensional outdoor-fitness program.
Today, LeTa and her staff of trainers conduct energetic boot-camp classes at local beaches, forests, and mountain trails. They use the tools of their surroundings as exercise equipment, such as running up park stairs for a cardio workout. Encouraging well-rounded, healthy lifestyles, the instructors also conduct seminars on holistic topics such as stress management and meditation. Nutrition specialists, meanwhile, provide students with balanced meal plans and supervise detoxifying cleanses. The staff also offers various treatments popularized in the East, including traditional Chinese acupuncture treatments and rejuvenating qi gong stretching classes.
After Camille Smith-Ballon was struck by a car, she refused to treat her neck, back, and shoulder injuries lying down. Instead, she hit the gym. As she pushed through rehabilitative exercise and resistance routines, she accumulated numerous fitness certifications and acquired the knowledge that would one day fuel her own training business. Now, as the owner of CruzFit, she stands by the belief that willpower trumps all other circumstances on the road to wellness. She leads private- and group-training sessions based on her clients’ preferences, asserting that fitness should stem from the activities you love to do. She also hosts Aqua Running classes at neighborhood pools, utilizing water resistance to tone the body's sprinting muscles and prepare runners to finally outpace showoff mechanical rabbit lures.
Author, massage therapist, former dancer, and world-reaching Pilates educator Lisa Graham oversees Agile Monkey Pilates Studio, aiming to provide the tools for students to fine-tune their physiques and better understand their bodies. In a spacious, light-filled studio annex, four senior instructors with years of teaching experience lead evening and morning group mat classes.
The accommodating staff at Bike Dojo, a cycling gym founded by Rob Mylls, keeps the community active with two-wheeled activities ranging from indoor spin classes and kid-based ride programs. Schwinn indoor recreational bikes perch inside the studio space, beckoning exercisers of all levels to pedal their way through energetic classes that boost cardiovascular health and finally put Tour de France commemorative bike shorts to use. Bike Dojo memberships grants full access to the facility and every new member joining Bike Dojo contributes to a child in the community through Dojo's program, Project B.I.K.E., which donates a bike to a child for every new membership.
Jump on a treadmill, tune out, go home. Repeat. This is exactly the type of workout rut the founders of Crossfit West were hoping to break free of when they opened this results-focused gym. Here, intensity is the key to a successful workout, and the encouraging trainers motivate guests to push past their personal limits each day, whether that means lifting five pounds or carrying five tired classmates to the water fountain. Using a workout system originally developed for military training drills, the trainers lead ever-changing routines that are scalable to any fitness level and can include tasks such as burpees, push-ups, squats, and sled pulls. Best of all, the gym offers more than 25 classes per week so members can drop by for a plateau-blasting workout whenever their schedule allows.