It starts with some deep breaths and standing peacefully still as you feel your muscles begin to absorb the studio's warmth. Next, you raise your arms to the ceiling, stretching your core as you bend at the waist?first to the right, and then to the left. Those are the first two steps of the Bikram yoga sequence, a series of 26 postures bookended by breathing exercises. At Bikram Yoga SouthPas, the sequence takes 90 minutes to complete, with students able to explore poses more deeply the stronger their bodies get. Bikram Yoga can prompt weight loss, improve focus and balance, and alleviate chronic conditions such as back pain and to rehabilitate sports and bear-wrestling injuries. Classes welcome both new and seasoned students, challenging you to balance strength with flexibility while opening the mind and spirit.
Snap Fitness is open until 11 p.m. seven days a week. Because this deal includes the all-access key card, you don't have to let the strictures of time dictate when you can avail yourself of cardio and strength benefits. Arrive at Snap as night falls and pretend you're working out in an Edward Hopper painting, or pound the treadmill at 6 a.m. and get pumped for 7 a.m. Even if you exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere will provide a refreshing change of pace from any meat-market gym or tough elementary schoolyard you've experienced. Juvenile jocks and experienced athletes alike can take advantage of a personal-training session at Snap to get started with a new routine, take workouts up a notch, or discover the best exercise for developing ear-wiggling muscles.
In a spinning class, the goal is simple: pedal as much as you can. This an easy goal to achieve at PEDAL Spin, thanks to classes that combine energizing music and visuals to make riding a stationary bike even more fun than the real thing. Different instructors inject their own personalities into their classes, ensuring that no two workouts are quite the same. But regardless of who's leading them, spinning classes always boost the heart rate, build strength in the core and legs, and provide an excuse to break out the ol' riding hat.
What makes it great: A full range of yoga and Pilates classes, specialty classes, such as prenatal, baby-and-me, and yoga for kids, a la carte cash-only classes, and yoga for charity classes with all proceeds donated to a Charity of the Month.
Sandy Raulston and Ted Birbilis have lived in the world of art and antiques together for almost three decades. They've sold pieces in old farmhouses and and participated in The Los Angeles Modernism Show. They're particularly skilled with antiques, classifying and valuing entire collections in one easy sweep, and they now preside over the LA Living: Modern to Classic Antiques Show.
At that show, a range of aesthetic movements are represented, from industrialism to folk art. The designers themselves are just as varied, ranging from pop artists to Native American craftsmen. Oil paintings, of colorful landscapes and sepia country churches, hang above a tangle of art in every medium imaginable. There are carved canes, colorful instruments, vases, and furniture, glossy wooden masks and vintage-looking lamps, all curated by Sandy and Ted.
As if reflecting yoga's universality, the teachers at Yoga Darsana come from all over the globe: Germany, Peru, Asia, and the US. Although their yoga journeys have varied, today they each embrace the form known as Iyengar. This philosophy emphasizes individual growth over universal standards, thereby making the practice accessible to people from every background. Students don't have to be ultra flexible or ultra fit to benefit from Iyengar classes; first-time practitioners can gain grounding in the fundamentals of breath control, focus, and relaxation. Even kids as young as five can participate in children's classes, which foster a fun, non-competitive environment that helps sharpen students' focus, helping them succeed in school and during stakeouts to catch Santa Claus.