The ancient art of yoga goes modern at Freeman Yoga, where instructors create a blissful oasis away from the working world's hectic pace and exploding water coolers. Instructors welcome students of all experience levels, whether they're still learning the fundamentals or can practically nap while holding a back-bend pose. Instructors lead students through a variety of yoga styles, including Vinyasa, Hatha, or relaxing flows. They have over 30 classes a week.
The Yoga Mat’s certified instructors unite their diverse expertise to teach classes both vigorous and low-key. They oversee an eclectic schedule that catalogs several yoga methods, such as demanding Vinyasa flow. They teach the Vinyasa modality to challenge students to a continuous series of postures linked with deep breaths, and they teach mindful yin yoga to challenge students to longer-held poses that maximize stretching. The staff also helms restorative classes with guided meditation designed to relax the body and calm skittish spirit horses. To mix regimens up even further, some instructors leverage their Pilates certifications to lead core-strengthening workouts, and yogi and doula Lauren Jacobs leads specialty classes such as prenatal yoga. The staff leads these classes amid homey ladder shelves, houseplants, and gleaming hardwood floors, creating a comforting and serene setting for yoga practitioners of all experience levels.
Helmed by the passionate and experienced duo Stacey Craven and Christina Jondie, Smoke and Mirrors Fitness’s fleet of enthusiastic female instructors helps ladies to sculpt lean, muscular bodies while boosting self-esteem in empowering pole-fitness classes. Accommodating gals of all fitness and experience levels, they introduce newcomers to the weightless art of vertical gymnastics with beginner classes and help more advanced shimmiers to master complex tricks, inversions, transitions, and flips.
As guests stretch and climb on the collection of sleek silver poles, they tone upper-body muscles and increase flexibility, helping them to fit more comfortably inside large birthday cakes. Other classes such as chair dancing, yoga, and Tahitian dance let exercisers express themselves through sensual and centering maneuvers.
The staff at Studio Fusion invites kids and adults of all skill levels to dance and get in shape in a sprawling 6,000-square-foot space with four studios, two of which have Marley sprung floors to soften dancers' landings. The team of dance instructors includes choreographers and backup dancers to the stars, as well as two former members of the Laker Girls.
The experienced crew helps pre-cheerleaders build strength and flexibility during tumbling classes, and teaches beginning and advanced ballet and hip-hop moves to kids and teens. The multidisciplinary fitness program offers just as much variety, including the ballet-based movements of Barre Fusion, Bikini Boot Camp toning sessions, and kickboxing- and tai-chi-based Turbo Kick classes.
The space has been designed with a cozy student lounge with WiFi and a gourmet coffee bar, allowing youngsters to work on homework or their investment portfolios and parents to chat. In addition to annual dance recitals, the studio hosts dance and musical-theater camps. The Broadway Kids program hones the skills children need to be a triple threat—dancing, singing, and juggling three smartphones at once.
Yoga Shakti Wellness Center's director, Diana Pipaloff, has unwavering confidence in her instructors' abilities. It's appropriate, because most of them learned their practice at the center. Their 500-hour training program, which includes post-graduate mentorships and internships, equips graduates with Yoga Alliance registration. Once trained, a select few of these yogis begin work at Yoga Shakti Wellness Center's locations in Irvine and Huntington Beach.
At each location, students stretch and breathe during more than 10 types of yoga classes. Shakti yoga, the center's flagship style, leads participants in combining sun salutations, poses, and energy work to move toward increasing their physical and spiritual strength. Other options from the more than 100 classes offered each week include prenatal yoga and gentle yoga, which elucidates yoga's foundational poses and philosophy.
However, the staff isn't super-glued to their yoga mats. They also teach ayurveda, a lifestyle that combines dietary changes with massage, meditation, and other purification therapies.