Discovery Martial Arts founder Jay Warwick and David Garmany and their team of black-belt instructors operate under the philosophy that learning a martial art not only improves physical strength and endurance, but also instills a sense of achievement and self-mastery. The results carry over into other areas of life, helping students as young as two and as old as adults to cultivate a life of discipline, confidence, and fitness.
No one should be too intimidated to exercise. That's the core philosophy at The Yoga Center. Since opening its doors in 1993, the studio has created an accepting environment where students can pursue the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of yoga at their own pace. To help accommodate this range of skill levels and interests, the instructors lead an eclectic assortment of classes, including four or six-week beginners courses that teach breathing exercises, meditative techniques, and 12 fundamental asanas—as well as intermediate and advanced sessions that introduce deeper poses and discussion of yogic philosophies. Flow yoga ensures a more dynamic practice by creating seamless transitions between asana sequences, and alignment yoga classes adopt a slower pace, asking students to monitor each stretch's precise orientation as they bend their bodies into a perfect Möbius strip.
Crystal Kinnard first started practicing yoga because she needed a change. She was unhappy with her weight and often lacked the energy to participate in activities that she enjoyed. Practicing yoga helped her develop confidence, flexibility, and physical strength, and allowed Crystal to transform at her own pace, like a caterpillar that refuses to put calendars in its cocoon. Today, Crystal helps others use yoga as a path to healthier lives. She offers classes to all levels of students, teaching a mixture of standing, seated, and inversion postures along the way.
In 2010, Bikram Yoga Central Valley's Stockton location was named Best Yoga Studio by San Joaquin magazine and KCRA 3 A-List. Despite the acclaim, owner Helena Monica and her staff have kept their noses to the grindstone.
Each day, sometimes as early as 5:30 a.m., they welcome students into a sweltering studio and lead them through Bikram yoga's traditional series of 26 postures, two breathing exercises, and one conga line. The benefits of the heat and movements are plenty. Students can reduce stress, sweat out toxins, increase their strength and flexibility, and tone their bodies.
When Vicki Dixon tells her students, "You can do it and are worth it!" she knows what she's talking about. With her husband, they lost more than 100 pounds once they started doing Zumba together. But not only did she shed pounds and gain energy: she wanted to share her experience with others, so they could also party their way into shape with Zumba. She and her husband became licensed Zumba instructors, and now do just that at Zumba Queen V.