Everyone can practice yoga. That's the core philosophy at The Yoga Center ? no matter baby or senior citizen, or beginner or well-practiced yogi. 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, inspired by the traditions of Sivananda, Iyengar, Kundalini, and Vinyasa flow. Beginner classes focus on basic postures, breathing exercises, and meditation techniques, while intermediate and advanced sessions delve into deeper poses, proper alignment, and yoga philosophy.
In the spacious styling room of Tangles Salon, stylist Soraya Garcia coifs hair to clients’ specifications, creating looks ranging from classic to edgy. Garcia’s custom haircuts include a complimentary head massage, and she offers a range of coloring and highlighting services, as well as deep conditioning and perms. She also crafts elegant updos for special occasions, such as proms, weddings, and trips to the DMV.
Ben Mackie Fitness is a private fitness studio that works with clients one-on-one or in small groups to achieve tangible results. Inside this functional space, certified personal trainers offer yoga and Pilates classes, as well as customized fitness plans nutritional coaching.
Some days a yoga student might want an energizing class where she can work up a sweat, but on others, a calming, slow-paced class is just what the doctor ordered. Shakti Body Yoga offers both. Students sweat through cardio-enhancing Vinyasa yoga classes, synching breath to movement as they flow from one posture to the next. Alternatively, in gentle restorative classes, folks combine slow-paced movements and long-held postures with breathing techniques to quiet the mind.
Because Shakti Body Yoga believes yoga should be accessible to all, the studio also offers weekly donation-based community yoga classes that range from beginner to advanced. Prenatal yoga classes open the floor for moms-to-be to improve mind, body, and spirit, while also giving babies a head-start on learning yoga moves so they won't feel self-conscious in future Mommy and Me classes.
Co-founder Gillian Clark's been teaching since 1987 and is certified as both an instructor and personal trainer through ACE, AFAA, and Cal State Hayward. After developing the Yoga Booty Ballet at Crunch, Clark and partner Teigh McDonough (a trained instructor, trainer, dancer, choreographer, actress, and movement director for more than 20 years) created the boutique body-shop Swerve.
World Gym maintains its 35-year legacy of body-sculpting know-how at its various globe-spanning locations, jump-starting workout routines with cardio equipment, free weights, and more than 50 weekly exercise classes. Taught by certified trainers, typical classes range from yoga to spin to calorie-torching Zumba dance parties. At most locations, after working out, exercisers can relax in saunas that vaporize stress with misty heat, or submit their backs to certified massage therapist. Many of the gyms cater to families, too, with colorful childcare centers that keep youngsters entertained and supervised during parental workouts.