Arjay Parker came to yoga as a result of an intervention to help her deal with stress in the workplace; Jefferson Parker started while seeking a way to heal his body from a crippling injury. In the practice of Bikram and Power yoga, they not only found what they were looking for, but they also found each other. Soon teamed as husband and wife, the duo trained directly with Bikram Choudhury and Baron Baptiste before deciding to open a dual yoga studio of their own. The newly christened Bikram Yoga San Rafael & Power Yoga San Rafael would boast two classrooms, each completely dedicated to one yogic form.
Today, the Parkers enlist the aid of other talented instructors they've met throughout the years to bend bodies with both kinds of yoga seven days a week. Their dedication has earned them Pacific Sun magazine’s Best Yoga Studio award for five years running, as well as countless high-fives from their appreciative students.
Over the span of more than a decade teaching yoga, founder and instructor Carmen Aguilar crafted her own signature style called cYoga, which caters to practitioners of all experience levels. While still drawing from more traditional forms of yoga, Aguilar spices things up by constantly rotating the sequence of poses to match the capabilities or moods of her students and to ensure that no two classes are ever alike. To give participants a boost of confidence as they pursue their goal of getting in shape or successfully imitating a rotini noodle during charades, she and her team of instructors strive to help every student to accomplish at least one difficult pose per class.
The airy studio cultivates a modern and industrial vibe with its exposed piping and gauzy white sheers that soften the row of windows. The studio's schedule also features a tango-dancing class, which is taught by an internationally acclaimed dancer, and capoeira classes, which teach a Brazilian art form fusing dance, gymnastics, and self-defense.
Owner Janette Jones combines 15 years of Pilates teaching experience with a love for therapeutic massage at her studio, where instructors guide students with hands-on adjustments to ensure safe technique and correct form. Together with a staff of trainers and an arsenal of Pilates equipment, Janette runs a schedule of classes catering to students of all skill levels. During apparatus-based Pilates workouts, students generate gentle resistance using the mattress-worthy network of springs that lines the Reformer, the Exo Chair, and the Tower Pilates machines. Instructors can also enlist a series of mat exercises, which, much like doing chin-ups over a tar pit, require attendees to support their own body weight.
Dr. Orcutt devotes his career to helping people heal without drugs or surgery. He specializes in treating carpal tunnel as well as injuries of the hands and wrists, which typically result from finger-puppet fights, but his knowledge extends to fitness, nutrition, and stress management. In addition to speaking at corporate events, Dr. Orcutt imparts his wellness wisdom to sports teams and fitness clubs. When he's not adjusting Olympic athletes or keeping his practice's patients healthy, he's serving on the board of directors for the Corte Madera Chamber of Commerce.
Licensed acupuncturist R.H. Leach, who has a PhD in oriental medicine, treats not only humans at Lotus Medical & Health Clinic, but also various breeds of dogs. She helps heal adults, children, and pooches, specifically treating their allergies to foods, plants, or cat enemies, with Eastern-medicine techniques such as acupuncture, acupressure, and homeopathic work. Leach uses wellness consultations to determine the proper course of treatment, but she has noticed throughout her decade of experience that children and dogs tend to respond best to acupressure, not acupuncture, techniques.
Dr. Howard Ortman's medical career spans more than 30 years, four hospitals, and his own private practice, where he now cares for foot and ankle maladies with both conservative and surgical treatments. He and his staff uphold prompt diagnosis, early intervention, and prevention as essential tenants for maintaining the health of feet. To this end, they use x-rays and diagnostic ultrasounds to uncover pedal woes, perform in-office surgery with safe sedation methods such as local anesthesia, and keep feet aesthetically pleasing with laser treatments for nail fungus, warts, in-grown toenails, and in-grown shoes. In his quest to stay on top of the most advanced techniques, Dr. Ortman regularly attends conferences sponsored by esteemed institutions.