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.
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.
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.
Gymboree offers a bevy of baby-engaging classes in which parents and wee ones work together to build tots' creativity and encourage development through play. Weekly classes are available for every age, from the freshly born sapling to the 5-years-young wise wanderer. This deal includes rhythm-building music classes, imagination-expanding art classes, and Gymboree's most popular class, Play & Learn. The month-long membership allows you to take one class per week, with make-ups available during enrollment if you miss a class.
The troupe of competition-tested instructors at It's All About Dancing expand pirouetting prowess through individual and group guidance in a variety of styles for 45 minutes. Pairs can master graceful routines such as the waltz, tango, or cha-cha during private sessions, and soloists can rehearse choreographed monologues for a wordless production of Frost/Nixon. Flocks of up to 50 steppers gather for group dance lessons on Tuesday and Thursday night at 7:30 to spend 45 minutes amplifying their learning process through camaraderie and copying their neighbors. Students strut and twirl according to the teacher's commands across the studio's hardwood floors beneath white chandeliers and skylights. On the last Friday of the month, dance mixers encourage guests to showcase new moves and tricks for repairing cut rugs.
Students stretch their arms and slowly arch their backs as natural light spills in through the floor-to-ceiling windows of Cosmic Dog Yoga’s studio. The studio’s experienced instructors are just as adept at putting these students at ease as they are at guiding them through physically demanding poses. Though many specialize in styles such as Vinyasa flow, meditation, and tribal-style dance, it’s not uncommon for the same instructors to teach basic yoga or a playful Cosmic Power class that demonstrates how to blow up stars millions of miles away simply by concentrating hard. In the lobby, the staff arranges mats, yoga books, towels, and mala beads alongside natural MezAroma products such as soy-based candles, sugar scrubs, and lip balms.