Though most people would peg her as just another friendly-looking lady with silver hair and glasses, Ann Carter is far more than meets the eye—she heralds herself as a conduit for guidance, answers, and energies sent from a higher power. She’s been tuned in to the metaphysical world for more than three decades, with stints as both a medium and clairvoyant under her enchanted belt. Through arts including reiki, past-life regression, and her own intuitive gifts, she helps her clients find peace, relaxation, and the missing pieces to their spiritual jigsaw puzzles.
At Okanagan Yoga Centre, experienced teachers guide the journeys of all skill levels in an eco-friendly studio. The studio offers both heated and nonheated classes with variations including the Discover style, a practice focused on proper form and breathing techniques. Alternatively, Calm classes relax the nervous system to stimulate healing and help the body let go of ingrained habits, such as chewing gum to the beat of a seven-minute waltz. The schedule slates morning through evening classes every day of the week, and newcomers are encouraged to check out the new student page for answers on what to bring.
Carly Mitchell spent so much of her young life physically active as an athlete and dancer that she thought she could never become out of shape, even when she stopped regularly exercising. The four ominous tolls of age, work, travel, and stress eventually claimed their dues, however, and she found herself needing a program to help her whip back into top form. She found a routine that worked with VO2 Max founder Janine Walinski. After some intense training and a couple of personal-trainer certifications, Carly readily opened her own branch of VO2 Max in Kelowna.
VO2 Max hosts small-sized group fitness classes focused on intense interval training. VO2 Max fulfill the promise of providing personalized attention through one-on-one training sessions both at the gym or their clients' homes, nutritional counselling, and regular weigh-ins for members.
With the towering mountains and crystal-blue lake of the Okanagan Valley as a backdrop, Lake View Boot Camp head trainer Tammy Arishenkoff and her staffers work their students hard in pursuit of a noble goal. Cooled by the fresh mountain air and serenaded by the freestyle raps of birds, groups spend four weeks attacking creative and challenging routines on assorted terrains, in the process slimming physiques, toning muscles, and ascending to new heights of fitness. When it becomes too cold to hold classes outside, trainers move sessions to an indoor fitness studio. Instructors also provide students with frequent fitness and nutritional advice, urging them not to undo workouts by eating unhealthily or jogging home backward.
Inside a steamy studio, the experienced yogis at Bikram Yoga Westbank spend 90 minutes leading students of all skill levels through a series of 26 poses developed by Bikram Choudhury. Bikram brought his system from India to the U.S. at the request of the American Medical Association. Since then, he founded the Yoga College of India and has taught both actors and athletes. During each class, poses massage internal organs, stimulate nervous systems, and release deficient enzymes and hormones—a process that brings balance to the body, increases flexibility, and enables the average person to sleep inside a sock drawer.
Jazzercise Kelowna classes transform the spacious gathering hall at SunRidge Community Church into a pop concert where fitness-seekers dance the calories away. A microphone-wearing instructor leads the choreography from a stage as the sound system pumps music from the rafters. The 60-minute Jazzercise sessions work every inch of the body with strength, cardio, and agility-building moves inspired by hip-hop, jazz, kickboxing, and the chicken dance. Before the hour concludes, a core-building cool-down incorporates yoga and Pilates poses to leave bodies limber and relaxed.