A guide to healthy living

Twelve years ago, Oakhurst resident Virginia Eaton suffered a ruptured disc in her back that rendered her unable to walk.

Doctors repeatedly told her she needed to undergo surgery, Eaton said, but she chose rehabilitation over the knife.

“I kept saying I’m not going to have surgery, and I pushed, and pushed and pushed, and my body responded in a fascinating way,” Eaton said. “I realized that if you really go after it, your body is going to do amazing things.”

Through that process, Eaton said her determination helped her gain a passion and true interest in fitness, for both her body and mind.

Once she returned to California after 20 years in Salt Lake City raising her children, Eaton said she knew she wanted to spread that realization to others.

“I realized fitness is great, but all the other pieces are more important,” Eaton said. “I can’t be healthy if I’m stressed out all the time, or if I don’t have access to good food. Every single piece is important.”

Thus, CLASS, The Body Pastiche was born.

“We are focused on creating health from the inside out,” Eaton said inside her business located near Vons at the Old Mill Village Shopping Center in Oakhurst. “We’re not so worried about what your body looks like on the outside ... We’re focused on creating a healthy body from the inside, which then shows on the outside.”

The interior of the business is focused on relaxation, with a plethora of soothing colors in both hallways and exercise rooms, artwork by local artists along the walls, a library with a wide variety of titles available for checkout, free coffee and tea in a break room, and even a room to receive massages.

Classes themselves are expansive, with everything from various yoga styles to stress reduction exercises for a calmer experience, to high-pace cardio workouts for more intense sessions.

Eaton said she’s working to partner with Silver Sneakers and Kaiser Pemanente’s Senior Advantage plan to provide free classes to seniors, and local doctors to create more in-depth, coordinated health plans for Mountain Area residents at large.

Plus, free classes on fall prevention, such as how to maintain balance, are available to everyone from 11 to noon every Tuesday and Thursday.

Eaton, with a Master’s degree in Kinesiology, also provides free consultations on how to maintain a proper diet and balanced exercise, and how the importance of those factors can reduce a reliance on medication for issues such as high blood pressure.

“If you’re really lucky, you get to grow old,” Eaton said. “And you want to do that well. You want to do it with energy. You want to watch your kids and grandkids grow up and you want to be a part of it. In order to do that, there’s very simple things you can do to support your health, your energy, and your vitality, and that’s what we want to bring to everyone.”

Glenn Raggio, general manager for the business who helped completely reconstruct its interior, added Eaton’s degree, with a focus on exercise science also keeps her up to date on changes in how best to maintain health.

“She keeps on top of all of that to offer what is the most new, fresh, and latest information,” Raggio said. “She knows all about nutrition and how to dispell myths around food and fitness. It’s a complete experience.”

CLASS, The Body Pastiche is located at 40034 Highway 49, Suite A-9 in Oakhurst. Signups are available for a variety of classes, offered through a daily or monthly membership program.

Details: (559) 641-5656,