The Oaks at Ojai Spa's Legendary Sheila Cluff Releases Autobiography

Cluff hopes to inspire others with pioneering spirit, spunk and will-do attitude!

Sheila Cluff, fitness expert and founder of Southern California's iconic The Oaks at Ojai health and fitness destination spa, comes forth with her life story in “Living Your Dream.”

Cluff’s life and career have been marked by boundless creativity, passion and perseverance, and throughout the book she candidly relates her experiences of triumph and tragedy.“Whether readers are nine or 90, my hope is that this autobiography will enable them to channel the universal language of dreams, sacrifice and family,” promises Cluff, 76.

In the ’50s, long before the fitness industry came up with the term “aerobics,” she drew from her choreography as a professional ice skater to create cardiovascular dance, adding a spark of fun to exercise. In the ’70s when those seeking to lose weight on vacation had little choice but to trudge off to daunting weight-loss retreats, she developed a contemporary spa that combined luxurious European body treatments with exciting exercise and healthy, delicious food. Thus was born The Oaks at Ojai, which became renowned by many as one of the best destination spas in the country. In running her wellness facility, Cluff rejected the idea of subjecting guests to torturous deprivation. “I wanted neither a fat farm nor a beauty spa,” she writes, “but a place that focused on health and fitness, where people would come to enjoy themselves and not be ‘punished’ with exercise and diet food.”

Throughout the course of her career the tireless entrepreneur launched a second spa, The Palms in Palm Springs (which she later sold in 2004), hosted wellness TV programs on the NBC network and on KABC in Los Angeles, founded the Healthy Holidays travel company and conducted numerous speaking engagements. She also is one of the founding members of C200 (The Committee of 200), an organization of women entrepreneurs and high-level corporate executives, and was instrumental in creating the International Spa Association (ISPA), of which she was one of the first board members.

The autobiography is available for purchase on the The Oak's online store and Amazon.

[Image courtesy of Relevance PR]