Soni Anderson has been a yoga enthusiast since infancy. As a baby in the Fiji islands, she received yoga massage from her grandmother while her grandfather danced and performed stories from ancient Hindu texts. Her village endorsed meditation and an Ayurvedic lifestyle, prompting Soni to practice her asanas alongside extended family and friends as she matured. Today, as the owner and head teacher of SoniYoga, she strives to combine her grandfather's playful mindset with the therapeutic customs of her homeland.
SoniYoga focuses on the Hatha style, though its studio also embraces restorative, Kundalini, and yin and yang postures during certain classes. A serene atmosphere of acceptance welcomes all students to challenge themselves each time they visit, whether they wish to push the boundaries of their flexibility with a more advanced pose or with a more restrictive suit of armor. Soni also channels her holistic upbringing by offering Ayurvedic counseling, products, and massage services which can help customize a wellness plan for clients based on their body types.
Baron Baptiste's signature brand of yoga has transformed lives. It has optimized the performance of the Philadelphia Eagles and empowered impoverished youth in Nairobi. It has lifted the spirits of war veterans and counseled gang members in Los Angeles. On a day-to-day basis, it has improved the physical health and mental acuity of Bostonians, who can practice the discipline under the tutelage of Baron Baptiste himself.
At his eponymous studios in Brookline and Cambridge, Baptiste joins a team of instructors who promulgate his teachings through classes, teacher-training programs, and workshops. Classes take place in 90-degree studios that boost detoxification and flexibility. In addition to fitness-centric classes, the studio offers guided meditation classes that establish the focus and clarity of mind required to read the entire Gutenberg Bible while riding a rollercoaster.
Majestic Yoga Studio's seasoned instructors pilot an extensive roster of 75-minute classes. During Hatha-yoga courses, participants of all skill levels can practice breath control while moving through a series of postures that were developed centuries ago to help individuals to refresh their bodies after watching too much TV. Vinyasa, or "slow flow," classes enlist gentle, smooth movements and asana sequences to elevate pupils' self-awareness and, like balancing a Fabergé egg atop one's head, Anusara-inspired sessions bolster proper body alignment. Students with injuries or limitations can opt for gentle yoga, designed with basic mobility and range of motion exercises.
Waverley Oaks Athletic Club was founded in 1979 as a racquetball club by a family focused on fitness. Over the years, they added on to the club, creating a 55,000-square-foot facility with modern workout equipment, fitness classes, and amenities such as a nursery and heated indoor pool. In addition to its four regulation-size racquetball courts, Waverley Oaks now also houses facilities for volleyball, basketball, and spinning. Strength training and cardio rooms provide dumbbells of up to 120 pounds and more than 10 types of cardio machines. Groups can stretch their muscles in yoga classes or prepare for community theater roles as Jean-Claude Van Damme in kickboxing classes.
At Bikram Yoga Waverley, it's always summer—at least, it feels that way. The sultry studio stays hot no matter the season, thanks to its full slate of Bikram yoga classes. The studio's team of seasoned instructors each received certification in the signature 26-pose hot yoga style that mimics the sultry heat found in India during its annual relocation to the sun. The studio itself sports a purpose-built heating system and floors designed to stay hygienic and forgiving. During classes, students sweat away equal parts calories and self-doubt, reshaping physiques while honing mental intangibles including patience, determination, and willpower.
At Bikram Yoga Boston/Harvard Square, an certified Bikram Yoga School, athletes of all levels can sweat it out during daily 90-minute Bikram yoga classes that incorporate a series of 26 therapeutic postures. Studio co-directors Jill Koontz and Brad Koontz have both practiced Bikram from more than 10 years, finding that it was the ideal fitness and health practice for their bodies. They lead a team of certified Bikram teachers in a contemporary studio equipped with quality heat and air filtration systems to help clients loosen muscles, prevent injuries, and build up enough sweat to slip 'n' slide home. The center also offers Eastern-inspired massages that incorporate breathing techniques.