Newcomers need have no fear of strain or overstretching at HotCore Yoga. Founder Peter Sklivas designed the 33-posture series to lengthen and strengthen the core while protecting the muscles from injury. Long, slow ujaya breaths help call up the body's healing faculties, and the warmth of the heated studio helps increase range of motion and free tension from the limbs. This attention to detail makes his 90-minute classes as appropriate for grandparents as they are for elite athletes or aspiring pretzel impersonators. As popular music from one of over 350 playlists fills the room, students of all levels move into ever-deeper poses, freeing the mind and fostering a sense of connection to the soul.
“It’s the challenging fits—either spectacles or contact lenses—that drive me," writes optician John Parrelli on his website. Since opening his first shop in 1978, these challenges have included cataract sufferers who were left without binocular vision following surgery. Parrelli and his team of lens specialists experimented with different materials, designs, and indices of refraction until they could fabricate a lens thin and strong enough to restore these patients’ sight.
Today, Parrelli Optical has grown to six locations, where optometrists inspect patients' vision with a comprehensive, 15-point eye-health assessment and complete visual analysis. Through digital corneal photography, they're able to diagnose corneal disease and increase the precision and comfort of prescriptions. The locations also host a wide selection of designer frames, ideal for experimenting with different styles, such as wearing 20 frames at once.
The diverse team of practitioners at Eternal Balance helps to tune out the chatter of the outside world and rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit with reiki, massage, and private yoga services. The intimate healing studio, tucked away in the Cummings Center, contains a private massage treatment room where the therapist tenderizes sore muscles and unties braided tendons with Swedish, deep-tissue, and prenatal techniques.
A nearby classroom hosts groups of students during life-enhancing workshops, such as The Art of Natural Breathing. The studio's owner, Olga, a trained reiki practitioner and yoga instructor, concludes each session with an improvised haiku to brighten each client’s aura.
North Shore founder Marc Meltzer grew up training in many martial-arts practices, but by the early 1990s, he became singularly devoted to muay thai. He fought in one of the first public muay thai matches in the Massachusetts area, and went on to study with champion fighters and teachers of various muay thai techniques.
Today, at his own academy, Marc specializes in two different martial arts: muay thai and thai sword fighting. His competitive muay thai sequence helps students rise through the ranks, beginning with a mandatory introductory class, and progressing with conditioning, midlevel striking with pads, and advanced sparring classes. The thai sword fighting courses are rooted in self-defense practices, as with kali, close-quarters combat techniques that teach students how to use their environment to fend off attackers. Krabi-kabong primarily uses swords and staffs, and muay boran is an ancient practice that focuses on empty-hand striking, kicks, holds, and throws.
B&S Fitness Program is composed of four different fitness-related branches, all of which are overseen by cofounders Brandi and Steven Dion. At North Shore Boot Camp Company, Brandi and Steven, along with their staff, lead indoor and outdoor boot-camp classes at locations across Massachusetts. On the track, they coordinate marathons and triathlons throughout the year for B&S Event Management, and hit the races themselves as part of a running team called SpiderOne Racing. Since every team needs a home base, the duo also operates B&S Sport Science, a 10,700-square-foot facility devoted to research- and technology-based services such as ACL rehab and personal training.
Steve Baglioni knows the human body. On a regular basis, the massage therapist works with sports professionals and chiropractors, and is currently studying to become a certified personal trainer. Given the diversity of the fields he's studied, it's not surprising Steve specializes in two very different styles of massage. As a sports therapist, he provides intense treatment for athletes looking to improve their flexibility or recover from strenuous activity. Steve’s other specialty is hospice service. In this capacity, he performs comfort touch treatments that gently relieve aches in patients who spend a great deal of time in bed or wheelchairs.