If you had asked Brian Culkin years ago what he planned to do after an injury brought his professional basketball career to an end, he probably wouldn't have mentioned yoga. Culkin had graduated as the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Skidmore College basketball program, and he went on to play in the European circuit before returning to his native Boston to heal and recover his American accent. But despite success as the founder and CEO of a commercial and residential mortgage firm, Culkin felt unfulfilled. He abandoned his career in finance and moved to the renowned Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where he studied meditation, yoga, and gestalt therapy from 2008–2009.
Inspired by what he had learned, Culkin then worked as a consultant and trainer leading workshops at the OpenMind Training Institute. He traveled the globe to speak on topics such as peak performance, creativity, and human potential, and opened Jai Yoga to share his vast knowledge with others.
In addition to relaxing Hatha sessions and heated power Vinyasa flow classes, Culkin and his team offer age-appropriate yoga classes designed specifically for kids and teens. They also lead strength and conditioning classes, fusion-style barre classes that combine ballet and yoga, and meditation sessions that promote self-awareness better than an afternoon spent trapped in a house of mirrors.
Channeling more than 60 years of experience in the health-and-fitness industry, Abington and Quincy Athletic Club's management staff has built two family-friendly facilities that aim to bestow each guest with personal treatment. Each building houses at least 20,000 square feet of workout space, including hardwood studios for group classes such as Zumba, Pilates, and Les Mills BodyPump. Cardio and strength gear from Nautilus, Magnum, FreeMotion, and Star Trac accommodates physiques of all fitness levels, from exercise amateurs to those who would rather wall-sit during movie dates. A squad of certified personal trainers and nutrition counselors steers patrons onto a custom pathway to wellness, and childcare services and senior programs broadcast welcoming vibes to club guests of all ages.
Yoga can instill its practitioners with inner strength and peace, and Real Life Yoga helps students capture these qualities through more than just sun salutations. The studio conducts its classes in an environment designed to be non-competitive, welcoming, and lighthearted. Owner Dee Lyon and her team of accomplished teachers welcome brand-new students as well as yoga aficionados, providing mats to those without. The certified instructors encourage safe, healthy sessions, suggesting modifications that can ease stress and prevent discomfort, injury, or getting stuck that way. They offer non-yoga classes, too, including tai chi, self-defense, and a high-energy combination of boxing, dance, and Pilates.
Though Christopher Bopp has won first place three times in a row at the New England Regional Yoga Asana Championships, he does not consider yoga a sport. For him, the art is a daily practice, one that assists with the regular upkeep of his body and mind. He and the certified instructors at Bikram Yoga Quincy hope to pass the basics of the technique on to others, who will in turn interpret them to suit their personal credos.
Because everyone's perception of yoga varies, Christopher encourages guests to attend classes from different instructors. The 90-minute class structure—26 asanas in a toasty studio—remains the same, but each teacher's character illuminates the lesson from a fresh angle. As the instructors’ personalities coalesce under a single yoga style, the end result is a diverse but dedicated community. Familial vibes fill the lobby after every class, when students and instructors can share crisp bites of fruit and figure out who was and was not a heat mirage.
There isn't one set path to wellness. Healing Tree Yoga understands this, which is why it gives guests many avenues to explore in their quest for health and relaxation. One such option, of course, is yoga: gentle hatha, faster-paced vinyasa flow, and other practice styles provide a way for students to strengthen their body as well as their mind. Pilates, and Tai Chi classes, meanwhile, present other ways in which guests can discover untapped energy and get in tune with their own bodies. And, in private treatment rooms, healing becomes the focus, as therapists use hot-stone, acupressure, and other massage modalities to soothe sore muscles or reiki treatments to help stimulate the flow of energy and improve well being.
After a fast-paced 20-year career working in public television, Fay Sutherland shifted her focus to her other passion: yoga. Drawing from 19 years of practice and multiple yoga certifications, she opened Dancing Crow Yoga with her husband, aspiring to help others to increase their fitness level while striving toward inner freedom. Fay and her fellow certified instructors teach Vinyasa, Yin, Restorative, Gentle, and Eclectic Hatha yoga styles. Each can be just as challenging for the body as they are nurturing to the soul. Vinyasa?s high-intensity series of continuous postures is linked by deep, mindful breaths, helping practitioners of all shapes, sizes, and Baldwin-brother preference to build strength and flexibility while achieving a state of serene relaxation. Calling themselves "The hidden sanctuary of yoga at the Derby Street Shoppes", the team at Dancing Crow Yoga strive to teach correct and safe alignment postures so that everyone may experience the benefit of each class.