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.
Owner Richard Lanza began Open Doors as a metaphysical healing center and store in 1992, and he carried that healing spirit into the yoga studio he opened in 2003. At Open Doors Yoga Studios, Richard's goal is to create a space where people feel empowered to explore their personal beliefs on a path toward self-healing. Thus, yoga instructors at the studio's numerous locations help practitioners achieve their personal goals through accessible classes, each designed to build core strength while quieting the mind and increasing body awareness. From slow-flow heated classes to unheated Hatha sessions, students can participate in a variety of yoga styles geared toward beginners, more experienced participants, and those who only feel comfortable in a 98-degree room.
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 hatha, vinyasa, yoga-Pilates combination, and other classes in an environment they've designed to be non-competitive, welcoming, and light-hearted. Owner Dee Lyon and her team of accomplished teachers proudly tout the stellar Yelp rating they've earned over nearly 15 years in business, welcoming brand-new students as well as yoga aficionados and 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, and non-yoga classes–including Tao T'ai- Chi, self-defense, and a high-energy combination of boxing, dance, and Pilates–provide experiences devoid of cobra position.
After a fast-paced 20-year career working in public television, Fay Sutherland shifted her focus to her other passion: yoga. Drawing from 15 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.
We are basically a "neighborhood Hatha Yoga studio." All of our classes and each of our teachers have a "common thread" feel to them as a whole - a warm room, but reasonable temperature and humidity level, plenty of oxygen to breath, an emphasis on alignment and breath and reasonably paced vinyasa are included.
South End Yoga owner-instructor Patrice Flesch has been studying yoga for nearly four decades, but it was Kripalu yoga that finally inspired her to become a certified yoga instructor. Extremely accessible to newcomers and people with physical limitations, the discipline is distinguished by an extensive system of pose modifications that build flexibility gradually. Flesch applies these principles outside the studio in work with Alzheimer’s, cardiac, and cancer patients at her home base, a tucked-away space on a leafy street lined with row houses that all have excellent posture. Many of the classes at South End Yoga are tailored to accommodate students of all backgrounds, and most are limited to a small number of students.
Among other styles of yoga, Iyengar classes incorporate lightweight props to methodically tone muscles. Some classes are designed specifically with moms and moms-to-be in mind. During prenatal yoga, expectant mothers work on focused breathing and gentle stretching, whereas Mom & Baby classes incorporate tiny tots in a series of toning stretches.