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.
The variety of classes at Karma Yoga Studios might seem overwhelming at first. From beginners slow-paced yoga to heated core-power yoga, the studio doesn’t skimp on diversity. Beginners, though, need not worry, as the founder of Karma Yoga developed a special introductory course called PhysioYoga to ease students into their practice. All classes are taught by certified, passionate instructors eager to share the benefits of yoga with any person or flamingo that walks into one of their spacious, wood-floored studios. They designed their studios with green practices in mind, and all locations provide free, eco-friendly Manduka mats to students.
Black Lotus Yoga soothes and stretches students with a selection of strength-improving, mind-clearing classes that range from Hatha flow yoga to core power. Experienced instructors heat the studio to an average of 75 degrees with 50% humidity during classes, including the fast-paced Hour of Power class that employs a rigorous Vinyasa-style routine that aims to build strength. Level 2 Iyengar yoga challenges experienced flexperts with at least six months of experience to push their earthly vessel into back bends, handstands, and mat juggling, and the Mom and Baby class gives new mothers and their tiny charges an opportunity to bond and relax together in the studio's airy cork-floored space. The weekly wind-down session encourages a calm mind and body with meditation, pensive postures, and a slideshow of the teacher's recent Hawaiian vacation.
At Bikram Yoga Boston/Harvard Square, a 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 and prevent injuries. The Harvard Square location also offers massages that incorporate breathing techniques.