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.
With a diverse menu of therapeutic massage techniques, Natural Healing Center offers a respite from the daily shuffle of work, family, and snorkeling for change at the mall fountain. As a private room flickers with candlelight, the licensed massage therapist can melt muscles with soothing hot stones, or access lower-layer aches with firmer trigger-point pressure. Guests may also request a custom sports massage to improve range of motion and athletic performance. Drivers can park four-wheeled friends for free after 1:30 p.m. behind the spa, and train travelers can hike the short distance from Porter Square. Wifi is also available within the building.
If you've never been to a Healthworks gym before, today's Groupon is just for you (sorry, regulars). It gets you a "class pass," which lets you attend classes at any of Healthworks' five locations: Back Bay, Brookline, Cambridge, Chestnut Hill, or Salem. You can also use the locker rooms, saunas, steam rooms and whirlpools. Work out, then relax in the bubbling waters and daydream about how good you'll look when bathing suit season rolls around. And because Healthworks is women-only, Larry Leering and Stanley Stare-Master won't be around to ogle you as you bust the moves.
“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.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape For Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating strength-training sessions—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each client's abilities while still ensuring they are challenging themselves. Then comes high-intensity cardio interval-training sessions in which trainers encourage exercisers to achieve optimal results on the treadmill or elliptical.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day as a "free day" for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To hold their women accountable, trainers talk nutrition on the floor during scheduled appointments, and the ladies' progress toward reaching their goals is measured by trainers each week.