Pop into River Gods on any given night, and you’ll be sharing the dim, tiny space with leering gargoyle statues and hipsters splitting orders of crispy fries. Guest DJs spin a mix of tunes in a loft above the bar as bartenders bustle about below, doling out Moscow mules and seasonal drafts.
Now celebrating 130 years of health, fitness, and community, YMCA remains true to its lasting mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages. Staff members uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, acceptance, and fairness as they invest in their community’s children and strengthen family bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. They pump up adult-fitness regimens with aquatic fitness and boot-camp classes, personal training, and a full gymnasium outfitted with equipment for basketball, boxing, and rope-skipping. They’ve also filled their fitness center with free weights, cardio equipment, and rowing machines. When they’re not helping adults trim down waistlines during yoga, cycling, and aerobics classes, staff members are getting back in touch with their inner children. They stimulate imagination, mental development, and growth as they lead children’s day camps, after-school programs, and youth basketball.
Cultural development is also a priority at the Cambridge YMCA, fulfilled through operas and plays held in Durrell Hall, the center's historic Victorian theater. This YMCA outpost further strengthens and unites the Cambridge community through its Central House facility, a 128-unit, substance-free housing complex that shelters men in need.
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.
Most of SaachaBYoga's yoga and movement classes have enrollments of eight or fewer students. This allows instructors to give each student individual attention, whether he or she signs up for morning Vinyasa yoga, prenatal yoga, Pilates, or more than a dozen other classes. SaachaBYoga's staff also performs massage, craniosacral therapy, and reiki healing.
Salsa y Control's instructors—who have performed and taught across the nation—welcome students for a variety of salsa classes. Beginner salsa courses help dancers develop basic steps, techniques, and etiquette, and more advanced courses delve into refining footwork and working with partners. Salsa y Control also offers intermediate classes, along with classes on bachata, burlesque, and cha cha.