A basket greets visitors at the entrance to Soula Grove, inviting them to kick off their shoes before they pad through the door. Inside, up to eight students or two fitness-focused octopodes gather inside a cozy studio space that hosts yoga, Pilates, and meditation sessions for all skill levels. During each type of class, seasoned instructors guide pupils toward greater levels of inner calm and mind-body balance. Traditional Hatha Yoga classes revolve around ancient poses and breathing exercises that strengthen the muscles while centering the mind, and private hatha instruction can focus on alignment of specific poses or larger fitness goals such as toning the limbs and boosting flexibility. Filled with core-sculpting isometrics, Pilates mat classes help make physiques as long and stretchy as a slinky made of string cheese. Many classes conclude with relaxation treatments, which range from soothing eye masks to cool cloths scented with lavender or peppermint.
In its mission to elevate students to another level of physical and mental balance, ReCharge Pilates and Barre doesn't reject its industrial environment. Instead, it embraces it. Featuring exposed brick walls and pipes, bare mahogany floors, and sparse decor, the studio surrounds students with a minimal space lit mostly by giant windows and the fire of a mystical, eternal torch. Here, four classes blend the techniques of Pilates and barre fitness, and occasionally incorporate other exercise styles. Much like these classes, ReCharge's owner, Sloan Rachmuth, draws from several disciplines. The Stott Pilates–certified instructor's passion for wellness has led her to study psychology at Harvard, develop a clinical weight-loss program, and open more than one fitness studio.
Husband-and-wife team Eric and Valine Zeigler strive to transform fitness into a party with their high-energy Zumba classes. The pair makes attendees sweat with easy-to-follow dance moves set to invigorating Latin tunes. With a consistent series of Zumba workouts, patrons can shed pounds or win at job interviews with their stepping skills.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
At Snap Fitness’ 24-hour gym, guests come and go armed with their access keys and are able to work out at their convenience. Around the gym, rows of cardio machines and stacks of free weights stand by as personal trainers show guests the most efficient ways to pump iron and bench-press their old refrigerators.
At Franklin Street Yoga Center, visitors can expose their federation of limbs to a fitness fest helmed by a skilled staff of muscle menders. Boost blood circulation and sledgehammer stress deposits into milk-shake powder with classes that include the flow- and balance-oriented Chakra Vinyasa (for all levels), the breath-centric Bhakti Vinyasa flow (designed for students with prior experience), and the steady-paced power hour (for all levels). Lay down the meditative concrete for a tranquil foundation with a bevy of poses that strengthen the core, improve flexibility, and provide newfound clear-headedness that obviates the need for Magic 8-Balls.