Yoga has been a part of Robin’s life since 1968, though it didn’t completely take hold until 1999 when she became a certified instructor. Since then, she has built a community of holistic healing around her yoga practice with Robin’s Yoga & Healing Center, LLC, offering wellness services such as thai yoga bodywork, reiki, and breath-work sessions.
Soni Anderson has been a yoga enthusiast since infancy. As a baby in the Fiji islands, she received yoga massage from her grandmother while her grandfather danced and performed stories from ancient Hindu texts. Her village endorsed meditation and an Ayurvedic lifestyle, prompting Soni to practice her asanas alongside extended family and friends as she matured. Today, as the owner and head teacher of SoniYoga, she strives to combine her grandfather's playful mindset with the therapeutic customs of her homeland.
SoniYoga focuses on the Hatha style, though its studio also embraces restorative, Kundalini, and yin and yang postures during certain classes. A serene atmosphere of acceptance welcomes all students to challenge themselves each time they visit, whether they wish to push the boundaries of their flexibility with a more advanced pose or with a more restrictive suit of armor. Soni also channels her holistic upbringing by offering Ayurvedic counseling, products, and massage services which can help customize a wellness plan for clients based on their body types.
Kismet Wellness Center's staff creates a community where spa services and group exercise combine to help health-seekers achieve wellness. The prudent therapists combine diverse massage techniques such as deep tissue, Swedish and hot stone to personalize each body’s treatment. Reflections retreat before a bipedal onslaught in the kickboxing class and hips roll and bounce through the Latin-dance workout of a Zumba session, which adds subtle hints of Latin flavor to a workout without using vats of salsa for resistance. Test abdominal endurance through Pilates pumping or stretch sinews along bones in a yoga class.
Self Awakening Yoga Studio owner Barbara Sterling describes its mission as guiding students toward a sense of balance that helps them be present in their own lives. Glossy, eco-friendly bamboo floor spans 1,900 square feet of airy studio space, whose white walls are painted with large-scale lotuses and Eastern designs. The studio fosters a community atmosphere with complimentary coffee and tea and by lending books, magazines, DVDs, and CDs to students for use at home.
The studio’s instructors have a variety of reasons for coming to the practice of yoga, whether it was recommended by a doctor after an injury, the solution to physical stress from marathon running or rugby, or the life-changing vocation of a close friend. Consequently, they teach classes and workshops that address a variety of needs through a spectrum of yoga styles, including hot yoga, Vinyasa flow, and Iyengar. Memberships and private lessons are also available to let students adjust the frequency and individual attention of their own curricula.
Husband-and-wife team and Prana Power Yoga cofounders Philippe and Taylor Wells foster an environment in which clients can explore holistic wellness through yoga, intensive workshops, and events. Instructors at each heated studio locations roll out the welcome yoga mats, encouraging students of all interests and skill levels, from mothers-to-be to veteran sun saluters, to build strong bodies and peaceful minds in a judgment-free environment. During athletic Vinyasa-style yoga classes, certified instructors crank up temperatures as high as 99 degrees before taking mat mavens through a sequence of sweaty postures linked with mindful breathing exercises designed to boost lung capacity to Sting-like levels. Meanwhile, visitors in search of a transformative experience can attend one of the studio's workshops or events, which range from juice cleanses to destination yoga retreats in Nayarit, Mexico.
Bikram Choudhury requires a lot out of his teachers before he's willing to let them borrow his moniker. Each of Bikram Yoga Merrimack Valley's instructors has completed the nine-week course required for certification with Choudhury himself, including more than 600 hours of training. Every three years, they return for another bout of training to keep their skills sharp and instruction fresh.
Instructors pack all this knowledge into Bikram Yoga Merrimack Valley's 1,500-square-foot workout space, heated by a custom system designed to reach high temperatures with ease. The studio owners respect the environment with low-eco-impact carpeting, green cleaning supplies, and by frequently thanking the potted plants that guard the front door.