Nobody will mistake Mountain Therapeutics for an ancient Buddhist temple, but the two have more in common than one might think. This is all thanks to licensed massage therapists David Schoenberg and business partner Marisa DelMonaco, whose mutual interest in Buddhist teachings led them to master traditional Thai yoga massage. With a history that stretches back three millennia, this form of bodywork requires a deep commitment on the therapist’s part. This did not deter David. If anything, he was attracted to the ways in which Thai yoga massage exemplifies the Buddhist principles of kindness and compassion.
Today, David administers the slow, rhythmic strokes of Thai yoga massage within the serene confines of their shared studio. When he isn’t using their thumbs, palms, elbows, and feet to seek out sen—or energy—lines across the body, he works to alleviate chronic pains with neuromuscular therapy and increase muscles’ range of movement with myofascial therapy. Considering the holistic emphasis of most of their massages, it’s not surprising that he also offers detoxifying colonics and nutritional coaching to ensure that clients aren’t getting all of their iron from anvil shavings.
Marianne Chapin, owner of Kneading Hands Yoga for the past 10 years, takes a well-rounded approach to stress relief and wellness by marshalling years of yoga teaching experience. To help her run the studio, she has assembled a team of eight certified instructors who bring a wide range of skills to yoga classes. Available classes, all of which take place in a spacious and clean studio, include relaxing and meditative Hatha yoga, strength and stamina boosting hot-yoga sessions where temperatures of up to 98 degrees render muscles more pliable, and Pilates classes that build core strength and focus.
Bikram Yoga Shelton's certified instructors lead 90-minute classes that take place within a sultry practice space with 58% humidity and temperatures that reach as high as 103 degrees. In the therapeutic heat, they help students of all abilities achieve deeper, safer stretches and detoxifying perspiration. They walk their pupils through two breathing exercises and a powerful sequence of 26 standing and seated poses in each class to challenge muscles more effectively than bench-pressing a chakra. Each posture helps unleash torrents of oxygenating circulation throughout the body, promoting healthy organ function as the sustained stretches bolster stamina and flexibility. After class, students can rinse themselves in the onsite showers and retrieve any restless spirit animals they stashed in the studio's lockers.
The chief yoga instructors on a staff of dozens, Gina Norman and Stan Woodman aren’t your average couple—or even your average yoga studio owners. A world traveler with a longtime interest in mind-body work, Gina followed her path to Thailand, where she learned the local yoga practice, and then to India, where she studied up on vipassana meditation. Prior to opening Kaia Yoga Complete Wellness Center, Stan was a snowboarding addict and decades-long yoga practitioner living in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Today, the two strive to offer “a yoga for everyone,” with a lineup that includes smooth Vinyasa practice, disciplined Ashtanga poses, hot yoga in a 95-degree studio, and family-friendly fitness classes. After working up a sweat exercising or reciting Ulysses in one of the studio’s classes, students can take the heat off with soothing, natural spa services such as massages, body scrubs, and energy healing. With a long menu of pampering therapies, no aspect of the body leaves Kaia wanting for its own treatment, and the onsite vegetarian café’s baked goods, wraps, juices, and smoothies help guests with the other kind of bodily nourishment.
Fairfield Hot Yoga’s seasoned instructors gather yogis of all skill levels for 90-minute classes to burn off calories and pent-up stress in a 90- to 105-degree practice space. The studio’s signature hot-yoga class revolves around a constant series of 26 poses students perform to sculpt muscles throughout the body. During power vinyasa, students work from pose to pose in the practice space, warming its floors with rising body temperatures as they use breathing exercises to transition from sun salutations, arm balances, and backbends. Throughout each workout, the studio’s intense heat boosts blood flow and loosens ligaments to make the body more lithe than a pipe cleaner dancing Swan Lake.
If you add up the doctors of chiropractic, licensed massage therapists, and registered yoga teachers, Balanced Body Chiropractic Center has more than 15 wellness professionals working to help clients heal and strengthen their bodies. The Center specializes in chiropractic—the practice of making small adjustments to fix misalignments of the spin—aiming to treat maladies such as allergies, joint dysfunction, neck and back pain, and headaches. In addition to adjustments, the Center’s professionals offer healing and relaxing massage therapy, yoga, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, and psychotherapy.