Ancient Himalayan singing bowls and the calming tone of a gong envelop The Conduit Center’s space as individuals lie comfortably on pillows and blankets, letting the deep vibrations and soothing sounds lull them into a deep meditative state. These sound-meditation concerts are just one aspect of the center’s meditation services, which are designed to create a state of effortless relaxation for each participant. Guests can also opt for vibrational sound massage and singing-bowl sessions, both of which use vibration and sound to calm the entire body while boosting mental focus, helping the body heal while making ordinary soup bowls seem sadly inadequate.
In addition to meditation, the center conducts yoga, tai chi, and qigong classes that are both challenging and accessible to all levels of participants. Complimentary herbal teas, massage therapy, and individual or marriage counseling are also offered as part of the center's goals to create a tranquil environment where each individual can quell anxieties and start a personal journey of self-exploration.
The Fitathlon Challenge blends the format and philosophy of decathlons and triathlons with the accessibility of a 5K. Great for all fitness levels, the event divides participants into four categories—Newbie, Beginner, Challenger, and Competitor. Separated into waves, runners move through a course fraught with obstacles designed to test strength, endurance, athleticism, and mental toughness. These obstacles include tire flips, wall climbs, and hill sprints that leave bodies sweaty and fatigued and minds feelings as confused as a fish in a geology class. Those competing in the Competitor division are eligible for cash and prizes awarded to the top three finishers in the male and female groups. A portion of all proceeds goes to benefit a local charity.
M.E.L.T. Fitness Studio's trainers see each body can be defined and molded with the appropriate exercises. Rather than a standard group workout for all their clients, they provide what they call group personal training, modifying and accentuating various exercises to the ability level of their students. They stick to a theme each day, reserving Tuesdays for fat-burning blasts, Fridays for abdominal work, and Saturdays for m.e.l.t.ed cardio, which burns as much fat as possible while building cardio endurance. Within that theme, they provide personal variations for each client to accommodate fitness level or injuries, very often naturally relieving chronic pain by carefully strengthening muscles around the affected area.
Each instructor at Evolution Pilates is certified through Stott Pilates, which requires a minimum of 200 hours of training. Backed by this certification, the instructors lead private and group classes for all types of exercisers, from beginners to experienced athletes. The classes incorporate equipment such as reformers, which help exercisers build lean muscles.
After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, certified instructor Gina McCray turned to yoga as a way to help improve both her mental and physical health. Now the teacher at Inner Light & Soul Yoga, Gina leads groups of about 12 yogis through the bends and stretches of Kripalu yoga. The yoga style goes beyond stretching the body, employing meditation to flex the mind and the spirit more effectively than using telekinesis to levitate a diary. As the mother of a child with special needs, Gina also offers a specially designed session for special-needs children aged 12–17 on Saturday mornings. Inner Light & Soul's tranquil studio sets the scene for refreshment with bright green walls and a painted mural.
Olympic lifts, gymnastics, and calisthenics. When you take elements of all three and perform them at a high intensity, you get CrossFit. At CrossFit South Windsor, founders Merle McKenzie and Glenn Perra create total-body workouts that change daily to keep muscles guessing. Merle and Glenn have found that CrossFit is one of the best ways to bolster physical power, speed, and agility, but they also value its easy scalability. Students of all abilities can find an intensity that works for them, all while keeping boredom at bay with rapidly changing exercises.