When Brandy Hill opened her own studio, she named it after the banyan tree. This massive plant supports itself by perpetually extending new branches and roots—a quality that symbolizes eternal life in Hindu mythology. At Banyan Tree Yoga, she and her team of seasoned instructors hope to give students a sanctuary where they can put down roots and find balance through yoga, during a range of classes that range from therapeutic yin and restorative classes to strength building Vinyasa sessions.
Inside a spacious studio equipped with yoga blocks, a children's play area, and cubby holes for hermit-crab poses, yogis and their progeny can bond during Mommy and Me yoga, and moms-to-be can offload some of the muscular tension that comes from carrying an littlun in Prenatal classes.
Divided between two locations in Manchester and Nashua, Vertical Dreams' 15,000 square feet of simulated mountainside are packed with obstacles and tough sections to challenge climbers of all skill levels. At the Manchester gym, gutted elevator shafts lined with hand grips extend four stories upward, creating 70-foot vertical surfaces. The Nashua location boasts 10,000 square feet of wall space, with textured surfaces that respond realistically to climber's hands and feet and fill their nostrils with simulated rock smells.
Vertical Dreams' staff of veteran climbers teaches students one-on-one or in groups. In beginner lesson packages, instructors show aspiring climbers the figurative and literal ropes involved in belaying, climbing, and knot tying, and the teachers in advanced top-roping and sport-climbing classes push their students' abilities to climb solo or in a lead position.
Atlantis Sports Club knows that people are more likely to reach their fitness goals if they enjoy their workouts. That's why every element of their spacious gyms is designed to create an experience that will leave members with restored and refreshed minds and bodies. From the moment visitors step into the elegant locker rooms to the point they kick back in a relaxing steam room, they encounter up-to-date equipment and stylish design elements. Members can pump iron with state-of-the-art machines and free weights, or join others for group fitness classes such as energetic Zumba, intense body sculpting, and mind-centering yoga. Certain locations bring an even better treat—the Nashua club features an outdoor pool and a patio, for instance, while the Cambridge location furnishes a junior Olympic size salt-water pool that sits beneath a retractable glass roof.
Dena Carbone has spent 16 years practicing yoga, and in that time she has earned a Hatha certification from the AFAA, rigorously studied the Kripalu style of yoga, and even opened her own studio. At the appropriately named Yoga…Redefined, Carbone draws on her knowledge to blend the Hatha and Kripalu styles in an innovative class available to students of all levels. She has also developed a signature arsenal of modifications, some of which are designed specifically for breast cancer survivors and sufferers of many autoimmune conditions.
Carbone’s thoughtful twists on traditional poses make yoga accessible to anyone. She has even been known to get playful from time to time, as is the case in a Yoga Funk session set to an upbeat soundtrack. Other classes focus on teaching moms to practice yoga with their newborns or helping teens deal with the awkward tails they grew in puberty.
Equipment: Lifetime Fitness equipment, TRX, kettlebells, ellipticals, treadmills, etc.
Average class length: 55-60 minutes
Number of Staff: 5–10 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Come ready for a transformation
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