It was the early 1980s, and after devoting about a decade of her life to fitness, Zayna Gold felt like her body was beaten up. Over time, she began noticing that her high-intensity gym workouts were hurting her body as much as—if not more than—they were helping it. Her husband, Clark, was having the same problem. An avid weightlifter and runner, he found the physical wear and tear was starting to prevent him from maintaining his physique. Zayna recalled teaching Pilates early on in her career, and how it worked her entire body with low-impact movements. She returned to the lengthening and strengthening classes, and by 1989, she and Clark founded Boston Body Pilates.
Their mat, equipment, and barre classes each call upon low-impact stretches and resistance moves that strengthen the core, elongate muscles, and promote overall muscle tone. Zayna's signature program, Brand New Body, challenges students to complete 30 Pilates or barre classes over 2–3 months; and upon completion, they may notice significant changes to their figure. The schedule also includes spinning classes, in diverse variations such as Zen Spin and Spin Bootcamp. In any class, Zayna and her large team of instructors inspire their students to establish a mind-body connection, helping them to feel both physically and mentally stronger, much like solving a crossword puzzle carved in stone.
A team of some of the most seasoned yoga teachers in the Untied States from various yoga styles shepherds students through sequences that range from gentle flow to physically demanding poses in classes that draw from Hatha, Vinyasa, and heated traditions. Every aspect of Down Under Yoga's design sprung from the minds of practicing yogis. Their students created the layout for the many-windowed, earth-toned studio, created the art and photography on the walls and bonsai trees.
They also serve up side dishes of Pilates, world dance, and Gyrokinesis, in which participants perform flowing, circular movements using a chair and mat, with the seamless flow allowing it to be done by all clients, including senior citizens and those with disabilities. In workshops, teachers and guest instructors discuss specialized topics, such as the role yoga plays in building core strength or ameliorating back pain. Ensuring that their moral compass points due north, Down Under Yoga refuses to sell overpriced apparel or environmentally damaging water bottles, or to accept corporate money to promote products.
Each of Beacon Hill Athletic Clubs' cheerful neighborhood locations pairs group exercise classes with a phalanx of cardio, strength-training, and free-weight fitness equipment. Gym members can tone bodies with Precor treadmills or pound Cybex machines to be able to fight them when they become self-aware. A well-cultivated balance of strength and cardio equipment ensures that bodies don't become too lean, too muscular, or too attached to heartbreaking maverick dumbbells. Join the parked peloton in a group spinning class and meet fellow soma-slimmers while racing to the top of imaginary hills and bunny-hopping over make-believe lawn gnomes and very real leprechauns. Round out your gymsperience by signing up for group offerings, including Pilates, tai chi, and yoga classes.
Helmed by a mother-daughter duo, The Paint Bar nurtures budding artists through themed painting classes set in a welcoming atmosphere. Brush-stroking disciples receive step-by-step guidance from skilled instructors, who lead classes designed to replicate a specific image, such as the famous Citgo sign, Boston's skyline, or van Gogh’s lesser known masterpiece, Frowny Emoticon. The Paint Bar supplies Monets-in-training with a 16"x20" canvas, paint, brushes, an easel, and an apron, though painters should wear clothes they don't mind getting splattered. Classes are generally held four or five times per week, at varying time slots; check out the calendar to reserve a spot, as class space is limited. Though this Groupon is not valid for alcohol, The Paint Bar offers an intoxicating selection of brews, wine, and all of the 1975 issues of Popular Mechanics.
Gymnasium combines traditional, results-oriented fitness methods with contemporary exercise science. Gymnasium's essential philosophy emphasizes holistic well-being as much as it does verifiable science, so workouts harness quickly efficient equipment such as ropes, kettlebells, and sandbags. Attempt freeform fitness in In-n-Out Workouts, or attend a group session, such as the Sweat-Shop complete workout (balance, core, strength, cardio, and mobility), Forest Yoga for All, or Medieval Fencing and Combat, which gives sword fans a low-impact workout and practice for future basilisk encounters (see the schedule for class days and times). The dedicated, friendly staff is happy to help first-time worker-outers find a perfect routine to achieve a sound mind and body just in time for the office's swimsuit-karaoke contest that will determine the next round of promotions.
Whether training one-on-one or leading small-group classes, the trainers at Vitality Personal Fitness Inc. give everyone individualized attention. A cap of eight students per class ensures close supervision as participants swing kettlebells, lift weights, and pull against TRX resistance bands during functional-training exercises. The practicality of these movements effectively enhances not only strength but also agility and balance—skills valued in numerous sports and physical activities.
The trainers’ commitment to wellness expands beyond their clients to encompass the entire planet. Whenever possible, they ride their bikes to the eco-friendly building where they recycle, compost, and use a water-filtration system instead of plastic bottles or coal-powered drinking fountains. To encourage their clients to go green, they offer a $20 gift certificate to members who walk to the studio 10 times.
Native Bostonians and Mass Art graduates Caterina Urrata and David Weintraub share a passion for the sinuous geometries of glass. They've shaped that passion under some of the top blowers and lampworkers in the field. Their preferred aesthetic emphasizes intricate form, in stemware and vessels that incorporate the delicate curve of a seahorse's back or mischievously twisting horns over a devilish visage. Sculptures range from eerily suspended bowls held up by their frozen contents to monolithic forms bearing tribalesque patterns. And Weintraub's vetrographs are, if possible, even more inimitable: he devised the process himself, flashing light through carefully constructed glass forms onto photo paper to create images that evoke primitive life forms growing in caves or under subway seats.
The couple practice their delicate craft in a studio-cum-gallery in Newton Upper Falls. Besides providing an eyeful for any glass-loving gawker, they occasionally also offer introductory classes to the multifaceted art.