Ocean State Bikram Yoga’s spacious studio nestles cozily in a restored old mill, retrofitted with resilient carpeting, mirrored walls, and a host of private showers and dressing rooms. Inside a heated classroom, experienced instructors lead students of all skill levels through high-energy routines of Bikram-style yoga posturing. During each 90-minute tutorial, they shepherd practitioners through a swift rotation of 26 poses and two breathing exercises. Instructors calibrate each class to promote calorie-torching perspiration and release muscles from the shackles of overly tight ligaments, binding tendons, and rubber-band girdles. In addition to sparking caloric bonfires, consistently practiced Bikram yoga can chip away at chronic pain and help reverse the effects of injury by boosting circulation and mobility.
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Though Breathing Time Yoga is housed within an old jewelry textile mill built in the 1800s, its classes hearken back to an even earlier time. Beneath the lofty 20-foot ceilings, seasoned instructors—many of whom have completed several hundred hours of teacher training—practice ancient poses and breathing exercises designed to promote strength, flexibility, and inner peace. During heated yoga classes, they turn up the infrared heating system to deepen stretches, help bodies sweat out toxins, and prevent arctic penguins from waddling in and interrupting class. Within this communal practice area illuminated by the sunlight drifting through the oversize windows, they also host non-heated classes that explore the breath-fueled sequences of Vinyasa-style yoga and the lengthy, alignment-focused poses of the Iyengar tradition.
In addition to leading yoga routines for students of all levels, the instructors supply free spring water, tea, mats, and props. After class, they encourage students to socialize in the reception room or browse the onsite library. Those interested in bolstering their mind-body connections may also schedule private meetings with a certified yoga therapist or personal coaching from yoga teachers.
Jen McWaters' mat Pilates class mixes classic movements with props such as inflatable balls, yoga blocks, and the enigmatic vortex of fitness known only as the Magic Circle to keep Pilates pros on their toes. Taught by the studio's titular tutor, Jen McWalters, advanced mat Pilates is a fast-tempo testing ground for upper-level Pilates paladins. Beginner classes are also available for those who still experience enthusiastic, open-mouthed awe at the simplest of Pilates maneuvers. Check the schedule for class times; all classes are drop-in, so there's no need to register ahead of time. After 10 classes, your body will as finely tuned as a fresh-out-of-the-factory What About Bob? pinball machine.
Many an aesthetic problem has yielded to Norma Cataldo, the clinical director of Cosmetic Laser Solutions. She has been fixing dermal flaws with noninvasive beams of light for more than 10 years, remedying conditions such as wrinkles, sun spots, cellulite, and spider veins.
At the clinic, she is supported by Dr. Patrick Marasco, a board-certified plastic surgeon. With their combined skills, they are able to treat patients to more invasive procedures in their in-office surgical suite as well as lively harmonies over the intercom system.
Gold's Gym began more than 45 years ago and today features an impressive array of next-generation fitness gadgets, a results-oriented focus, and clean facilities. New members can mimic the toned muscles of action heroes and body-builder babies with a two-month membership, which includes full access to the exercise arena including group classes, 135 pieces of equipment, a cardio cinema movie theater, and country-club locker rooms. Neophyte ironworkers can follow up with regular attendance at the gym, where they can hop on a cardio machine, pump up in a controlled manner on strength-training machines, tighten up in the abdominal and functional stretching area, or stick with lifting huge, heavy pieces of metal and commercial chest freezers.
Founder Elyse Rotondo marshals her Master's in elementary education and more than 100 hours of children's yoga training to foster self-confidence and health-consciousness in youngsters. Courses run the growth gamut, catering to limber little ones, toddlers, tweens, and teens. Parents and progeny can bond in Baby Itsy Bitsy Yoga (for infants 6 weeks old to just crawling, 45 minutes) as yogis teach parents more than 150 infant asanas designed to calm colicky babies, promote digestion, and boost immune systems. Yogi-Tots (for kids 3–4 years old, 45 minutes) engages kiddies with yoga games, puppet shows, singing, and dancing, and Get Bent (for kids 13 and older, one hour) enlightens older namaste novices with exercises and activities that focus on flexibility and self-esteem building, resulting in confidence that can touch its own toes.
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