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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Sunlight streams through stained-glass totems inside the spacious studio at Eyes of the World Yoga. In terms of class offerings, students can exhale the exertions of the day away with slow stretching sequences and rhythmic breathing implemented during mellow yoga. Likewise, semi-limber limbs can flow through the basics of posture and alignment during a fundamentals class, which, like a cannon strapped to a rocking horse, is aimed at all levels.
In the world of mind-body wellness, Motion Center's founder, Kaeli Abrahams Sutton, is a triple threat: she boasts experience and certifications in dance, yoga, and massage therapy. Kaeli teams up with codirector, Naama Gidron, and a band of certified yoga instructors to share her passion with students through a robust schedule of classes suitable for clients that range from the true beginner to the veteran sun saluter.
Styles range from alignment- and strength-focused disciplines of lyengar and ashtanga yoga to prenatal classes that emphasize core strength and inner calm. Students can also express themselves with ropes, which they can use to support themselves while sinking into deeper postures or to pretend they have the world’s largest Twizzler. In addition to instructors who teach drop-in classes, the Motion Center staffs a small fleet of licensed massage therapists versed in modalities such as deep tissue, prenatal, and muscular therapy.
Before she took her first yoga class in 2003, Kelly O'Connell led a very different life than she does today. According to a story by Leigh Medeiros of Seekonk-Swansea Patch, O'Connell spent her days stretching herself thin as a principal in a stock brokerage firm before she decided to try a new kind of stretching: heated yoga. Through the practice, O'Connell found herself growing not only more physically flexible, but also more mentally adaptable. She told Medeiros, "I used to get lost in my emotions, but now there’s space between me and everything else that happens in the world. In that space there’s peace.”
To share the inner harmony she had discovered, O'Connell earned her yoga-instructor certification in 2008. She went on to complete several advanced trainings, including becoming a certified yoga life coach, a certified yoga personal trainer, and an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500) through Yoga Alliance. Today she owns and operates Yoga One, where she and her team guide adults and kids toward finding balance both in and out of the studio. They also host teacher trainings and events, including a book club, Reiki sessions, and meditation workshops featuring chocolate tastings that stimulate the mind and taste buds better than eating a haiku written in alphabet soup.
Owner Richard Lanza began Open Doors as a metaphysical healing center and store in 1992, and he carried that healing spirit into the yoga studio he opened in 2003. At Open Doors Yoga Studios, Richard's goal is to create a space where people feel empowered to explore their personal beliefs on a path toward self-healing. Thus, yoga instructors at the studio's numerous locations help practitioners achieve their personal goals through accessible classes, each designed to build core strength while quieting the mind and increasing body awareness. From slow-flow heated classes to unheated Hatha sessions, students can participate in a variety of yoga styles geared toward beginners, more experienced participants, and those who only feel comfortable in a 98-degree room.
Raffa Yoga is not a standard yoga studio, which is apparent right away from its wide variety of yoga classes that range from consciousness-raising Prana flow to rockin' hip-hop yoga and trapeze-like, aerial antigravity yoga. During classes, percussionists tap out soothing drumbeats as students find their center. An oversize golden Buddha mural looks over the classroom, prompting students to contemplate spirituality and wonder if the real guy ever wanted to just take a day off work and take a nice long nap.
Raffa Yoga’s active relaxation center includes Urban Sweat, a stress retreat composed of 21 massage and treatment rooms and 6 heat-therapy rooms. The eco-friendly space soothes the senses with ingredients such as eucalyptus and yellow turmeric, which is known for its anti-inflammatory qualities.
After emerging from the studio’s Himalayan-salt grotto, guests can sip a healthy, hydrating beverage at the juice-cleanse bar. They can also browse the selection of accessories in the full-service yoga boutique.