A mural of a radiant sun painted in oranges, reds, and yellows covers one of the walls at Portland Power Yoga, mimicking the warmth of the heated room where yoga instructors show ranks of students the proper way to extend their arms as they crouch on their mats. The heat helps facilitate deeper stretching and detoxification as students flow through sequences in 90-minute Basics, All Levels, or Intermediate classes. Instructors condense the same experience into a shorter session during Hour of Power classes and help groups hold extended poses in Yin Yoga, awakening students' connective tissues and convincing nearby deer that they’re actually statues. In addition to regular classes, the studio hosts community workshops with guest instructors and often works in tandem with the bodywork experts at Hara Holistic Health.
Bikram yoga isn't meant to be easy, but it isn't meant to be impossible either. The 105-degree heat, 40% humidity, and 26 challenging asanas—which incorporate deep bends as well as long, sustained stretches—all share a common goal: helping students safely push their physical limits while gaining a greater understanding of the connection between mind and body.
During each 90-minute class, the asanas' twists and arches create a tourniquet effect, systematically engaging muscle groups throughout the body before releasing the stretch and flooding cells with oxygenated blood flow. The practice room's intense heat accentuates this effect by loosening muscles and ligaments throughout each pose and increasing circulation. To help students tailor the practice to a particular skill or fitness level, the instructors can recommend modified stances that put less strain on the joints and require fewer hoverboots.
Over time, the sequence can improve flexibility and stamina while also increasing muscle tone and helping with weight-loss efforts. In addition, its two breathing exercises encourage a sense of introspective calm that can leave students feeling reinvigorated outside of class.
After years traveling the globe and working in the fitness industry, Stephen and Antonia Anderson wanted to design a fitness facility that was as beautiful as it was functional. The duo eventually realized this dream, opening The Body Architect within a lofty building with wooden beams, exposed brick walls, and wall-to-wall windows that proffer spectacular views of Portland and Mount Washington. In front of these windows, rows of professional Precor and Cybex machines bustle amid the clang of strength and TRX suspension training equipment. Meanwhile, up on the roof deck, certified instructors conduct a variety of fitness classes beneath the sun, including boot camps, yoga, and personal-training sessions. Additionally, an onsite massage therapist stands by to help untangle muscles or knotted gym socks before or after members unwind in serene spa-inspired showers.
In a mezzanine area flooded with natural light from arced windows, cardio machines stand alongside free weights and strength-training equipment, ready to help exercisers combat calories and stress levels. Instructors, meanwhile, inspire participants to reach their fitness goals during group fitness classes set to upbeat music, while instructors promote a stronger mind-body connection with styles ranging from Yoga, Booty Barre, and Pilates. For more in-depth work, guests can work with trainers certified by the likes of the National Strength and Conditioning Association?and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. The crew also includes registered nurse Maria Glad, whose 12-week and 12-month wellness programs complement the club's fitness activities.
Staffers at the organic, raw-food juice and smoothie bar stand by to whip up a healthy and satisfying snack after workouts, while vapor from the locker rooms? sauna and steam room loosens muscles.
The music programming at the nonprofit Maine Academy of Modern Music is designed to allow pupils to rock out to their favorite contemporary jams. During individualized lessons, teachers help students master the basics of rock instruments such as guitar, bass, drums, and more. From there, young rockers can enlist in one of the school's rock bands, where they'll learn to play alongside other musicians as a group. That, in turn, leads to performance opportunities, which the school sets up at renowned Portland venues like Bayside Bowl, Big Easy, Asylum, and the Old Port Festival.
Bands also assemble at the school's rock camps, where attendees not only rehearse originals and covers but also learn rock history and take field trips to local radio stations. Besides its in-house opportunities, the academy's outreach programs also supply local schools with everything from private concerts to master classes to ensure everyone has access to quality music education.
Because making art should always be fun, Paint On Tap bills itself not as an art class but as 'art entertainment.' During each session, artist, owner, and instructor Donna Nickerson leads students of all experience levels through easy-to-follow steps, using provided brushes and canvases. By the end of the session, each visitor completes a colorful masterpiece that they can take home and use to spruce up a bedroom or to hang over a boring Picasso in the dining room. The location and subject matter varies with each class, and wine or beer is available for purchase for artists over 21.