Though Christopher Bopp has won first place three times in a row at the New England Regional Yoga Asana Championships, he does not consider yoga a sport. For him, the art is a daily practice, one that assists with the regular upkeep of his body and mind. He and the certified instructors at Bikram Yoga Quincy hope to pass the basics of the technique on to others, who will in turn interpret them to suit their personal credos.
Because everyone's perception of yoga varies, Christopher encourages guests to attend classes from different instructors. The 90-minute class structure—26 asanas in a toasty studio—remains the same, but each teacher's character illuminates the lesson from a fresh angle. As the instructors’ personalities coalesce under a single yoga style, the end result is a diverse but dedicated community. Familial vibes fill the lobby after every class, when students and instructors can share crisp bites of fruit and figure out who was and was not a heat mirage.
Yoga can instill its practitioners with inner strength and peace, and Real Life Yoga helps students capture these qualities through more than just sun salutations. The studio conducts its hatha, vinyasa, yoga-Pilates combination, and other classes in an environment they've designed to be non-competitive, welcoming, and light-hearted. Owner Dee Lyon and her team of accomplished teachers proudly tout the stellar Yelp rating they've earned over nearly 15 years in business, welcoming brand-new students as well as yoga aficionados and providing mats to those without. The certified instructors encourage safe, healthy sessions, suggesting modifications that can ease stress and prevent discomfort, injury, or getting stuck that way, and non-yoga classes–including Tao T'ai- Chi, self-defense, and a high-energy combination of boxing, dance, and Pilates–provide experiences devoid of cobra position.
Channeling more than 60 years of experience in the health-and-fitness industry, Abington and Quincy Athletic Club's management staff has built two family-friendly facilities that aim to bestow each guest with personal treatment. Each building houses at least 20,000 square feet of workout space, including hardwood studios for group classes such as Zumba, Pilates, and Les Mills BodyPump. Cardio and strength gear from Nautilus, Magnum, FreeMotion, and Star Trac accommodates physiques of all fitness levels, from exercise amateurs to those who would rather wall-sit during movie dates. A squad of certified personal trainers and nutrition counselors steers patrons onto a custom pathway to wellness, and childcare services and senior programs broadcast welcoming vibes to club guests of all ages.
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.
If you had asked Brian Culkin years ago what he planned to do after an injury brought his professional basketball career to an end, he probably wouldn't have mentioned yoga. Culkin had graduated as the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Skidmore College basketball program, and he went on to play in the European circuit before returning to his native Boston to heal and recover his American accent. But despite success as the founder and CEO of a commercial and residential mortgage firm, Culkin felt unfulfilled. He abandoned his career in finance and moved to the renowned Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where he studied meditation, yoga, and gestalt therapy from 2008–2009.
Inspired by what he had learned, Culkin then worked as a consultant and trainer leading workshops at the OpenMind Training Institute. He traveled the globe to speak on topics such as peak performance, creativity, and human potential, and opened Jai Yoga to share his vast knowledge with others.
In addition to relaxing Hatha sessions and heated power Vinyasa flow classes, Culkin and his team offer age-appropriate yoga classes designed specifically for kids and teens. They also lead strength and conditioning classes, fusion-style barre classes that combine ballet and yoga, and meditation sessions that promote self-awareness better than an afternoon spent trapped in a house of mirrors.