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.
All four Total Fitness locations hold a variety of up-to-date fitness equipment and more than 25 energetically instructed classes. From cardio-kickboxing and spinning to Pilates and strength training, the fitness curriculum readies muscles and cardio systems to take on new challenges, such as running a marathon at the bottom of the ocean. Aspiring Zumbalinas can opt for Zumba classes to learn Latin dance moves; time-hindered humans can choose the power half-hour class, a core strengthening and high intensity cardio blast that burns calories like a flaming donut; and those in search of motivation can take boot camp, which comes complete with a military-esque instructor.
Atop sleek hardwood floors, students work through karate and aiki-jutsu moves at New England Martial Arts Dojo. Instructors teach traditional self-defense techniques during classes geared specifically toward beginners, advanced students, or families. To get students into fighting shape, the school also boasts a workout room with Olympic weightlifting bars, weight machines, and dumbbells.
At World Gym International’s Seekonk location, a full complement of cardio and weightlifting equipment awaits exercisers in an expansive, multilevel facility. Off of the main workout area, private studios are outfitted for yoga, Pilates, and circuit training. The facility also offers childcare services and group fitness classes daily.
Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness first opened its 35,000-square-foot fitness centers in 1979, and the specialists have since maintained a commitment to helping their members lead healthier lifestyles. They work in partnership with hospitals and medical professionals to stay keen on current research, turning this information into personal-training programs and professional advice for members of all fitness levels. In addition to programs in fitness and recreation, health education, and nutrition, Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness offers more than 60 group fitness classes. Members can shake up their routines with group cycling, yoga, and Pilates sessions, or tune out the surrounding world while burning calories on TV-equipped cardio machines. Member amenities also include basketball courts and an aquatics center in addition to outlets for kids including a youth activities center and babysitting services for kids that are tired of pretending to be their mom's fanny pack as she works out.
Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.