Despite many obvious differences, new yogis and fighter pilots share a common fear: turning upside-down for the first time. At Yoga Sakti, however, instructors have installed a yoga wall that acts as a fail-safe for students who want to practice their inversions. A system of straps and props support pupils as they attempt advanced postures or strive to overcome physical difficulties, such as back problems. An aid for beginners and experts alike, the wall also acts as a symbol of the large studio's welcoming, encouraging atmosphere.
When they aren't manning the wall, yoga instructors lead classes in a wide variety of styles, from heated Vinyasa sequences to mellow gentle-stretch sessions or even mellower Nap in Your Parked Car seminars. Variety is a major theme running through the gym's curriculum: TRX routines bookend spin classes and ballet-barre workouts or combine with kettlebell swings to form one of several combo classes. For a more meditative visit, guests can explore the onsite wellness center, where massage, acupuncture, and hypnosis therapy aim to calm the mind.
B&S Fitness Program is composed of four different fitness-related branches, all of which are overseen by cofounders Brandi and Steven Dion. At North Shore Boot Camp Company, Brandi and Steven, along with their staff, lead indoor and outdoor boot-camp classes at locations across Massachusetts. On the track, they coordinate marathons and triathlons throughout the year for B&S Event Management, and hit the races themselves as part of a running team called SpiderOne Racing. Since every team needs a home base, the duo also operates B&S Sport Science, a 10,700-square-foot facility devoted to research- and technology-based services such as ACL rehab and personal training.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape For Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating strength-training sessions—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each client's abilities while still ensuring they are challenging themselves. Then comes high-intensity cardio interval-training sessions in which trainers encourage exercisers to achieve optimal results on the treadmill or elliptical.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day as a "free day" for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To hold their women accountable, trainers talk nutrition on the floor during scheduled appointments, and the ladies' progress toward reaching their goals is measured by trainers each week.
At the Lynn YMCA, members can workout in the gym and then record a song about it. Thanks to recent upgrades made possible by the Boston Celtics Foundation, professional-grade music equipment aids aspiring artists in their musical endeavors. Elsewhere at the Lynn Y, the usual amenities abound, including a six-lane, 25-yard lap swimming pool, an indoor track, a basketball gym, and two racquetball courts. The expansive gym has men-only and women-only workout areas, as well as a coed Nautilus Center stocked with free weights and cardio equipment. Lynn Y also boasts an air-conditioned aerobics studio that holds more than 30 classes each week.
The diverse team of practitioners at Eternal Balance helps to tune out the chatter of the outside world and rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit with reiki, massage, and private yoga services. The intimate healing studio, tucked away in the Cummings Center, contains a private massage treatment room where the therapist tenderizes sore muscles and unties braided tendons with Swedish, deep-tissue, and prenatal techniques.
A nearby classroom hosts groups of students during life-enhancing workshops, such as The Art of Natural Breathing. The studio's owner, Olga, a trained reiki practitioner and yoga instructor, concludes each session with an improvised haiku to brighten each client’s aura.
During the winter, people often miss the smell of the beach. Unless they have a membership at Beverly Athletic Club, that is. The gym boasts a 65-foot indoor pool, heated to a comfortable temperature, and filled with saltwater mild enough not to sting anyone's eyes. Visitors can take a dip in its ocean-emulating confines during open swim, or hit up an array of pool-based classes such as Aquatic Zumba, a less-stressful alternative to tap-dancing over a dunk tank.
Of course, the unique chlorine-free pool is just one of the benefits BAC offers its members. Its two locations boast group fitness classes, which run the gamut from RPM, an indoor cycling program, to BodyCombat, a martial arts-inspired workout that draws on disciplines such as karate, muay thai, and boxing. Personal trainers, meanwhile, lead more personalized workouts, while a childcare center helps little visitors learn to love an active lifestyle by providing access to play structures such as a rock wall and ball pit.