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.
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.
9th to the Nth is the final concert in the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra's 2009–2010 classical series. Led by acclaimed conductor Larry Rachleff, the longtime music director for the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the orchestra will allegro and adagio its way through the "Stairway to Heaven" of classical music—Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, featuring the acclaimed "Ode to Joy" choral theme and performed with the assistance of the Providence Singers. The Ninth Symphony was Beethoven's final complete symphony, and, at over an hour, it is his longest. In the 186 years since its original premiere, it has gone on to be one of the world's most recognizable non-Ohio Players pieces of music. Also appearing on the "9th to the Nth" program is Decoration Day, written by American composer Charles Ives.
At Shape Up East Providence, instructors bring together the thrill of dancing and the satisfaction of a good workout. In Zumba classes, passionate instructors walk students through accessible dance moves, stringing steps together into cardio routines set to energetic music. Aside from regular Zumba workouts, they also host Zumba Toning—a variant that outfits guests with maraca-like weights to build strength—and ZumbAtomic for kids. As an alternative to the festive spins and turns, certified personal trainer Stacie Venagro hosts boot-camp and no-contact kickboxing classes as well as one-on-one training sessions.
Shape Up complements its exercise regimens with tasty supplements from its nutrition club. There, guests can order meal-replacement shakes in flavors such as Oreo, wildberry, and piña colada, which act as more fulfilling dinner substitutes than a pitcher of chilled air. The club's menu also features calorie-burning teas, athletic supplements, and guilt-free pudding pies in a cup. Wellness coaches remain on-hand to consult with clients, performing detailed health evaluations to track goals and progress.