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.
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.
New York Sports Clubs, part of Town Sports International's network of fitness loci, opens up a number of equipment-stocked facilities across New York to exercisers. Strength-training gear, such as circuit machines, free weights, and medicine balls, molds muscles into chiseled depictions of physical might. Sessions on cardio machines, ranging from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent stationary bicycles, inspire burnt calories to pack up and move to cooler climates. Each club offers a schedule of group classes that draws from more than 100 fitness styles, including Pilates, yoga, and boxing, ensuring that no member has to jazzercise without a spotter. Each location rewards exercisers for sweating in its vicinity with special features such as babysitting, saunas, and steam rooms.
At Body Kneads, RI licensed, certified massage therapists gradually teach muscles to release tension with custom treatments that incorporate traditional massage techniques. Over the past 13 years, Body Kneads has built a foundation in taking a proactive approach to wellness that helps their clients maintain a healthy connection between the mind and body. Every body is different so they tailor a comprehensive treatment plan to fit the client’s needs, often drawing on such techniques as deep tissue, Swedish, trigger-point release, shiatsu, and acupressure. Their in-office massages invite employees to lie down on a table of wrinkled memos as therapists work out the knots and paper clips lodged in their backs.
Sunlight streams through stained-glass totems inside the spacious studio at Eyes of the World Yoga. In terms of class offerings, students can exhale the exertions of the day away with slow stretching sequences and rhythmic breathing implemented during mellow yoga. Likewise, semi-limber limbs can flow through the basics of posture and alignment during a fundamentals class, which, like a cannon strapped to a rocking horse, is aimed at all levels.