A ballroom dancer for more than 20 years, Richard Green understands how the body communicates. His work in ballet and modern dance instilled in him a deep fascination with structural alignment, muscular energy, and balance, as well as a comprehensive understanding of how the body heals from injury. Today, at Massage Therapy Works, he helms a large staff of highly trained massage therapists who customize each treatment chosen from a long list of therapies. Thai bodywork increases lymphatic drainage through massage and passive yoga poses, helping decompress joints and increase range of motion, while sports massages help active individuals prevent or recover from injuries sustained on the field or while acting out slow-motion replays. Meanwhile, classic techniques such as deep tissue and therapeutic massage assist in the removal of physical tension and mental stress and oncology massage helps bodies better manage symptoms of cancer treatment through gentle strokes, energy work, and guided meditation.
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.
During afternoons at Together in Motion, children, accompanied by their parents, safely crawl through tunnels, practice somersaults, or explore a Parthenon made completely out of padded building blocks atop a cushioned floor. Evenings, however, turn the tables, allowing grownups to take over the space to fling dodgeballs at opponents or rehearse martial arts strikes in time for their kids' Bring Your Ninja to School Day. Weekend nights find thumping dance soundtracks traveling through the rooms, as black-light parties for teens and tweens celebrate birthdays and raise funds for nonprofits.
Though they admit disparate age groups, these classes and events provide a venue for guests to connect through movement. Together in Motion's facility rents its rooms to independent organizations—Social Boston Sports and Arlington Martial Arts among them—that encourage exercise and camaraderie. From the Latin-inspired beats of adult-centric Zumba classes to the musical motor-skill activities of Movin' Groovin' Tots, all of the programs foster both communal support and a healthy sense of self-confidence.
Baron Baptiste's signature brand of yoga has transformed lives. It has optimized the performance of the Philadelphia Eagles and empowered impoverished youth in Nairobi. It has lifted the spirits of war veterans and counseled gang members in Los Angeles. On a day-to-day basis, it has improved the physical health and mental acuity of Bostonians, who can practice the discipline under the tutelage of Baron Baptiste himself.
At his eponymous studios in Brookline and Cambridge, Baptiste joins a team of instructors who promulgate his teachings through classes, teacher-training programs, and workshops. Classes take place in 90-degree studios that boost detoxification and flexibility. In addition to fitness-centric classes, the studio offers guided meditation classes that establish the focus and clarity of mind required to read the entire Gutenberg Bible while riding a rollercoaster.
If you've never been to a Healthworks gym before, today's Groupon is just for you (sorry, regulars). It gets you a "class pass," which lets you attend classes at any of Healthworks' five locations: Back Bay, Brookline, Cambridge, Chestnut Hill, or Salem. You can also use the locker rooms, saunas, steam rooms and whirlpools. Work out, then relax in the bubbling waters and daydream about how good you'll look when bathing suit season rolls around. And because Healthworks is women-only, Larry Leering and Stanley Stare-Master won't be around to ogle you as you bust the moves.
Samantha, the yoga teacher and life coach behind Yoga Desires, creates a personalized yoga experience for her students. Whether they practice at the student's home or location of choice or her private East Hampstead residence, she gently guides students through the poses and meditation. She works with everyone from first-time students to experienced yogis to individuals recovering from injuries. Along with yoga, she also teaches meditation classes and hosts retreats worldwide.