O2 Yoga provides a mind and body-calming sanctuary for benders and stretchers of all experience levels. Advanced Yogi Bears can reach the uppermost plateau in an advanced-level power class, while beginning Boo-Boo's can dip stiff toes into the peaceful, limbering world of yoga for the first time with a basics class. Those falling in the in-between can develop the strength and flexibility necessary to tame the tiger that refuses to leave their kitchen by dropping into an intermediate class. O2 also offers classes in astanga-style yoga, if you're looking for a change of pace from the classic flow of vinyasa.
A league of extraordinary teachers leads each limbering class inside Back Bay Yoga Studio's vibrant confines. The 5,000-square-foot space has two large yoga rooms, three geometric planes, and shower-equipped changing rooms for men and women. The 60+ classes offered weekly span a variety of disciplines, including ashtanga (a series of postures connected with breathing), core vinyasa (integration of flowing postures with core exercises), and AcroYoga (a blend of yoga, Thai massage, and acrobatics). There are offerings for students of all yoga familiarities, ensuring a worthwhile experience for newcomers and oldcomers alike. Several classes are held in a heated room, whereas the majority take place in comfortable warm rooms. Check the schedule for a full list of classes.
It was the early 1980s, and after devoting about a decade of her life to fitness, Zayna Gold felt like her body was beaten up. Over time, she began noticing that her high-intensity gym workouts were hurting her body as much as—if not more than—they were helping it. Her husband, Clark, was having the same problem. An avid weightlifter and runner, he found the physical wear and tear was starting to prevent him from maintaining his physique. Zayna recalled teaching Pilates early on in her career, and how it worked her entire body with low-impact movements. She returned to the lengthening and strengthening classes, and by 1989, she and Clark founded Boston Body Pilates.
Their mat, equipment, and barre classes each call upon low-impact stretches and resistance moves that strengthen the core, elongate muscles, and promote overall muscle tone. Zayna's signature program, Brand New Body, challenges students to complete 30 Pilates or barre classes over 2–3 months; and upon completion, they may notice significant changes to their figure. The schedule also includes spinning classes, in diverse variations such as Zen Spin and Spin Bootcamp. In any class, Zayna and her large team of instructors inspire their students to establish a mind-body connection, helping them to feel both physically and mentally stronger, much like solving a crossword puzzle carved in stone.
Btone Fitness’s high-intensity fitness classes, designed by fitness guru Sebastien Lagree, combine the traditional principles of Pilates with strength and cardio training to help students of all abilities to sculpt toned physiques. On the brightly lit studio's gleaming wood floors, students buff up their bods on megaformer machines, which target the upper and lower body using a system of springs, pulleys, and a strategically out-of-reach donut dangling on a fishing line. Patrons tone their muscles as joints and connective tissue breathe easy in the fat-burning, low-impact classes. For a more cardio-centric workout, students can take a Ryde spinning class, in which they bestride stationary bikes—nicknamed the unstationary-stationary bikes—that are designed to mimic real cycling movements, such as leaning and turning, resulting in a heart-pumping workout that also sculpts core muscles.
With a roster of female-only classes, Women’s Fitness of Boston aims to create an unintimidating environment for women to reach personal fitness goals. Group fitness classes such as salsa-inspired Zumba and Tae Box Flex—a kickboxing class that blends tae kwon do with traditional boxing moves—help ladies sculpt muscles and—when taken as part of a complete regimen—help them win full-contact dance-offs. Along with classes, club members can take advantage of weight-loss programs and personal training, as well as the two tanning booths, which help further beautify newly buff bods.
Any client that commissions the services of Group Beauté places their aesthetic goals in the hands of four very capable women. Over her 20 years of international experience, makeup artist Alicia Zefta's work has appeared in a who’s who of high fashion that includes the pages of Vogue and runway shows for Yves Saint Laurent. But bridal makeup is where she really excels, as she possesses a unique knack for interpreting her clients' desires and carefully studies their natural beauty to design personal styles. Aesthetician Elvira McCloskey also carries more than two decades of experience and specializes in treating skin plagued with acne, signs of age, or sun damage. Shikora Hill, a graduate of the Paris Fashion Institute, and Tomirys Calderon, who spent years working fashion events, also call on years of training to bring out their patrons' features with the art of cosmetics.
Beyond their prowess for bringing out each face's innate elegance, the beauty quartet polishes up other features with services such as personal cosmetics shopper, spa parties, spray tanning and hairstyling. Clients looking for more long-lasting fixes can invest in permanent makeup, lash extensions, or makeup workshops, where the Group Beauté team shares the techniques they’ve learned over the years, such as how to create looks appropriate for work, evening, and Blue Man Group auditions.