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.
South End Yoga owner-instructor Patrice Flesch has been studying yoga for nearly four decades, but it was Kripalu yoga that finally inspired her to become a certified yoga instructor. Extremely accessible to newcomers and people with physical limitations, the discipline is distinguished by an extensive system of pose modifications that build flexibility gradually. Flesch applies these principles outside the studio in work with Alzheimer?s, cardiac, and cancer patients at her home base, a tucked-away space on a leafy street lined with row houses that all have excellent posture. Many of the classes at South End Yoga are tailored to accommodate students of all backgrounds, and most are limited to a small number of students.
Among other styles of yoga, Iyengar classes incorporate lightweight props to methodically tone muscles. Some classes are designed specifically with moms and moms-to-be in mind. During prenatal yoga, expectant mothers work on focused breathing and gentle stretching, whereas Mom & Baby classes incorporate tiny tots in a series of toning stretches.
One of the most popular yoga studios in the North End, the aptly-titled North End Yoga offers Pilates, barre classes, mysole style and vinyasa flow. Sessions here are offered at all levels, spanning the gamut from basic beginners to experienced yogis, with each class taking place inside one of three brightly painted rooms. They also feature an introductory 30-day new member monthly special, allowing uncertain exercisers the opportunity to work through North End’s variety of seated (and standing) postures, breathing practices and relaxation methods designed to strengthen and lengthen muscles. After an invigorating class, slow things down with an on-site massage provided by a licensed massage therapist or with a Rolf practitioner, who rubs out tension using knuckles and elbows to provide better balance and a revitalized body.
The variety of classes at Karma Yoga Studios might seem overwhelming at first. From beginners slow-paced yoga to heated core-power yoga, the studio doesn’t skimp on diversity. Beginners, though, need not worry, as the founder of Karma Yoga developed a special introductory course called PhysioYoga to ease students into their practice. All classes are taught by certified, passionate instructors eager to share the benefits of yoga with any person or flamingo that walks into one of their spacious, wood-floored studios. They designed their studios with green practices in mind, and all locations provide free, eco-friendly Manduka mats to students.
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.