The body sculptors at Ananda Yoga mold pliable clients into muscle-stretching poses with a schedule of more than 15 weekly classes designed with all experience levels in mind. Rust-colored walls and warm wood floors welcome yogis to the serene studio, where the main room's maize-colored walls become doused in the light of sun as it peeks in to respond individually to each salutation. During hot Vinyasa classes, thermostats creep north of 85 degrees as students and teachers link advanced postures to the rhythm of their breath, detoxifying the body as they move seamlessly through seated poses, backbends, and inversions. Yoga neophytes will be more comfortable in temperate, down-tempo beginner classes built on foundations of proper technique and focus, while Intro to Hot Vinyasa bridges the gap between beginner and advanced levels with broken-down sequences interspersed with sun salutations, moon salutations, and kisses blown at clouds.
Creative Martini & Paint Club brings together self-expression and socialization with group classes in creating artwork and lively painting parties. Guests can relax with a drink and a few friends as they learn to blend colors and turn blank canvases into stunning pictures.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
Previously known as Mama Nirvana, Nirvana Yoga brims with daily classes for all skill levels, including open yoga, power Vinyasa, and calming basic sessions ideal for brand-new yogis. In the recently remodeled Easthampton studio, owner Ruth Anne Lundeberg draws on her background as a dancer, devoted student of Theravada Buddhism, and yoga practitioner with three decades of experience under her belt to helm a staff of seasoned instructors. The staff imparts yogic skills with a focus on safety that earned the studio the Best Place for Yoga title in the Valley Advocate?s 2013 readers' poll.
At Bikram Yoga Northampton, commitment and focus supersede the search for absolute perfection. So long as you are doing your best, instructors Audrey Liley and Jessika Brandley ask for nothing more. As they lead their students through the 26 asanas—or postures—of Bikram yoga, they provide helpful insights regarding the significance of each. At some point, they’ll likely explain that this specific progression of postures is intended to stretch muscles and promote the flow of blood to the body’s vital organs. Held in a classroom that’s heated to 105 degrees, these yoga classes may also facilitate the breakdown of glucose, fatty acids, and accidentally swallowed ice cubes.