At Art & Soul Gallery Studio, Lis-el and Alexis Crowley lead casual art classes in a space brimming with creations by local artists. In the studio, the artists demonstrate steps in crafting items such as fused-glass pieces and painted scarves. Students follow along during class sessions, eventually bringing pieces into existence with their own individual flair and burgeoning telekinetic powers. After class, students can decamp to the gallery for a glimpse of other’s work or pop into a comfortable lounge for sips of coffee or tea.
Within Stone Age Rock Gym's indoor facility, 4,500 square feet of textured climbing walls help visitors ascend to new heights. Bouldering, 32-foot lead routes, and top-rope climbing areas await gym guests, surrounding them in technicolor handholds that creep up the walls at challenging angles. Elsewhere, a simulated ice-climbing wall absorbs the blows of axes, and a gear shop preps climbers to ascend walls with the dexterity of Spiderman.
A staff of certified guides lead classes that teach students as young as 6 the fundamental skills needed to ascend simulated peaks. Alternatively, the experts head up guided climbing trips to sites across the state. They help eager climbers scale the 30-foot Wolf Rock in Mansfield Hollow and reach the Sasquatch hugs awaiting them atop Ragged Mountain's 120-foot cliff.
An octopus graphic greets visitors at the doorway of Downtown Yoga Studios. It's an appropriate image: the mollusk holds a meditative quality as its eight arms flow outward with a strong yet relaxed energy. Downtown's instructors help guests attain a similar state of serenity and fitness with multiple styles and levels of yoga, such as Go with the Flow, Relax and Renew, and Power Yoga. They also lead fitness classes that include cycling, boxing, and chicken chasing.
Since 1980, the America East Men's and Women's Championship has pitted conference foes against each other to savagely battle for bracket positioning over the course of several days. This year’s tournament will see defending men’s champions Boston University staving off as of yet-to-be-decided opponents, with senior guard Darryl Partin strapping tiny pogo sticks to his sneakers in hopes of adding to his average of 19.8 points per game. The Hartford Hawks women’s squad protects its title behind the charge of freshman guard Amber Bepko, who garnered a career-high 18 points in the victorious game against UMBC on February 19. During the championship’s first round on March 1, teams attempt to out-dunk their competition for placement in the quarterfinals on March 2–3. Victors of the quarterfinals compete during a semifinal tilt on March 4, which determines which team will host its respective championship game and Indiana Jones marathon the following weekend.
Muvement is as much a gym as it is a physical-fitness lab. Certified strength and conditioning specialist Michael Houle and Jill Houle, who holds a BS in nutritional science, team up to invest clients with practical workout regimens and an intimate knowledge of how the body works on a physiological level. Before new clients lift their first weight at the studio, a personal trainer consults with them about their exercise and health history and runs physical assessments and lab tests to identify potential obstacles related to the immune, digestive, hormonal, and detoxification systems. Next, Jill draws on her background as a professional nutritionist to recommend a diet suited to the client’s unique metabolism, and explains how the body breaks down calories and nutrients. Even their fitness regimens take a holistic approach. Whether in group or personal-training sessions, functional movements using resistance bands, TRX suspension, and kettlebells incorporate multiple muscle groups and joints into each exercise, building a physique more balanced than two eggs riding a seesaw during the spring equinox.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.