At the Lynn YMCA, members can workout in the gym and then record a song about it. Thanks to recent upgrades made possible by the Boston Celtics Foundation, professional-grade music equipment aids aspiring artists in their musical endeavors. Elsewhere at the Lynn Y, the usual amenities abound, including a six-lane, 25-yard lap swimming pool, an indoor track, a basketball gym, and two racquetball courts. The expansive gym has men-only and women-only workout areas, as well as a coed Nautilus Center stocked with free weights and cardio equipment. Lynn Y also boasts an air-conditioned aerobics studio that holds more than 30 classes each week.
The Neves family is a black-belt family, with more degrees than a thermometer. Manny Neves holds an eighth-degree black belt in the uechi-ryu karate style, and his wife, Sheila, is a sixth-degree black belt in the style. Even their daughter, Juliana—a first-degree black belt herself—has several Grand Champion awards in forms, fighting, and weapons. Though you wouldn't want to get caught in a street fight with any of them, the emphasis of their style is on etiquette and self-control rather than brute force. The Academy also offers yoga classes to tone the physique and promote deep relaxation.
Despite many obvious differences, new yogis and fighter pilots share a common fear: turning upside-down for the first time. At Yoga Sakti, however, instructors have installed a yoga wall that acts as a fail-safe for students who want to practice their inversions. A system of straps and props support pupils as they attempt advanced postures or strive to overcome physical difficulties, such as back problems. An aid for beginners and experts alike, the wall also acts as a symbol of the large studio's welcoming, encouraging atmosphere.
When they aren't manning the wall, yoga instructors lead classes in a wide variety of styles, from heated Vinyasa sequences to mellow gentle-stretch sessions or even mellower Nap in Your Parked Car seminars. Variety is a major theme running through the gym's curriculum: TRX routines bookend spin classes and ballet-barre workouts or combine with kettlebell swings to form one of several combo classes. For a more meditative visit, guests can explore the onsite wellness center, where massage, acupuncture, and hypnosis therapy aim to calm the mind.
B&S Fitness Program is composed of four different fitness-related branches, all of which are overseen by cofounders Brandi and Steven Dion. At North Shore Boot Camp Company, Brandi and Steven, along with their staff, lead indoor and outdoor boot-camp classes at locations across Massachusetts. On the track, they coordinate marathons and triathlons throughout the year for B&S Event Management, and hit the races themselves as part of a running team called SpiderOne Racing. Since every team needs a home base, the duo also operates B&S Sport Science, a 10,700-square-foot facility devoted to research- and technology-based services such as ACL rehab and personal training.
Bikram Yoga Danvers' hot yoga sessions are sweaty and intense?but that doesn't mean beginners should be intimidated. The team encourages first-timers to take breaks whenever they need to, and to consider their first class a success if they can manage to stay in the studio for the full 90 minutes. More seasoned yogis, meanwhile, set out to conquer the entire Bikram sequence, which is comprised of 26 hatha poses and two breathing exercises. The poses, often named after cute animals like rabbits and tortoises, have benefits that go way beyond cute. Some improve balance, for instance, while others massage internal organs, saving practitioners the hassle of sending their spleens to massage school.
A power-flow yoga studio and life-coaching center, Ajna Yoga Center is all about awareness. This awareness is about the mind as much the body—each yoga class, though an athletic workout, starts and ends with mind-body awareness practices. These are meant to bring self-awareness not only to the practice of yoga, but also to students’ overall lives. The center’s life coach uses compassion and guidance to help clients reach their full potential. In addition to regular weekly yoga classes, students can also learn the basics of heated, power-flow yoga at an eight-week workshop.