An affiliate of Westfield State University, Westfield Flight Academy is an FAA-certified flight school where current and former airline pilots help ground-bound beginners head for the heavens. Leave ineffectual bird suits and prohibitively ugly rocket sneakers at home for a high-altitude tutorial, beginning with a preflight discussion of basic information and the principles of aerodynamics. Following the briefing, the cockpit will become your classroom as you embark on a training flight lasting about 45 minutes, giving you the chance to start, taxi, take off, and fly the plane as your instructor explains how to break gravity's rules without hurting its feelings. After the flight, every pupil will receive a certificate of completion, as well as a logbook signed by the instructor using a quill stolen from the wing of a peregrine falcon, the only bird that can fly without first inhaling helium.
The experienced, college-trained harmony wizards at Agawam Music dole out top-notch musical tutelage to budding musicians tickling all variety of instruments. Each personalized, one-on-one lesson allows drummers to drum, flautists to flaut, and saxophonists to phone home with the news that their pitch is really improving. Agawam also verses pupils in the arts of electric and acoustic guitar, piano, clarinet, and bass. Blossoming virtuosos can hone their euphonious skills in an array of genres such as blues, jazz, classical, and elevator muzak. Lessons are scheduled at a set time and day each week, and any added costs for learning materials, such as music books and gold-plated metronomes, will be the responsibility of the student.
At Second Wind Yoga, students unroll their mats in a carpeted studio lit by soft lamps. Instructors walk them step by step through the poses and breath work of various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, and gentle yoga. They also offer chair yoga and hot yoga, whose high temperatures induce sweating to help flush out bodily toxins.
Residing in an old Victorian house, Bayberry Quilt and Gift Shoppe packs two floors of its antique environs with handcrafted gifts and quilting supplies. While finished quilts and colonial crafts imbue the second floor with an old-fashioned ambiance, fabric, needles, and patterns await new lives in workshops, sewing kits, or a scarecrow’s face. Seasoned instructors helm the shop’s two-hour sewing classes, helping students master seam-taming basics or expert stiches with the aid of Janome sewing machines. Bayberry's online store awaits orders from long-distance shoppers, and its custom machine-quilting services employ Gammill Longarm machines to craft relaxing, made-to-order quilts with adrenaline-pumping speed.
The mama of Mama Nirvana's New Yoga—owner Ruth Anne Lundeberg—draws on her experience as a dancer and a devoted student of Theravada Buddhism 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. The recently remodeled Easthampton studio brims with daily classes for all skill levels, including calming Hatha sessions ideal for brand-new yogis. In addition to the yoga offerings, mat-based Pilates workouts can bolster balance and posture without aggravating injuries, relying on moves that isolate and fortify the core muscles.
With over 15 million students trained since their founding in 1968, Villari's Martial Arts Centers continue to train pugnacious pugilists young and old using techniques crafted by Grandmaster Fred Villari. Developed as a fusion of classic Eastern fighting styles, Villari's exclusive Shaolin Kempo Karate combines the graceful energy of Shaolin, the quick, explosive blows of kempo and karate, and the grappling of Chin Na to provide combatants with a varied, effective self-defense system. Children gain strength and discipline in youth classes, while adult classes leave grown-ups ready to handle anything from dojo defense to tense lunchroom stand-offs over the day's last apple bran muffin.