Susan McInnis' passion for fitness is evident in her resume: she holds certifications in sports medicine, Stott Pilates, pre- and post-natal fitness, and several other areas. As the owner of Windham Pilates & Wellness Center, she leads a team of specialists ranging from nutrition counselors to Yogafit and Pilates-certified trainers. Each is an expert in their field, whether introducing gentle poses and breathing in yoga classes, or building core strength in Stott Pilates mat or reformer classes. Group sessions in Pilates-yoga fusion, cardio-aerobics, and TRX suspension training also help visitors burn calories and avoid the cost of having a treadmill air-dropped through their roof. The studio also provides private nutritional counseling programs customized to encourage weight loss and better overall health.
The trainers at Art of Strength eschew newfangled machines. Instead, they employ only fitness tools that have stood the test of time: weight balls, ropes, logs, sandbags, and boxes. Undulation training with heavy ropes challenges strength and endurance, and kettlebells work the body as a whole and torch calories. Instructors also employ vintage progression weight-training exercises, which leave patrons as strong as ancient warriors or the guys who had to push ancient warriors’ strollers.
After the surgeries and treatments that helped her overcome breast cancer, Kathy Jannino-Faino lost some of the range of motion she had cultivated as a part-time fitness instructor. Rehabilitating on the Reformer—Pilates’s signature resistance apparatus—she discovered a workout that she loved enough to turn into a full-time career. She now helms her own intimate fitness studio, Passport Pilates, where she and her team teach Reformer and mat classes that strengthen core muscles and tone physiques.
Beyond Pilates, the studio’s staff members also teach interval-format Fit Barre classes that fuse Pilates with yoga and sports conditioning to firm specific problem areas, such as abs and thighs. For a class that incorporates more intensive cardio, students can participate in fast-paced Booty Camp workouts that jet from Reformer work to barre exercise to TRX suspension training inspired by Hitchcock films.
At JOY Wellness, the staff has combined all the right ingredients for personal growth: passionate teachers, multi-disciplined classes, and a welcoming space. The facility's main room is a spacious sanctuary for yoga and Zumba practice. The library, meanwhile, offers a quiet place for learning, and the treatment rooms promise personal attention from a massage therapist or Reiki practitioner.
Self Awakening Yoga owner Barbara Sterling describes its mission as guiding students toward a sense of balance that helps them be present in their own lives. Glossy, eco-friendly bamboo floor spans 1,900 square feet of airy studio space, whose white walls are painted with large-scale lotuses and Eastern designs. The studio fosters a community atmosphere by lending books, magazines, DVDs, and CDs to students for use at home.
The studio?s instructors have a variety of reasons for coming to the practice of yoga, whether it was recommended by a doctor after an injury, the solution to physical stress from marathon running or rugby, or the life-changing vocation of a close friend. Consequently, they teach classes and workshops that address a variety of needs through a spectrum of yoga styles, including Vinyasa, heated Vinyasa, prenatal, restorative, and gentle. Memberships and private lessons are also available to let students adjust the frequency and individual attention of their own curricula.
If you've never been to a Healthworks gym before, today's Groupon is just for you (sorry, regulars). It gets you a "class pass," which lets you attend classes at any of Healthworks' five locations: Back Bay, Brookline, Cambridge, Chestnut Hill, or Salem. You can also use the locker rooms, saunas, steam rooms and whirlpools. Work out, then relax in the bubbling waters and daydream about how good you'll look when bathing suit season rolls around. And because Healthworks is women-only, Larry Leering and Stanley Stare-Master won't be around to ogle you as you bust the moves.