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.
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.
For a decade, Anne and Matthew Falkowski have been transforming rookie stretchers into professional yogis. The lessons at Samadhi Yoga Studio usher guests, regardless of age, flexibility, or experience, into a community whose leaders emphasize the growth of bodily awareness. The 40 yoga classes per week encompass Beginners, Moderate, and Vigorous sessions, which gradually widen students' understanding of postures and breath work. Rather than spending hundreds of hours searching for inner peace in the national phone book, those yearning for further enlightenment can attend a 200- or 500-hour teacher-training program. The nationally certified curriculum has passed more than 150 graduates, steadily expanding the reach of its art to Manchester and beyond.
Though yoga is the main focus, Samadhi Yoga Studio rounds out its class roster with other dynamic offerings. Festive Zumba workouts showcase heart-healthy twirls, and specialized workshops combine yoga with other disciplines, such as dance and running.
After finding that her yoga practice helped her overcome her own personal health issues and depression, studio founder, macrobiotic chef, and certified instructor Barbara Ruzansky maintains a passion for introducing “yoga and healthful eating to people, so they can continue to grow and reach their full potential.” Held within a warehouse-like studio with two technicolored practice spaces, Barbara's classes offer a dynamic combination of Ashtanga yoga, Vinyasa flow, and Forrest yoga. She and her large team of equally passionate instructors also helm a selection of slower and gentler yoga styles that cater to three-toed sloths and students recovering from injuries.
The personal trainers at Big Sky Fitness cut frustration from the range of emotions their clients experience. That's because their X-factor coaching is grounded in science, ensuring that exercisers reach their goals if they stick to the regimen. Group fitness classes act as a helpful add-on to the personal-training sessions, as do nutritious shakes from the Shake Bar.
Bikram Yoga Glastonbury's band of yoga instructors guides students of all abilities through the 26-posture practice. Students begin the 90-minute workout with a deep-breathing exercise before moving into a sequence of standing and seated postures designed to improve strength, flexibility, and balance. Balmy temperatures help students sink into deep stretches, eliminate harmful toxins from the body, and keep confrontational snowmen at bay. Though challenging, students of all experience and fitness levels can tailor the poses to meet their needs, with the idea that through dedicated practice, students may see a decrease in weight, improved sleep, and greater flexibility.