Exhale Spa seeks to transform its clientele inside and out. The founding team of fitness professionals and aestheticians sought to create an environment where they could empower visitors with pampering spa treatments, invigorating fitness classes, and lifestyle education, helping clients attain a sense of control and holistic balance. Now with 19 locations across 11 cities, Exhale Spa and its signature services have earned mentions in numerous national publications, including People magazine, the New York Times, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
Exhale's signature Core Fusion classes incorporate dance-inspired stretches, yoga poses, and Pilates exercises into total-body workouts that build long, lean limbs and sturdy abdominal muscles over time. For an even more varied workout, the instructors introduce boot-camp techniques, cardio exercises, or multiplication tables to select sessions. Yoga classes present a similar amount of breadth and variety, drawing inspiration from a number of introspective and physically oriented styles. To help hasten physical transformations, nutrition and wellness coaches teach attendees about the impacts of diet. These sessions build an awareness of healthy eating habits through custom meal plans and by teaching clients how to identify the edible parts of a fruit basket.
Many of the center's traditional spa services seek to inspire confidence. Facials pamper and refine skin using everything from green tea and fruit extracts to microcurrent technology, and mani-pedis revitalize digits before glazing nails with a vibrant new coat of color. Bodywork treatments look beyond physical relaxation and focus on holistic concerns. Massage therapists can use Eastern or Western modalities to soothe overstressed musculature, and acupuncture treatments and reiki sessions jump-start natural healing processes by encouraging the free flow of inner energies.
South End Yoga owner-instructor Patrice Flesch has been studying yoga for nearly four decades, but it was Kripalu yoga that finally inspired her to become a certified yoga instructor. Extremely accessible to newcomers and people with physical limitations, the discipline is distinguished by an extensive system of pose modifications that build flexibility gradually. Flesch applies these principles outside the studio in work with Alzheimer?s, cardiac, and cancer patients at her home base, a tucked-away space on a leafy street lined with row houses that all have excellent posture. Many of the classes at South End Yoga are tailored to accommodate students of all backgrounds, and most are limited to a small number of students.
Among other styles of yoga, Iyengar classes incorporate lightweight props to methodically tone muscles. Some classes are designed specifically with moms and moms-to-be in mind. During prenatal yoga, expectant mothers work on focused breathing and gentle stretching, whereas Mom & Baby classes incorporate tiny tots in a series of toning stretches.
One of the most popular yoga studios in the North End, the aptly-titled North End Yoga offers Pilates, barre classes, mysole style and vinyasa flow. Sessions here are offered at all levels, spanning the gamut from basic beginners to experienced yogis, with each class taking place inside one of three brightly painted rooms. They also feature an introductory 30-day new member monthly special, allowing uncertain exercisers the opportunity to work through North End’s variety of seated (and standing) postures, breathing practices and relaxation methods designed to strengthen and lengthen muscles. After an invigorating class, slow things down with an on-site massage provided by a licensed massage therapist or with a Rolf practitioner, who rubs out tension using knuckles and elbows to provide better balance and a revitalized body.
The variety of classes at Karma Yoga Studios might seem overwhelming at first. From beginners slow-paced yoga to heated core-power yoga, the studio doesn’t skimp on diversity. Beginners, though, need not worry, as the founder of Karma Yoga developed a special introductory course called PhysioYoga to ease students into their practice. All classes are taught by certified, passionate instructors eager to share the benefits of yoga with any person or flamingo that walks into one of their spacious, wood-floored studios. They designed their studios with green practices in mind, and all locations provide free, eco-friendly Manduka mats to students.
All One Yoga is all about community. Taught by a set of seasoned yogis, the diverse set of classes at the studio offer a taste of the many types of yoga available. Though different, all of them have in common a close-knit, one-on-one feel thanks to the studio's small size and limit of 25 people per class limit.
All One Yoga welcomes students of all skill levels into their family with open arms. They recommend that beginners purchase a yoga mat, inform teachers of any injuries or medical conditions, and leave cell phones in the lobby to avoid disturbing the peace or scrambling the communications of android instructors. Most sessions take place in a heated studio environment, which can help to detoxify the body and increase workout intensity.
Fans of longtime yogi Bikram Choudhury will find much to love at Boston’s Bikram Yoga outpost on Lincoln Street. Begun in the early 1970s, bikram is a uniform type of yoga that combines the usual physicality and flexibility with the addition of spirituality – and lots of heat. Rooms at Bikram Yoga are turned up to a balmy 105 degrees, which makes for quite the workout as attendees work through their 26 yoga postures and breathing techniques. Classes run a full ninety minutes inside this Financial District studio, which is small enough to eschew both lockers and parking. The space does have two showers, changing rooms and offers two towels with each class, plus mats for rent as needed.