On a recent birthday, Shawn Shaw reflected on her life. There had been lessons learned about love, happiness, and the inherent beauty of life that is present even amid disappointment. For Shawn, a dedicated practice of yoga and meditation was the wellspring for many of the lessons learned. The teenage Shawn kept fit as a distance runner, first picking up yoga as a supplementary form of exercise and stretching. It wasn't until a few years later, amid a storm of personal struggles, that she discovered the healing properties of daily practice. Today she credits yoga with transforming her physical and emotional health and cultivating a peaceful attitude. Moreover, her newfound clarity and mental presence become something Shawn had to share. She opened her own studio, Metrowest Yoga, in 2005. Now with two locations in Westborough and Worcester, the curriculum includes Shawn's own invention, Myoga Hot Hatha, which is grounded in stillness and allows students to hold poses longer than usual as they make peace between breath and body.
Metrowest Yoga's studio focuses on building a strong healthy body and cultivating a calm, peaceful mind. The styles offered are mostly vigorous in a heated room but some gentle restorative classes are offered too. Regularly scheduled classes include Vinyasa or Flow, Hatha and Ashtanga styles. Beginner’s classes or a 6 week Brand New Beginner’s course are also offered.
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Making that first mark on a blank canvas can be intimidating, but the only way to create a masterpiece is to put paint on the canvas. To help the process, the professional artists behind Just Paint bolster creative intuitions with step-by-step instructions during each of their sessions. While teachers offer assistance, students of all skill levels sip on their favorite BYOBs as they slather canvases with vibrant hues and bold brush strokes. In addition to their usual sessions, Just Paint also hosts private parties for birthdays, weddings, and baby showers. They offer classes for kids, as well as three-day summer art camps featuring fun themes and projects, such as sports, fashion, and famous neck beards.
Fully licensed by the Florida Department of Education, Orlando Bartending School instructs wannabe watering-hole workers in the thirst-slaking art of sips and swigs via its ServSafe Alcohol Program, which prepares students for the school’s online certification process. During each class on the flexible schedule, a professional gulp guru doles out hands-on guidance behind a fully functioning bar—everything is real except the simulated alcohol and the actor playing the frazzled concert promoter. The liquor lessons cover more than 100 tipsy-making tonics on a glass-by-glass basis, starting with the oft-used highball before moving on to martini glasses and finally the oft-neglected princess slipper. Students will also master other aspects of effective bartending, such as how to spin the bottle in the air before pouring and how to sift all the gold out of a bottle of Goldschläger.
At the tender age of 6, Mark Cafiero received his first camera. Though it was broken and filled with cartoons his father had drawn of Mark and his sisters, that camera sparked an early interest in photography. Since then, that spark has erupted into a full-fledged passion, leading Mark to become a professional photographer who has snapped photos for hundreds of clients, including celebrities and professional athletes. To share his spark with others, Mark founded Chimpsy, a resource that helps photographers of all experience levels calibrate their skills with casual in-person and online classes.
Available in more than 30 cities across the nation, Chimpsy's two-hour crash course features a hands-on shooting session and campfire-style presentation on topics ranging from camera anatomy to photo composition. For home study, online classes help photographers—beginners and aspiring pros alike—get more from their pictures through two-hour video tutorials that cover photo-editing software, shooting tips and techniques, and steps on how to build a photography business. From the comfort of their bedrooms, students can watch these professional photographer-led tutorials live or replay previously recorded sessions. Along with instructional classes, Chimpsy offers shutterbugs a place to submit photos for contests with monthly prizes or for feedback from peers, pros, and sentient picture frames.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 1,800 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
The staff members at Shaping Zone for Women never want their clients to be intimidated by working out. That's why they've created a welcoming, women-only fitness space. Here, members can build camaraderie, endurance, and muscles in group classes such as Zumba instead of constantly trying to get their friends to build human pyramids together. They can also develop their own fitness regimen thanks to access to recumbent bikes, free weights, elliptical machines, and resistance bands. The results: toned limbs, strong midsections, and increased energy.