Despite popular belief, yoga is more than just stretching. Yoga is a mental, physical and spiritual practice that originated in India. Yoga can help increase your flexibility, align your spine, clear your mind, and assist in healthy sleeping patterns. In addition to increasing flexibility and clearing your head, yoga can be very healing. Yoga in Boston is only becoming more popular.
Boston yoga expert and the brain behind PranaVayu Yoga, David Magone began his yoga practice as a meditator in 1995. "After a few years of practicing meditation on my own, I took a class with a small group of friends near Portland, Oregon. The class, which was led by an elderly friend was very simple, but I noticed immediately that the practice calmed me down and made it much easier to meditate. The next day, I started practicing regularly, and after a few years of practice I began teaching in 2000. Since then, I've had the good fortune to deepen my studies with my three primary teachers - Holiday Johnson, Bill Counter and Lama Migmar Tseten."
David's unique approach to yoga helps people get into poses deeper and quicker while preventing injury in his one-size-fits-all classes. Using periodization David's yoga approach has evolved past what most classes entail. The aim of periodization is to help practitioners achieve peak potential through intelligent practice planning and alternating training approaches. By creating a weekly practice routine and by rotating muscle groups, the chance of injury is radically decreased. Periodization has been used by athletes, coaches, and marathoners for years.
In addition to periodization and meditation, David also focuses on skeletal positioning and alignment to allow students to increase their range of motion. This greatly increases the benefit to the yoga practitioner.
Overall, the Boston Yoga scene is welcoming, but Bostonians can be a little reserved at first, so it's good to find a class that you like and then to go regularly if you want to be on a first name basis with your fellow participants. David says that Bostonians "tend to open up if they see you regularly enough."
"Because of this I'd recommend that new practitioners first experiment to find a few local studios that they really like. Once they've identified places that they really vibe with, it would be a good idea to take a few classes per week there for a few months so that they can really immerse themselves into the local culture that each studio offers."
But just like Los Angeles and Miami, Vinyasa yoga is really popular. "I think that the reason that this is the case is that we have a pretty dense concentration of colleges here with a large population of students and young working professionals," says David. "Due to this, classes tend to be fairly active and athletic in nature."
As David tells us, Vinyasa isn't all that Boston has to offer. "Cambridge also has a solid Iyengar community, Astanga classes are offered in the Back Bay and North End, and you can find Bikram studios spread throughout the city."
A stand-alone discipline in its own right, PranaVayu also provides an excellent cross training approach for students who practice other styles of yoga. Those who enjoy a more intuitive approach to yoga often use PranaVayu to supplement their own practices in order to open postures that they are having trouble with at an accelerated rate.
The yoga community has attracted events and even conferences, David tells us. "Yoga Reaches Out hosts a Yogathon every year that attracts hundreds of students interested in donating to charitable causes. Lululemon has been hosting a Salutation Nation event during the summer months over the last few years, and Yoga Journal hosts occasional conferences in the city every few years."
"Boston has a great yoga culture with a large selection of smaller studios that offer lower priced classes along with larger studio chains such as Exhale spa that offer upscale facilities. Overall, there's really something for everyone who would like to practice here."
There are a number of services out there to help you find the yoga studio in Boston for you. We've put together a map of yoga studios to make it a little easier for you to find a studio that suits you.
View MetroSeeker.com: Boston Yoga in a larger map