YogaWorks is the perfect place for experienced yogis and newbies alike. It is located in the heart of Back Bay and it holds its own alongside the many workout studios in the neighborhood. Though it’s not the spa-like experience you’ll get with some of the higher end studios, Yogaworks is a calm, inviting place and the front desk staff is exceptionally friendly and helpful. Most importantly though, we felt like we were getting seriously good instruction.
This Vinyasa class is described as suitable for all levels, but it had us working hard for our Savasana. We didn’t waste much time as Renee asked us to flow through some tough transitions like Dolphin to Plank to Chaturanga, Left Side Plank to Dolphin, to Right Elbow Side Plank, Wild Thing and Baby Wild Thing. We were almost excited to get into the standing poses after all of that upper-body work.
From there, we cycled through standing poses like Warrior III, Pyramid, Triangle and Wide-Legged Forward Bend. Renee offered up opportunities for us to try out various arm balances, headstands and handstands as well. We worked on our abdominal and hip flexor strength with Boat, Standing and Seated Leg Raise. To wrap up the “active” part of our practice, we completed 4 back bends (Bow, Bridge, or Wheel).
Renee is a self-described “crazy yoga teacher”…and we’re crazy about her. We were pretty much mat-to-mat with another student who told us it was “always like this” we see that as a sign of a great class. Renee didn’t disappoint. As any great teacher does, she reminded us of the importance of taking a Child’s Pose or water/towel break when we needed it. She kept things light, commenting how much fun we must be having in some of the trickier poses.
We appreciated that she wasn’t afraid to make corrections. She had a great way of improving people’s poses without making them feel singled out or potentially embarrassed. The whole class was set to cool music, a mix of songs we knew and others that were more traditional yoga music. Her expertise was apparent in the grace she showed with her instruction and in her ease demonstrating complex poses. While it’s clear Renee loves the yoga for the practice, we couldn’t help but admire her long and lean muscles. Talk about inspiration!
Though it’s located right on Boylston Street, YogaWorks is tricky to find. Keep an eye out for their signature green signage in the upstairs windows. When you walk in, there are shelves to put your shoes, a reception desk and a small but stacked boutique. YogaWorks sells mats, apparel, water bottles, singing bowls, yoga blocks and other yoga-accessories (there’s a pair of leggings we’ve definitely got eyes on). They also have a fully stacked cooler with water, and bottles of Healthade Kombucha (our fave)!
Yogaworks has two practice rooms. One is smaller space, with large windows and wood flooring. The other is a larger space with the same wood floors, brick walls and smaller windows. There is a locker room with a few bathroom stalls, showers, old-school metal lockers and space for mat storage. We noticed that there were a few toiletries including shampoo, conditioner and lotion plus a communal hair dryer. We definitely weren’t stoked to get ready here, but it’s doable.
364 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116 Back Bay Yoga $
YogaWorks Back Bay
Back Bay Yoga $
364 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116
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Cara Gilman was the sweetest person we could have asked to start our Monday with. From the second we started on our mats, Cara was warm and welcoming. She had a lightness and magnetism about her and clearly she’s amassed fans: at least 4 people were waiting to chat with her after class. Cara made sure to ask about injuries and provided hands-on corrections, pressing us deeper into child’s pose or moving a foot further out in Triangle.
In addition to her yoga teaching, Cara is also passionate about running which definitely shows through her quick-moving class.
The thing we loved most about Cara’s class is that she reminded us of the importance of being in the moment and taking life in stride. We’ll definitely be catching a class with this girl again.
YogaWorks Back BayYoga
Jessica Emilfarb is living proof that big things can come in tiny packages. This pint-sized powerhouse had us energized right away with her upbeat flow sequence. She quickly introduced herself and asked about injures before getting into an hour-long flow that was suitable for yogis at every level. Jessica wasn’t afraid to make corrections, adjusting a leg here or an elbow placement there.
Jessica called out each of the poses with ease and never faltered with her directions. It seemed like she was more focused on form than the “spiritual” aspect of yoga, which is great for students who are there for the sweat. We think that Jessica is great at what she does, and she’s guaranteed to set your day up for success. ss.
When Megan Rozanski Brundage walks into the room for her class she without a doubt knows at least 75% of her students by first name; we’d call that a following. She is one of the kindest, friendliest, and most authentic teachers we have come across yet. Her classes are challenging but also well sequenced for beginners. She always gives scaling options or as we like to say “stops to get off at”. But her class ain’t easy: the more advanced yogis in the room still leave challenged and inspired. We think this speaks volumes about a teacher that teaches an “all levels class” and actually finds a way to truly teach to all levels. Far too often we see instructors teaching to either the advanced or the beginner yogi and nothing in between. Well done, Megan. We’d join your following any day.
Kaitlin McGuire is definitely more “green” than some of the other instructors at YogaWorks. That said, don’t count this girl out. She had our cores screaming during her flow, taking us through more planks and plank variations than we thought we could stand. Kaitlin took advantage of the small class size and improvised by having us move our mats against the wall. That way, we were able to try out that Dolphin-to-forearm balance we’ve been working on without fear of crashing into the person next to us.
Kaitlin had almost a coach-like vibe, which was fitting for the more intense class. She gave good instruction in a loud and clear voice, though the music in the room was almost equally as loud. She mentioned how sometimes her thoughts end up racing during yoga, especially when thinking about what she’s going to eat next. Same girl, same.
Caitlyn Visconte is clearly an experienced teacher. She led us through a jam-packed, creatively-sequenced class where we were sweating and flowing like no other. Caitlyn creatively incorporated ab work into the practice, making it feel slightly less painful. It was sort of like the rye chips in Chex mix…no one really likes them but they’re an important part of the whole. Caitlyn was a great instructor, but her tone was stern, almost brash at times. Don’t expect the sing-songy instruction some yoga teachers are famous for.
Caitlyn utilized a microphone during class, which helped us hear her in the huge studio. Overall, she is solid as hell, knows her stuff, and we will absolutely be taking her class again.
Izzy is the JAM. She was subbing for another instructor during a morning class and OHMYGOD what a treat. She is so sweet, hands on, and energetic. We loved her encouragement to be just where we are, and not to do anything too crazy that early in the morning (and after a few glasses of rose last night we were thankful). We’d like to keep her to ourselves…but we shouldn’t. Take Izzy’s class ASAP.