Just One Gym Mat Away

Don’t know what to do this upcoming season? Winter sports don’t interest you? Fear of becoming out of shape? Just wait, there may be a solution! Here are three different unique activities to keep you in shape this winter.

by Sydney Dow


Zen and Now, a local fitness studio, offers a variety of classes that focus on improving the health of their clients, both emotionally and physically.
The variety of courses they offer can accommodate everyone and their levels of activity, with members ranging from ages 10 to 70 years old. Lisa Bragaw, owner of the studio, originally opened the studio about five and a half years ago. She had just received her Doctorate of Pharmacy, and also wanted to share her passion for yoga with  others.
The studio’s spin class is a favorite of many. Attracting dozens of members, the class is always filled and raging with energy. Dim lights, rows of bikes, fans blasting cool air, and loud music pump through the  room.
Motivating and hyping up their clients are what the instructors strive to accomplish. Similar to SoulCycle, a pop-culture phenomenon, music blasts the room while motivation quotes are chanted throughout the hour.
The cyclists are spinning with a variety of resistance and speed. Each one-of-a-kind instructor focuses on each individual and their fitness goals. “I normally do hot yoga or cycling and I love it a lot. You leave feeling really inspired and motivated to keep on maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” said senior Caylie Poola.
If you are looking for something a bit less vigorous, attend the gentle yoga class. This class is designed to reduce stress, gain energy, and create a mind and body connection for each member.
Stretching and breathing exercises can help heal injuries for members suffering with discomfort. The ambiance of this class is very serene.
Salt lamps, dim lighting, and a peaceful voice leading participants into each pose makes this class a peaceful and relaxing hour of the day. Similar to the other classes, the instructor is focused on each individual and their needs.
Attending just one class at Zen and Now costs $15, but if you’re interested in pursuing a better lifestyle, you can get unlimited classes for $150. Zen and Now also offers student discounts, so make sure to ask for it when you attend.



Pilates: the activity available to do in your living room, in the park, in a studio, or anywhere else in between.
Pilates is a system of exercises using special apparatus, designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture, and enhance mental awareness.
If you’re looking for the more structured and organized atmosphere, Body by Bliss Pilates, located in Stonington Borough, is the studio to try.
Alisha Bliss, who has been a pilates instructor since she was 16, opened this studio last September. Her motto is “control of the body,” which can be interpreted through various exercises focusing on mastery of your body’s movements and sensations.
Body by Bliss offers many different classes. The two major sessions they offer are apparatus and non-apparatus. Each course has its own separate circuits and goals depending on the preferred outcome for the client. Each style of exercise benefits and improves a different aspect of physical and even mental health.
Regardless of if you’re looking for private classes to regain control and composure or a group session to gain positive reinforcement from, pilates is a tranquil practice to try for  yourself.

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