Bad Yogi City Guide: Boston, MA
Welcome to Boston! You probably know us for our wicked snowy winters, our ubiquitous use of the word “wicked,” David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox, and, our incredible resilience and dedication to the Boston Marathon. I hope to introduce you to my city and get you away from some of the regular tourist attractions- to try some things that wicked smaht Bostonians do.
Where to Yoga
Lately, I have been practicing, mostly at home with PBYP, but occasionally also at Down Under School of Yoga and Coolidge Corner Yoga. Down Under School of Yoga is filled with professional, passionate yogis who are intent on developing students in all areas and schools of yoga (Baptiste, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Ayurveda) as well as providing clients with options for bodywork, like massage. They have three studios around Boston and their corporate model is one that helps yoga teachers become more appreciated as professionals, which, in turn, helps us as students have the highest-quality class experience. Whenever I leave their classes, I am in a full yoga-bliss bubble.
I am doing my teacher training this summer at Coolidge Corner Yoga. They have great staff members and interesting workshops. I like their blend of funky- a little bit hippy with a lot of community and conservation-minded actions. I really like this vibe and think it’s pretty unique among yoga studios in Boston.
For a long time, I practiced at CorePower Yoga. There are four studios in greater Boston and it is great for beginners and more advanced practitioners. Their classes are heated. They offer Level 1 classes that all follow the same Vinyasa routine, but if you are looking for something a bit more challenging, their Level 2 classes were my go-to in my time practicing there. If you’re looking to get your butt kicked, sign up for Yoga Sculpt, which is yoga + cardio + free weights. You’ll leave feeling worked! But, in good Bad Yogi fashion, it’s a pretty chill place and I’ve never felt bad for dropping my weights mid-class.
Where to Sweat
Before you yoga, join the hundreds (literally) of Bostonians who start their day off with November Project. As the first location of November Project, Boston has a special affinity for this crazy, hyped, free fitness. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 6:30 am in various locations throughout the city (check their website for the latest locations) Bostonians hug, race, and sweat no matter the weather. I have never regretted going. It gets me energized and they welcome everyone, no exception!
If you want to stay outside, I recommend kayaking on the Charles River or hiking in Blue Hills Reservation. Both give you a unique vantage of the cityscape and it’s well worth the views. Charles River Canoe and Kayak is great in the summer (if you want to watch the Fourth of July fireworks explode over your head, you can do that too, for a price) and Blue Hills is totally hikeable for much of the year at many levels. It’s really amazing to get to the top and see the city looking back at you.
Where to Eat
When you’ve absolutely exhausted yourself exploring the city, it’s time to eat! We have too many great restaurants in this city, but I’ll introduce you to a few. Want the quintessential Boston meal? Go to Neptune Oyster for the lobster roll. Be sure to get there early so you avoid the line! Not a lobster person? Head to East Boston and get a slice of Santarpio’s pizza. Eat it in Piers Park while admiring the city from a different perspective.
Looking for breakfast? Try one of Union Square Donuts two locations (OMG Boston Cream with specs of vanilla?!!?) or one of Flour Bakery’s locations. Flour has everything- healthy sandwiches, pie, muffins, pie! It’s a Bad Yogi’s sweet heaven. Try the kouign amann… it’s my favorite!
For dinner, first, I have a confession. I don’t live in Boston. Although I teach in Boston Public Schools and spend most of my time there, I live in Somerville. Usually, when I go out to dinner, I eat in Somerville. Here are my two (ok, four) favorites. First, is Juliet. Juliet is the only restaurant in Boston that incorporates fair pay into their business model and gratuity is included in listed prices. Their menu rotates, so if you have questions, call! The owners could not be nicer or more helpful. If you are looking for wine, and, really, who’s not (?) check out Spoke Wine Bar. They are an industry favorite that also helps us regular folks explore fun wine with funky food. Finally, Boston has a nationally recognized, women-owned, sister-trio of Middle Eastern Restaurants: Oleana, Sofra, and Sarma. Any make a memorable meal and very fun night out. Try sitting on the patio at Oleana while eating whipped hummus, or having a cocktail at Sarma with table-side food options, or get it all to-go at Sofra’s more informal café. I could seriously go on and on (I’m a huge foodie!) so if you want other ideas, do not hesitate to reach out!
Where to Go
Boston is best done outside and, usually, with a sporting event. Come in April and cheer on the Boston Marathon runners with thousands of others. It’s my favorite day of the year in Boston. If you want to get a real feel for the city, come to the Marathon! If you are a sports fan or a history nerd, check out Fenway Park. You can always find cheap, last minute tickets and it’s a great afternoon or night. Stay for the 7th inning stretch to see what Boston sports fans are all about. If sports aren’t your thing, head to the Rose Kennedy Greenway and check out the public art installations, rest in the hammocks, browse the art markets or gorge at the food trucks that rotate through the Greenway throughout the warmer months. If it’s winter, well, head inside like all good Bostonians do and check out any number of our museums. I’ll let you decide which ones for yourself!
P.S. Love this series? Be sure to check out all our city guides and our interactive map of our writers’ favorite spots!