Athlete's Feat

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Guide to Fitness and Yoga on the Main Line

By Lauren Napolitano PsyD
If you live on the Main Line, it’s likely that you’ve noticed the increase in the number of boutique fitness and yoga studios over the years. 
The trend in fitness, it appears, is the devolution of the large mega-gym and the proliferation of boutique fitness and yoga centers. In the past, you’d get a membership at one gym and do whatever classes were offered. These days you have endless options including: hot yoga, mat Pilates, Reformer pilates, indoor cycling, step aerobics, boot camp, mindfulness-based yoga, kettlebells, or barre. 
How can you choose which exercise or which studio to try? Enter Lauren Napolitano, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist in private practice and on staff at Bryn Mawr Hospital. "I have always loved the series ‘Urban Athlete’ in The New York Times where a journalist takes a trendy new fitness class and writes about his/her experience. I had always wished that there was such a review guide on the Main Line," Napolitano said. "Rather than waiting for a Zagat-style guide to fitness to appear, [I wanted to] virtually every fitness and yoga studio on the Main Line."
Why would a clinical psychologist invest so much time and energy into exploring the world of fitness? 

According to Dr. Napolitano, there are Five Keys to Happiness:
1. Put Yourself First
2. Seek Out Support
3. Exercise Daily (Stretching Counts)
4. Eliminate All Forms of Clutter
5. Find Your Tribe
"Social exercise (exercise classes) helps individuals to feel happier and it helps them to ‘find their tribe," Dr. Napolitano said. "Every fitness studio has its own culture, and it’s great when you find the perfect fit for your fitness needs and your personality. It’s like coming home."

To that end, Dr. Napolitano has reviewed (or is in the process of trying) the following studios:
Verge Yoga Center (Wayne)
Jai Yoga (Haverford)
Body Precision Pilates (Bryn Mawr)
Main Line Health & Fitness (Bryn Mawr)
Fluid Cycling (Wayne)
RowZone (Newtown Square)
CrossFit R5 (Wayne)
Maha Yoga and Healing Arts (Ardmore)
Lithe Method (Haverford)
Focus Fitness Main Line (Bryn Mawr)
Flywheel (Bryn Mawr)
The Yoga Garden (Narberth)
Platoon Fitness (Bryn Mawr)
Club La Maison (Wayne)
MLS Fitness (Haverford)
YogaLife Institute (Devon)
Inner Drive Fitness (Newtown Square)

Each of Dr. Napolitano’s studio reviews include information about the culture at the studio, how to minimize feeling like a ‘newbie’ (e.g., the key to the bathroom at Jai Yoga is on an orange water bottle by the front door), and what to wear.
To see a full list of her studio reviews, check out this site:
Dr. Napolitano has also compiled a calendar of workshops and special events from the fitness and yoga studios that she has reviewed. ‘I would spend so much time looking for theme spin classes or yoga workshops on different studio websites. I thought I would make it easier for people by compiling all of the studios onto one universal calendar.’
Here is a link to her Main Line Fitness, Yoga and Running Calendar:
If you know of a Main Line fitness or yoga studio that Dr. Napolitano hasn’t tried yet, please tell her about it at


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December 15, 2013 at 11:42 PM  
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