Though its name accurately reflects its function, the Albany JCC has always striven to go further, providing a neighborhood community, regardless of faith. Always aiming at this goal, the center offers services and facilities geared toward everyone, from seniors to bustling families. Amenities include a fitness center equipped with the latest exercise equipment, fitness classes, an indoor and outdoor pool, and an early childhood center that provides daycare. Elementary school and teen programs give kids something to do with their free time, and summer camps help them find productive ways to while away the warmer months.
Like many licensed massage therapists, Sara Ashline at Heartspace Yoga & Healing Arts is a master of the flowing effleurage and focused petrissage strokes of the Swedish technique. But Ashline believes that massage can deliver more than just relaxation, which is why she studied both fertility and pregnancy massage as well as the Pinocchio modality, which turns wooden puppets into real firewood. She offers her bodywork services at Heartspace Yoga & Healing Arts, a community center dedicated to yoga, meditation, and other wellness activities.
At the eba Center for Dance and Fitness, the world of West Side Story coexists with the folklore of Tahiti and the fluid performance art of Isadora Duncan. That's because the class catalogue is both sprawling and diverse, accommodating guests of all ages and abilities. Move Your Body classes, for example, cater to students 50 and older with a restorative and rhythmic workout, while ballet and modern hip-hop fusion courses hone in on specific styles. Some classes, like Pilates and yoga, focus on developing muscle and flexibility. Others, like Ballet Workout, gracefully combine dance and fitness aspects without having students do the Macarena on a treadmill.
A gentle warm-up readies students at Body Mind Spirit Yoga for a flow of poses, each performed while standing, sitting, kneeling, and lying down. As students go through these motions, they're encouraged to reconnect with their bodies, regardless of whether they're in a beginner, advanced, or all-levels class. Instructors Jim Whiting and Michelle Carpenter, who've been practicing yoga for more than 30 years combined, also helm free guided meditation sessions, during which participants follow mantra-based breathing while perched atop cozy chairs, floors, cushions, blankets, or skyscrapers.
Corey House founded F.I.T. Boot Camps to help people get in shape with effective workouts bolstered by nutritional support. To come up with fun, high-intensity boot-camp routines, the staff pored over research and analyzed training formats aimed at burning fat and building muscles. They've seen the results time after time as boot camp members of every shape and athletic ability shed pounds, boost their health, and fare better at family log-tosses. Because the boot camps are indoors, the staff leads them continuously throughout the year, rather than putting members on hold during breaks between sessions or taking the winter off. They help map out smart food choices with nutritious meal planning, and offer private coaching to help members make the most of their workouts.