Nicole Tzen, Inner Balance’s owner and a certified holistic practitioner, wants to do more than treat illness; she strives to empower clients to take control of their own health. That’s why, in addition to offering integrative-healing services such as massage therapy, acupressure, and reiki healing, she hosts a range of yoga classes to bolster clients’ fitness. This balance between mind, body, and spirit is also seen in the wellness center’s Peaceful Minds program, in which licensed holistic practitioner Amy Mahoney provides free massage therapy, reiki healing, and yoga and meditation instruction for combat veterans.
Director Patrick Hanratty chose to study under hot-yoga master Bikram Choudhury after becoming captivated by the technique. He has since taught yoga for seven years, and derives the most happiness from witnessing his clients finding themselves surprised by the Bikram style's visible benefits. Patrick welcomes students of all experience levels to Hot Yoga Massapequa, where he cultivates an encouraging setting in which classes run seven days a week. During each session, guests transition from one Bikram pose to the next, following a specific sequence that utilizes every major muscle group. While the heat draws out toxins through sweat, the technique's therapeutic element inspires patrons to let go of stress and chronic aches sustained from sleeping in a giant pretzel mold.
Inside a purple studio strewn with mats and padded blocks, experienced Hot-Yoga certified instructors Karen and Dana lead students through a stretching workout regime that centers the mind and body. Karen, Dana, and their staff of highly-trained and certified teachers each have their own distinct approach to yoga, however all teachers are supportive and hands-on, allowing students to individualize their practice while gently pushing them to to achieve their goals. The staff specializes in teaching Barkan hot yoga, a Calcutta-derived practice, and classic hot yoga, which can promote detoxification with its 26 poses.
A subtle heat spreads throughout Fuel the Soul, distinct from the scorching air at hot-yoga studios that warm the room with thermostats. The muscle-melting energy seeps into muscles, coaxing tension away. This brand of heat comes from a system that emits infrared rays, capable of penetrating deeper into tissues and detoxifying patrons while they move through classic yoga poses. Co-owner Greg Fine explains to Patch.com, "Exercising … in an infrared heated sauna can help you burn calories much faster." The heat emanates from lamps that, according to Greg, are identical to those used by surgeons in neonatal hospital units and fast-food line-cooks in NASA space vessels. Customers can reap the heat's benefits, which include a faster metabolism and easier healing, whether they’re attending yoga classes or simply steeping in the far-infrared sauna.
Another offering as unusual as a cat and dog that only fight about who loves the other more is the Gyrotonic workout, "a unique method that uses movements found in swimming, yoga, and tai chi and helps improve strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination." Greg—who studied under Juliu Horvath, the Romanian dancer and exile who developed the exercise to recover after tearing his Achilles tendon and rupturing a few spinal disks—teaches the technique to students of all fitness levels and ages, whether they’re recovering from injuries or courting greater flexibility.