Artist Katie Niewodowski says she suffered from nearly debilitating, chronic migraines. That is, until she moved to Montclair, where she discovered holistic healing. This gradually led her into yoga, and as she began to look and feel healthier, she started practicing every day. Perhaps it was this decision that pushed her toward becoming a yoga instructor, leading to her education at the Bikram yoga school and Baron Baptiste's teacher training. She hasn't stopped learning since.
Today, as the owner of SunMoon Yoga, she leads a team of instructors who draw from backgrounds as diverse as acrobatics, poetry, and bending backwards to open doors. All lend their own touch to the studio's all-levels classes, in which they may help students align their chakras or teach them the meanings behind pieces of Sanskrit literature. Whatever their individual approaches, they all lead students sweating through traditional hot yoga, shifting through the fluid poses of vinyasa yoga, or chanting mantras and breathing rhythmically in Jivamukti yoga. Their breath and voices echo across the small studio's wood floors, where during the day, natural light filtering through light blue curtains contributes to the calming atmosphere.
The Pilates Haus, one of Hudson County’s only fully equipped and authentic Pilates studios, employs certified instructors with more than 600 hours of training in Joseph P.'s eponymous exercise. These tight-torsoed teachers keep group mat classes small so that each student gets their fair share of one-on-one adjustments—helping them achieve better balance, flexibility, and posture. Private sessions finesse your form even further, tailoring the regimen to your specific fitness goals, be it a bikini-ready body or becoming the first person to drink the English Channel. By the end of the montage of classes, practitioners will feel the benefits of a stronger back, healthier breathing techniques, and toe muscles limber enough to demonstrate hands-free knot tying at scout camp. The Pilates Haus schedules mat classes every day of the week.
There are six essential ingredients that compose each of Complete Body's fitness programs: strength, cardio, flexibility, meditation, nutrition, and rest. Founder Alex Reznik is the mind behind this philosophy. In 1995, he founded the company believing that, if given the opportunity, most people would seek to better their health. Soon thereafter, he was proven right by both rising membership numbers and favorable media attention, including articles in Time Out New York and the New York Times.
Complete Body has now expanded to three locations. At each club, experts adhere to Mr. Reznik's principles, blending Eastern and Western techniques during classes such as yoga, boot camps, and kickboxing. Complete Body also hosts cross-training classes, which are designed to burn fat, build strength, and improve flexibility by focusing on six elements: strength, cardio, flexibility, meditation, nutrition, and rest. Among the state-of-the-art equipment and fitness technologies that help members reach their fitness goals, independent trainers utilize the facility with their clients. At onsite spas, massage therapists work tense muscles and aestheticians refresh skin with facials. Physical therapists can help to rehabilitate clients following injuries, calling upon various training methods in their arsenal.
The Sanskrit word “yogamaya” means potent inner power, or, in another translation, all-doing capability. The West 20th Street studio aims to guide its students toward this ideal not just through postures but also through spiritual teachings and melodic kirtan chants.
As for the physical practice, the instructors lead Vinyasa flow classes, which link breath to movement. The dynamic sequences increase strength and flexibility while developing a moving meditation, one in which students focus on nothing but monitoring the alignment of every movement. Though every level of class incorporates a range of asanas, such as standing poses and inversions, advanced sessions introduce deeper holds, centering breathing exercises, and yogic philosophy.
Regardless of the difficulty of the class, the instructors maintain a warm environment by dispensing advice, offering specific adjustments, and furrowing their brows when someone tells a sad story. New York magazine commented on the empowering benefits of this personalized guidance, claiming, "even beginners are pleasantly coaxed into positions more difficult than they might think they could accomplish."
Guided by a mission of embracing every student's quest for personal growth, the team at YogaWorks offers programs for all ages and walks of life. Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, expert instructors build lean muscles with traditional Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flow classes enhanced by inspiring music, ambient candlelight, meditation, and props. Their fitness classes further the body-shaping results of yoga, strengthening core muscles with Pilates, increasing endurance and lean muscles with TRX classes, and building stamina with resistance-based SculptWorks.
Instructors also host exotic yoga retreats, which marry the excitement of travel to far-away locales with the benefits of yoga to bestow students with the confident grace required to approach a foreign yoga mat without startling it. Those in search of further training can access online videos by subscribing to myyogaworks.com, which offers a free, 14-day trial for new users. Students can search for videos by workout duration, skill level, and the targeted area of the body.
Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.