Dolphin Fitness Clubs' forest of humming and clanking exercise equipment is overseen by knowledgeable staff who are eager to dole out instruction on playing nicely with the machines and to pass along workout tips. Professional cardio- and strength-training equipment, from top manufacturers such as Cybex, Streamline, and Hammer, abounds as the certified trainers lead clients through customized workouts that are supplemented by nutritional counseling. The trainers also conduct group fitness classes—such as Zumba—in their expansive studios. Hordes of flat-screens line the gym walls, regaling fitness-seekers with distractions in the form of TV shows and movies such as Babe, a pig in the city who overcame all odds to run his first marathon.
The Willow stretches limbs and centers chakras in a serene studio swathed in aura-inspired colors. The studio offers a bevy of body-bending classes, including basic and advanced Pilates, hot Vinyasa yoga, and belly dancing. During group classes, guests can stretch out their body blankets as experienced instructors provide comprehensive, step-by-step guidance. With a month of unlimited dips, students can try their abs and minds in one or many formats, hunting for the regimen that suits their sweat beads best.
At New Body Bootcamp & Wellness, personal trainer Aja Davis hopes to inspire two types of change in her clients. The first is visible: a fitter, slimmer physique resulting from her signature interval workouts. The second is philosophical: a lifelong awareness of how to preserve and pursue health. This model of "lifestyle implementation" encompasses nutrition as well as exercise while avoiding temporary fixes, such as fad diets and foam muscle suits. Instead, Aja's program uses challenging and varied routines, the motivational power of teamwork, and individual attention from a fitness expert.
At one-hour boot-camp classes, Aja leads groups through cardio and resistance maneuvers that employ stretchable bands, kettlebells, and TRX suspension cords. The routine has won the title of Best Post-Holiday Rescue in GO magazine, which also lists New Body Bootcamp & Wellness as one of its three favorite fitness venues. Aja aims to spark camaraderie as much as she does weight loss and toning—using partner drills to prompt campers to rely on one another—and even outside of class, patrons can run local races as part of the New Body team or tag-team wrestle the local mall Santa.
Husband-and-wife team and Prana Power Yoga cofounders Philippe and Taylor Wells foster an environment in which clients can explore holistic wellness through yoga, intensive workshops, and events. Instructors at each heated studio locations roll out the welcome yoga mats, encouraging students of all interests and skill levels, from mothers-to-be to veteran sun saluters, to build strong bodies and peaceful minds in a judgment-free environment. During athletic Vinyasa-style yoga classes, certified instructors crank up temperatures as high as 99 degrees before taking mat mavens through a sequence of sweaty postures linked with mindful breathing exercises designed to boost lung capacity to Sting-like levels. Meanwhile, visitors in search of a transformative experience can attend one of the studio's workshops or events, which range from juice cleanses to destination yoga retreats in Nayarit, Mexico.
Vel, a certified Climb & Spin pole-dance instructor, spent time shimmying across Japan, Europe, and Africa in order to expand her repertoire. To put her versatile expertise to good work, Vel founded Brooklyn's Finest Pole Dancing Studio as a women-only dance studio where she could help women to shake themselves free of inhibitions. Newbie, intermediate, and advanced pole-dancing classes give students of skill levels the ability to shimmy away their insecurities and find enjoyment onstage as they study under expert dancers. In addition to dance, the studio’s schedule also includes fitness classes and specialty sessions where students can learn the secrets to lap dancing and creating sultry dance routines around props such as chairs or airport-terminal seats. Vel's dedication to empowering women carries over to the studio's Women's Wellness Workshops, which bring industry professionals and eager students together to share and discuss issues of women's health and sexuality.:m]]
Having spent much of her life as a stay-at-home mom, Wendy Chanelis turned to yoga as a way to tone her muscles and awaken her mind. She quickly fell in the love with exercise form and, after studying with many different masters of many different styles such as Iyengar and Jivamukti, eventually decided it was time to open her own studio. She founded Yoga People in 1998 as a welcoming haven for like-minded yogis and curious beginners alike.
Wendy—along with a staff of 15 certified teachers—now conducts twelve different kinds of yoga classes multiple times throughout each week. Some sessions cater to the beginner, others to pregnant mothers, and still more to meditative practitioners. Beyond yoga, holistic health and wellness counselor Donnalynn Civello provides nutritional consultations, while massage therapists employ modalities such as shiatsu, craniosacral, and prenatal massage, which helps babies appreciate backrubs before they're even born.