When Drita D'Avanzo, a cast member of VH1’s Mob Wives, enlisted for one-on-one training at Evolution Boxing, she was fresh off a rooftop brawl. Hoping to unleash her simmering anger, she teamed up with Anthony, a boxing instructor. "I've got to turn over a new leaf," she explained on the show, "I'm taking it from the rooftop to the ring." As she threw punches, she began to experience release—and control. Upon leaving, she concluded, "Now I don't have to hit anybody."
D'Avanzo successfully channeled her aggression into an appropriate outlet. In doing so, she proved Evolution Boxing's commitment to serving individual needs, whether through group or personal instruction. Instructors classify boxers according to experience and tailor all subsequent instruction to drive toward goals. They equip children for playground brawls with anti-bullying classes, help women defend against attackers with self-defense classes, and help everyday working professionals knock out lunch thieves with the Blue Collar program.
Before opening his own studio, owner and passionate yogi J. Brown spent more than a decade working as an independent yoga instructor. He credits this experience with creating Abhyasa Yoga Center's personal and inclusive atmosphere that welcomes students of all experience and skill levels. Each of the studio's 15 certified yoga instructors have been trained by Brown, resulting in a cohesive schedule of classes practiced in a therapeutic, breath-centered style. Though yoga's physical postures can help students increase strength, flexibility, and patience when training wild spirit animals, Brown and his fellow yogis encourage patrons to perform each pose at their own level of difficulty and link their movements with Ujjayi breathing techniques to sync the body and mind.
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 a variety of yoga classes throughout each week. Some sessions cater to the beginner, others to pregnant mothers, and still more to meditative practitioners. Beyond yoga, massage therapists employ modalities such as shiatsu, craniosacral, and prenatal massage, which helps babies appreciate backrubs before they're even born.
New York Sports Clubs, part of Town Sports International's network of fitness loci, opens up a number of equipment-stocked facilities across New York to exercisers. Strength-training gear, such as circuit machines, free weights, and medicine balls, molds muscles into chiseled depictions of physical might. Sessions on cardio machines, ranging from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent stationary bicycles, inspire burnt calories to pack up and move to cooler climates. Each club offers a schedule of group classes that draws from more than 100 fitness styles, including Pilates, yoga, and boxing, ensuring that no member has to jazzercise without a spotter. Each location rewards exercisers for sweating in its vicinity with special features such as babysitting, saunas, and steam rooms.
Personal health consultants used to be considered a luxury reserved for the rich or for inventors who built their own robot doctors. Triomph’s team of health professionals seeks to defy this convention by lending their knowledge to help patrons of all income levels change their eating habits and stick to an exercise regimen to improve their overall wellness. Their personal programs combine custom fitness plans, nutritional advice, and unlimited support in individual or group training sessions, in which the instructors roam the room offering personal advice and motivation. In addition to working out, guests can restore sore muscles with massage or acupuncture therapy, and recharge with refreshments from the organic juice bar.
Yoga to the People believes yoga instruction should be available to anyone who wishes to improve their health, and that inclusion is key to the yoga experience. Instructors welcome students by designing classes that provide a challenge for all skill levels. Experienced practitioners can test their limits by exploring deeper stretches and bends in the heated confines, and first-time visitors can follow sequences at a comfortable pace and focus on finding a balance between the physical and mental aspects of the workout. The studio also offers instructor-training classes that prepare yoga practitioners to lead sessions on their own without the hassle of copying notes onto their forearms before class.