Ojas Center welcomes pupils of all skill levels and experiences to study in its courses of spiritual, centering yoga, heal with its therapeutic treatments and massages, and share in the community of fellow students with workshops. The team of instructors draw from a well-spring of diverse backgrounds and experiences, such as Varsha Bakshani’s E-RYT200 certification, Jason Morris’s past as a dancer and martial artist, and Dr. Indrani Maity’s training as a naturopath and clinical nutritionist.
Amid glowing wall sconces and goldenrod walls, visitors achieve deeper stretches and flush out toxins in hot-yoga lessons, or balance their breathing in Hatha sessions. In addition to building muscle tone and well-being with therapeutic reiki, massage, and yoga instruction, Ojas connects students with other like-minded individuals with yoga retreats, and encourages creativity and hosts flying carpet races in youth summer camps.
Co-owners Adam Roper and Erik Cummings didn't always sport the healthy bodies they do now, but through years of dedicated practice and, eventually, Bikram certifications, Adam lost 35 pounds and Erik addressed a shoulder injury caused by a previous bike accident. Today, the two yogis share their passion for the heated practice with the help of a team of fellow certified instructors and Bikram Yoga Harlem's unofficial mascot, a pint-sized dachshund named Sebastian Kumquat. The studio welcomes practitioners of all experience levels, with Bikram's series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises catering to even the rustiest of tin men. Balmy temperatures around the 100-degree mark warm the muscles, helping students achieve deeper twists, binds, and bends, and encouraging the body to expel harmful toxins and clingy droplets of T-1000.
The early morning sun cascades off the Hudson River, sending beams of dawn dancing across the wooden dock where students flow through Vinyasa-style poses in tandem with the rhythmic sound of waves. Against this scenic backdrop accented by the silhouettes of distant skyscrapers, certified instructors demonstrate postures as the class makes its way through the tapestry of asanas. This is how most mornings begin at Casa Vinyasa Yoga, setting the tone of calm and serenity that carries throughout the day. The studio, which boasts panoramic views of New York City in the colder months and dock-top classes in the spring and summer, houses a collection of passionate instructors who collectively put their 200–500 hours of training to use leading classes for students of all fitness levels. Each of these teachers found yoga in their own way, some turning to it in the midst of a lonely marriage, others using it to find sanctuary from unfulfilling corporate jobs or lackluster games of Twister. They channel their distinctive passion for the practice in each of invigorating classes, which range from yoga fundamentals to more rigorous sessions such as Forrest Yoga that aims to build core strength.
Though the Fitness Factory’s classes, weight-loss center, and personal trainers embody the efficiency that the gym’s name suggests, its commitment to personalizing the gym-going experience diverges from the idea of a factory. Each of the three upscale locations—outfitted with unique amenities—is designed specifically for different types of exercisers. In Palisades Park, the building’s three floors embody various disciplines: the first floor teaches endurance, the second floor's concentration is sports performance, and the third floor focuses on strength training. The Rockaway spot blends exercise and entertainment with a cinema room that projects the latest blockbusters on a true silver screen as members hit the treadmills. Edgewater builds communities and core strength with Pilates reformer classes, hot-yoga studios, and rooftop yoga sessions where guests can salute the sun and shame lazy clouds. No matter the location, each gym pampers members with saunas, babysitting services in a toy-filled playroom, and a smoothie bar stocked with healthy postworkout snacks designed to help build muscle.
All of the instructors at Hudson Dance Studio are professional- and champion-level dancers who have trained in Europe. Armed with an encyclopedic overseas knowledge of dance, they lead students of all skill levels through classes that explore myriad styles, including ballet for adults, Zumba, samba, Argentine tango, swing, foxtrot, and the waltz. The instructing team fosters a supportive environment in which students can meet new people, have fun, and feel comfortable. Hudson Dance Studio frequently hosts dance parties and special events, and is also available for birthday parties and other special occasions.
CrossFit Giant, in its fully equipped studio, challenges guests with high-energy workouts that change daily. The CrossFit technique, used by military special ops and police academies, is scaled by intensity and load. This allows the staff to accommodate students of all fitness levels, challenging the whole body with jump roping, squats, and sprints, the three of which should never be combined into one simultaneous maneuver.