While working together at a personal training facility, professional MMA fighter Jimmy Boudourakis and Chris Oddsen—a trainer with 10 years of experience—dreamed about one day opening their own business. After the establishment they worked for closed down, they brought Vincent DeRiso—a mixed-martial-arts student of Jimmy's—on board to realize their dream, eventually opening the doors to Northport’s MMA Fitness Center.
The trio of owners empathizes with the members who know they need a lifestyle change. This rings especially true for DeRiso, who—after being active all of his life and playing football—went through what he describes as “a rough patch,” hitting 290 pounds. With hard work and the right training, he dropped to 225 pounds and eventually became an MMA fighter. This mixture of empathy and diligence is the bedrock of their business model, which even extends to how they greet their patrons at the door. “The first thing we ask them is, ‘How has your day been?'” said DeRiso. And although the MMA workouts may be difficult, he says that they welcome people and video-game bosses of all fitness levels to attend, work hard, and challenge themselves.
One of the perks of the job for DeRiso is that they get to help kids develop good habits early on, including an overweight 15-year-old who dropped 20 pounds in his first month and impressed his coaches on his most recent football evaluation. The trainers offer classes to teenagers and kids to not only introduce them to mixed martial arts, but to also help them learn discipline in other areas of life. “We feel that kids should definitely learn discipline, because it's not just for the sport,” DeRiso said. “They also bring it back to home and school.”
A featured instructor for ESPN Radio and Long Island Golfing Magazine, teaching professional Peter Stern assists students with game improvement through lessons held at Indian Head Golf Park. Peter instills the fundamentals of a proper golf swing, which hold up from tee to green with a focus on helping pupils replicate perfected mechanics long after the lesson ends. While the body learns to become one with the club, a video camera records the session so that students can see weak points for themselves rather than trading bodies with a misunderstood sibling. All lessons evade the elements either in Peter's indoor studio or outdoor covered teaching booth.
Inner Spirit Yoga Center's team of certified instructors foster a diverse community of yogis dedicated to wellness and kinship with a curriculum that accommodates all ages, skill levels, and abilities. A four-week beginner's yoga series imparts the foundational postures, breathing techniques, and tricks for housebreaking stubborn spirit animals. In addition to yoga, the center also hosts belly dance classes, tai chi, and peaceful meditation sessions. A packed calendar of events maintains community vibes through potluck dinners, movie nights, and inspirational book club meetings.
Pagoda Acupuncture’s licensed practitioners employ ancient Chinese medical techniques to restore youthful looks to clients’ faces without chemicals or surgery. The session commences with a one-on-one consultation with Pagoda owner and founder Heather L. Romano, whose interview swiftly unearths patients’ concerns and desires, much like a bulldozer driven by Sigmund Freud. Practitioners then lightly prick facial skin with thin needles, unleashing a face-soothing free-for-all designed to stimulate collagen production, tighten pores, and boost local blood flow. Virtually painless for most patients, the treatment can help to firm, tone, and lift skin without the use of harsh chemicals, invasive surgery, or tiring face workouts led by Richard Simmons’ eyebrows.
Inner Spirit Acupuncture administers community-style acupuncture treatments inside a quiet, soothing space. With decorative lanterns dangling from above, groups of up to four patients relax in reclining chairs as the acupuncturists insert needles into the body's strategic distal locations. The facility does not enforce a time limit, allowing each individual to remain in the treatment room for as long as they feel necessary. Sessions at Inner Spirit Acupuncture may help treat a variety of common ailments, including arthritis, hot flashes, stress and fatigue, weight loss and digestive disorders, anxiety and depression, PMS, and many types of pain.
Margaret E. Kabacinski treats patients like family, hosting each personal appointment inside Northport Skin Fitness's cozy bungalow. A licensed aesthetician, certified laser technician, and holistic health expert, Kabacinski oversees a team of technicians who specialize in using lasers to decimate unwanted hair or keep faces glowing as warmly as a recently microwaved sun.