First, you center the clay. Slapping a blob down on the wheel, students learn to find the symmetrical point in the middle of the wheel before pulling the malleable material up and out into a recognizable form. At Clay Art Workshop, newbie students start from the ground up, learning the nuance of crafting a work of art from hunks of smooth earth. After forms have dried, pupils will learn how to glaze their pieces to create a completed work, which is then fired inside the studio's kiln. All levels of potters are welcome, and the cost of the class includes clay and excludes a muse, which costs extra.
Elite Fitness turns an industrial-size fan on the fog of boredom and uncertainty that dumbfounders people in their pursuit of healthy living. The gym floor packs in all manners of Cybex equipment and separate studios teaching a rotating schedule of group classes, from spinning and cardio kickboxing, to belly dancing and bandercize. The front desk even loans iPods, preloaded with songs and the sweetly whispered affirmations of your high-school gym teacher, to keep patrons moving. Post-workout, guests hit the showers, and get themselves work-ready with the help of complimentary toiletries and towels before retrieving their gear from one of the free lockers.
Elite’s team of personal trainers personalizes fitness regimens with one-on-one private instruction. A Crossfit-certified trainer leads extended workshops, including programs such as cardio boot camps and P90X. To keep patrons on the nutritional straight and narrow, Elite takes part in the 5 Squares program, which eliminates the chore of counting calories by delivering healthy, gourmet meals that are rich in protein and low in carbs.
Lorraine Aguilar, founder of Yoga Flow Studio, believes that a holistic approach to the mind and body can bring about happiness and health. With 20 years of yoga experience, she leads a staff with backgrounds in physical therapy, massage, martial arts, and other disciplines as they focus on every aspect of well-being.
Inside their sanctuary, instructors lead yoga-themed movie nights and meditation sessions, and more than 20 styles of yoga rotate into a schedule that typically offers classes every day of the week. The team is especially dedicated to the study and practice of Anusara and Ashtanga yoga techniques, which draw upon the same principles as Hatha yoga and the same moves as Gumby trying to get something off his back. Frustration gives way to relaxation in introductory sessions, and prenatal yoga helps moms-in-the-making relax. Guest speakers visit the center to discuss Buddhism, philosophy, and emerging yoga techniques.
The staff members of Bikram Yoga Locust Valley complete rigorous training under the tutelage of discipline-founder Bikram Choudhury, imparting their hot-yoga techniques with a rigorous authenticity. During the 90-minute sessions, students methodically stretch every tendon, ligament, joint, and muscle as the 26 postures burn fat, shrink stress, and leave pores salivating for more. Students tote along their own mat, towel, and water to the bright and beautiful studio, where forgetful pupils may purchase any supplies they forgot at home.