Stacy Plaske, founder and owner of Balance Yoga & Healing Arts, nurtures an environment of self-discovery and holistic health with a team of alternative-health professionals and the experience she accrued over 10 years of teaching Ashtanga-style yoga. Stacy hones her understanding of the challenging yoga modality through constant study and yearly pilgrimages to India, where she studies Ashtanga’s self-guided counterpart, Mysore. Bolstered by a staff of instructors, Stacy helms a schedule of athletic Ashtanga, flowing Vinyasa, and alignment-focused Iyengar classes. Instructors accommodate students of all skill levels by suggesting modified poses, and ease less flexible attendees into stretches by affixing helium balloons to students' limbs. The center’s professional massage therapists use relaxing or restorative modalities to soothe overstressed muscles, and an on-staff acupuncturist frees up the body's blocked energy pathways with a combination of precise needle placement and Chinese herbal medicine.
In one way or another, Janine Friedman has always been involved in fitness—practicing Pilates, training clients, and serving as a fitness coordinator for local Girl Scouts. "Movement has always been a part of my life," says Janine. "It gives me purpose, focus, and happiness all at once, allowing me to share the positive and healthful benefits with others.” Pulling from her passion and years of experience, Janine opened her own private training studio—Esteem Wellness & Fitness—where she continues to teach classes alongside a team of certified instructors.
Reflected in the studio's mirror-lined walls and cushioned by its carpeted floors, coaches guide students through the poses of Vinyasa yoga and Pilates, the sultry movements of belly dancing, and the high-intensity cardio and strength-training exercises of conditioning classes. The studio even offers a Jedi Training program for kids—in which instructors guide youngsters in meditation and peaceful problem solving—along with youth and teen yoga classes, in which students learn techniques that enable them to avoid geometry class by neatly tucking themselves into their lockers—an ironic use of geometry.
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.
Absolute Yoga's instructors uphold the studio’s mission to "make yoga readily accessible to every body" by guiding pupils through more than 50 classes ranging in style and difficulty level each week. Within two separate practice spaces, studio owner Leslie Luft and her band of certified instructors lead a wide variety classes, from prenatal yoga for expecting mothers to core-strengthening Pilates sessions and yoga classes rooted in more meditative modalities. To further foster a close community of health and wellness, Absolute Yoga hosts intensive workshops that help attendees expand their understanding of specific subjects such as inversion and balancing poses and holistic baby-food making.
For more than two decades, Syosset Martial Arts Center has been a place for people to not only learn martial arts but to move toward healthy, balanced lifestyles. The black-belt instructors tutor students in shotokan karate, which focuses on building values and character as its students learn self-defense and sparring moves. Adult classes begin with a warm-up and review before they launch into sparring, bag work, or the day's theme—and the class is always a whole-body workout. In addition to karate, the instructors also teach Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a grappling-based martial art. These classes aim to help students gain confidence, lose weight, and learn how to defend themselves.
Kids' karate classes engage young ones with activities including obstacle courses and calisthenics and instill values such as self-confidence and discipline. They can celebrate turning a year older with a birthday party at the dojo, complete with pizza, karate-themed invitations, and protection from insane posses of clowns.
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.