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.
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.
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.
Woodway treadmills whirr and weight machines clank 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Though staffed while sun's up, the fitness center is accessible via members' key cards at night, giving gym-goers ample opportunity to incinerate calories and tone muscles on a full range of Cybex equipment or pass off their tears as sweat while watching Homeward Bound in the cardio theater. Workouts are supplemented with private sessions led by certified personal trainers, online nutritional resources, and onsite tanning booths that gold-plate freshly toned frames.
More than 100 tricky routes dot the 30-foot climbing walls and 25-foot rappel tower inside Island Rock. The facility's 9,000 square feet of indoor climbing surfaces are all constructed to look and feel like real rocks, so climbers can close their eyes and picture themselves scaling K2 or the Venus de Milo. Knowledgeable staffers oversee attempts at the lead wall and bouldering cave and steer patrons toward a training room equipped with Cybex and cardio equipment. After a long day of climbing, guests can refresh in the locker rooms' showers and saunas.