Artist Katie Niewodowski says she suffered from nearly debilitating, chronic migraines. That is, until she moved to Montclair, where she discovered holistic healing. This gradually led her into yoga, and as she began to look and feel healthier, she started practicing every day. Perhaps it was this decision that pushed her toward becoming a yoga instructor, leading to her education at the Bikram yoga school and Baron Baptiste's teacher training. She hasn't stopped learning since.
Today, as the owner of SunMoon Yoga, she leads a team of instructors who draw from backgrounds as diverse as acrobatics, poetry, and bending backwards to open doors. All lend their own touch to the studio's all-levels classes, in which they may help students align their chakras or teach them the meanings behind pieces of Sanskrit literature. Whatever their individual approaches, they all lead students sweating through traditional hot yoga, shifting through the fluid poses of vinyasa yoga, or chanting mantras and breathing rhythmically in Jivamukti yoga. Their breath and voices echo across the small studio's wood floors, where during the day, natural light filtering through light blue curtains contributes to the calming atmosphere.
The Pilates Haus, one of Hudson County’s only fully equipped and authentic Pilates studios, employs certified instructors with more than 600 hours of training in Joseph P.'s eponymous exercise. These tight-torsoed teachers keep group mat classes small so that each student gets their fair share of one-on-one adjustments—helping them achieve better balance, flexibility, and posture. Private sessions finesse your form even further, tailoring the regimen to your specific fitness goals, be it a bikini-ready body or becoming the first person to drink the English Channel. By the end of the montage of classes, practitioners will feel the benefits of a stronger back, healthier breathing techniques, and toe muscles limber enough to demonstrate hands-free knot tying at scout camp. The Pilates Haus schedules mat classes every day of the week.
"It's hot in here." When that's all you can think about, you tend to forget about the intense physical exertion involved with a series Bikram moves. But the work does pay off, as practitioners are kicking up their core strengthen while sweating away heaps of calories. Garnering the attention of New Jersey Monthly Magazine and New Jersey Health and Beauty, Surya Yoga Academy's three welcoming studios are a great place for men and women of all skill levels to practice hot yoga and other yoga genres, including Vinyasa or Jivamukti poses. Alongside traditional sessions, the studio's specialized workshops train athletes and runners to maximize their exercise potential, and focused mom-and-baby yoga classes build mother-child bonds and telepathy skills.
After Lisa Usherovich had her first baby, she discovered yoga as a way to get back in shape and relieve stress. She eventually founded MiMi Yoga for Everyone, a welcoming studio where prenatal classes help keep expectant women comfortable, as well as post-natal classes that let mothers and babies practice yoga together. A full schedule includes other types of yoga, from a fundamentals class to an iyengar session that uses props to help bodies stretch to new limits and practice new stand-up routines. In all classes, Lisa and her team invite more experienced yogis to set up in the front row so new students can hang behind and follow their lead.
Whether you want to stand taller, bend over backwards, or open a pickle jar taped to your back, Devotion Yoga offers a suitable yoga style. Launch a quest to find peace of mind, openness of heart, and baby Jason’s golden pacifier during a bhakti open flow session, or celebrate the night’s final departure during an "Om in the a.m." class, a yogic excursion that starts a brand-new day with challenging postures and breathing techniques. Devotion’s Uptown location sits in a cozy storefront space right across from Manhattan’s skyscratchers, and the original downtown location has two relaxing studios: the Sun Studio, a bright yoga lounge with yellowed walls, high ceilings, and bulletproof windows, and the Moon Room, decked out in bamboo floors and meditative plants.