A subtle heat spreads throughout Fuel the Soul, distinct from the scorching air at hot-yoga studios that warm the room with thermostats. The muscle-melting energy seeps into muscles, coaxing tension away. This brand of heat comes from a system that emits infrared rays, capable of penetrating deeper into tissues and detoxifying patrons while they move through classic yoga poses. Co-owner Greg Fine explains to Patch.com, "Exercising … in an infrared heated sauna can help you burn calories much faster." The heat emanates from lamps that, according to Greg, are identical to those used by surgeons in neonatal hospital units and fast-food line-cooks in NASA space vessels. Customers can reap the heat's benefits, which include a faster metabolism and easier healing, whether they’re attending yoga classes or simply steeping in the far-infrared sauna.
Another offering as unusual as a cat and dog that only fight about who loves the other more is the Gyrotonic workout, "a unique method that uses movements found in swimming, yoga, and tai chi and helps improve strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination." Greg—who studied under Juliu Horvath, the Romanian dancer and exile who developed the exercise to recover after tearing his Achilles tendon and rupturing a few spinal disks—teaches the technique to students of all fitness levels and ages, whether they’re recovering from injuries or courting greater flexibility.
Lorry Salluzzi of Soma Healing Center has many highly developed talents—most of them in areas completely foreign to the average earthly being. As a professional medium, clairvoyant, and alternative healer, she helps her clients commune with loved ones' spirits, learn about their futures, and feel better balanced through chakra work, Reiki, tuning fork therapy, and needle-free acupuncture. Gong Wash workshops lead participants deep into the forgotten past to slough away the karma and out-of-date fashion choices that accumulate during former lives. To reinforce their own psychic abilities, guests can sign up for psychic development workshops, and Reiki practitioners of varying levels can hone their skills under Salluzzi's expert guidance.
Many of her clients visit—or call—for psychic readings. Salluzzi prides herself on her ability to see energy, which lets her glimpse auras and always know if her clients are hiding batteries in their mouths. Tarot cards facilitate each reading, but the deck is just a vehicle through which Salluzzi channels her focus. She encourages visitors to bring specific questions, and even pictures and personal items, to their readings.
Chef Chris Randell has always had somewhat of a wandering streak. After growing up in Southern California on the North Dakota recipes of his mother and grandmother, he spent two years cooking Mexican food in New York, blending the Lower East Side's traditional Jewish and Spanish cuisines. Later, he and his wife Heather—whom he met while working at a restaurant in San Francisco—decided to distill Chris's culinary passions into one restaurant: the tin-ceilinged Left Coast Kitchen and Cocktails, a "casual gastro-pub," in the chef's own words. Inside the kitchen, Chef Chris crafts a range of high-end pub dishes influenced by recipes from both the East and West Coasts, from mini crab burgers echoing a New England bay to root-beer-glazed pork chops inspired by the Pacific's sugary tides. Nearly 50 craft beers and 80 wines pair with the meals, whose aromas waft among bistro tables, brass ring chandeliers, and art in vibrant colors, surrounded on some nights by the equally eclectic sounds of live musicians.
The more than a dozen brick-and-mortar locations that make up Ultimate Champions Taekwondo Association share not only a style of combat, but a teaching philosophy as well. Tracing the lineage of their combative art back to Grandmaster Sang K. Oh, the instructors adhere to his teachings, exemplified by the quote, "The person who can defeat others with flashy techniques but is without love toward his fellow man will in the end defeat himself." Students use the physical empowerment of mastering jumps, kicks, and weapons to arm themselves with discipline, confidence, concentration, self-respect, and courtesy for others.
Outside of the classroom, the organization reaches out to the tri-state community with ample demonstrations of some of their most exciting techniques. Practitioners soar skyward in flying kicks or fill the air with the whirring blows of nunchakus, bos, and kamas. Fists slam through boards, balloons, and bricks to demonstrate the striking power of tae kwon do and the structural flaws in the Three Little Pigs' panic room.
More than 30 years after its inception, Cactus Salon & Spa and its team of continually educated stylists have not lost their edge?they earned the Long Island Press's designation as Best Hair Salon and Best Day Spa in 2011 and 2012. It's not surprising, then, that the salon has enjoyed such impressive growth over the years, with more than two dozen separate spa and salon locations.
Although hair is still the focus?stylists craft 'dos that reflect everyday ease or fashion-forward thinking?the repertoire has expanded to include everything from nail treatments and massages to permanent cosmetics and laser services. Since the roster is so broad, many clients take advantage of Cactus Club memberships, which give them the flexibility to try multiple services and products by deactivating the force fields between treatment rooms and granting a 33% discount on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
"Individuality is crucial," says Richard Calcasola, the founder and mastermind behind Maximus Spa Salon. He's referring to the importance of understanding a client's lifestyle and habits before providing a haircut, ensuring that each resulting look is both unique and maintainable. Listening is a skill Calcasola has stressed to his team for more than 40 years, and it has earned him a reputation for being friendly and approachable even as he helps set international styling trends.
At Maximus, Calcasola oversees a staff of beauty professionals who draw on his lessons to cut and color hair. They also perform a number of other spa-related services, treating guests to waxing treatments, manicures, and skin-firming facials. When he's not consulting with celebrities and trimming the tresses of publications such as Vogue and the New York Times, Calcasola can often be spotted making the rounds at the salon himself.