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.
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.
The stylists at Beauty Affairs Salon don’t just see beauty as looking good—they see it as providing strength, condition, and health to each customer's hair. Inside their salon, they help clients reach their peaks both physically and mentally with cuts, color, and texturizing services; tranquil and invigorating facials; bridal makeup and updos; and facial and body waxing. They also apply intricate henna tattoos and perfect eyebrow arches with threading services that remove rogue hairs.
Inside relaxing private rooms bedecked in earth-tone paints, oriental murals, and soft-lighting fixtures, experienced medical professionals administer rejuvenating, technology-driven treatments that bolster outer beauty without surgical intervention. FDA-approved laser systems take time off of aiding boardroom PowerPoint presentations to blanket patients' skin with energy wavelengths that can reduce body hair, dark spots, and acne. Board-certified surgeons utilize lab-created serums to ease the appearance of stress wrinkles and fine lines found on façades. To ensure patients pair up with the proper technological assistant, helpful technicians discuss all treatment options with Laser Plus Spa clientele before administering any procedures.
Vanessa Cafiero grew up with scoliosis. She struggled against chronic back pain through her teens, until a friend brought her to a small nonprofit ashram. Reluctantly, she went along and discovered that yoga could help her cope with her affliction while challenging both her body and mind. In addition to earning a bachelor's degree in exercise physiology at Hofstra University, Cafiero completed a seven-month intensive program at the Finger Lakes School of Massage. While there, she gained certification in reiki, herbal medicine, and massage therapy. Two years later, Cafiero completed her first yoga teacher-training program.
All these skills come together in Cafiero's business, Emerge Yoga & Wellness, where she helms a staff of teachers and therapists who do their part to foster mind-body harmony through yoga classes, AntiGravity Yoga, and massage modalities. They also train aspiring instructors during weekend sessions and carry essential oils by Young Living Essential Oils, which can ease a host of ailments.