Indian Rock Yoga’s teachers believe a supportive atmosphere is crucial for helping students reach their potential. That’s why they home in on each person’s unique needs and skill level, encouraging but never forcing advancement. The studio hosts a variety of yoga classes and styles, from beginner to advanced and prenatal to seniors. All the teachers are National Yoga Alliance members and boast extensive training that exceeds the organization’s requirements.
New York Mountain Tours guides the wild at heart and spleens through natural landscapes and local alpine skylines. Aspiring mountaineers will meet at one of two pick-up locations—the Cross Roads Shopping Plaza in White Plains at 6:20 a.m. or the I-87 exit 14 park and ride on Rt. 59 at 6:50 a.m.—leaving the driving, tolls, and high-speed trolley chases to the New York Mountain Tours experts. Explore the wondrous white vistas of Hunter Mountain while marching through the snow with a tour guide, gliding up the lift with your lift ticket, or soaring through the air on a hot-wired magic carpet. Hungry site seekers end the day with a snack before heading home at 4:20 p.m. Groupon customers who wish to rent any snowy accoutrements can upgrade to a ski or snowboard rental ($38), and those seeking snow-based instruction can spring for a group lesson ($30).
A mother and her teenage daughter stand at the counter side-by-side, chop, chop, chopping in unison. Neither have cooked much with vegetables before, but under the friendly guidance of experts, they find their veggie phobias fading. This is a recurring theme within The Food Evolution's kitchen, where students learn to toss their culinary insecurities into the flames and begin having fun with meal prep.
At The Food Evolution, which Diane Hoch founded in 2010, students aged 16 and older learn from professional instructors how to create healthful, tasty, preservative-free meals. Classes highlight either techniques or styles of cuisine and vary in levels of participation—from demonstration classes where students observe and take notes, to hands-on courses in which students are required to touch everything with all 10 fingers. In private nutritional-counseling sessions, Diane, a certified nutritional-health counselor, tailors advice and programs to help individuals reach their health and wellness goals.
Snap Fitness of Mahwah’s spacious fitness center furnishes members with 24-hour access to state-of-the-art cardio and strength-training equipment as well as onsite tanning and an online fitness program. Clients can arrive day or night to tour the gym’s myriad machines and beseech fitness experts for health tips during staffed hours throughout the week. Members have access to the Truestar Health Nutritional Portal, which helps clients infuse healthy habits into everyday life by offering advice 24/7 on key areas such as nutrition, sleep patterns, and growing backyard vegetable gardens in zen-like configurations. Tanning highlights newly protruding muscles with a sun-kissed glow.
Nancy Mahon, founder of Sanctuary Yoga Studios, was raised by a family of Buddhist teachers. Her family led her down a meditative path throughout her teenage years, which laid a foundation for a lifetime of studying zen, as well as other cultures and religions. She was also inspired to pursue yoga with an inquiry-based approach to cultivate awareness and understanding. While she instructs, she strives to elicit the same passion from her students. She incorporates classic poses, breathing techniques, and meditations to coax bodies and minds into harmony without resorting to bribery.
Inside her serene studio, sunlight and gentle breezes waft through the room as seasoned instructors lead hatha- and Vinyasa-based classes. Students of any skill level can deepen their practice through traditional yoga, or target problem areas and ailments during therapeutic and stretching sessions or classes focused on abs and glutes. When they aren't teaching regular classes, the yogis inculcate novice instructors with their teacher-training programs recognized by the Yoga Alliance.
Gina Goldberg—the director of Home Yoga Experience— discovered Anusara yoga more than a decade ago, and she is now a certified Kripalu-yoga instructor and children's yoga teacher. Gina's time in trainings and workshops has greatly influenced and inspired her to awaken the same passion in her students.
Gina and her fellow instructors teach an array of classes inside a hot studio, which cleanses the body and loosens muscles. In addition to guiding adults through intentional movements and conscious-breathing techniques, they also teach children's classes sans heat. After each session, the lounge and gift shop beckons students with cozy furniture and yoga accessories. When she isn't instructing students, Gina presides over workshops, teacher training, and drum circles.
Inside the kitchen of Marcello’s, teardrop chandeliers cast their warm gaze over copper cookware and a dining table that wraps around the stove. Here, Chef Marcello sheds light on the techniques of preparing Italian cuisine during cooking classes and private parties. In such events, up to 12 guests can sip wine while he picks recipes secretly stored in his chef’s hat and demonstrates how to assemble artful dishes, which may include risotto with chicken and spinach or pasta with fresh tomato mozzarella and basil. Although the private dining experience is the easiest way to witness Chef Marcello’s passion for sharing the cuisine of his native Italy, guests can also enjoy his dynamic entrees without front-row seats at the chef’s table. In the restaurant’s dining room, floor-to-ceiling murals depict the Tuscan countryside and ferns adorn honey-colored walls as diners anticipate hearty meals. Atop crisp white tablecloths, servers present platters of housemade pastas and veal prepared seven ways. The knowledgeable staff is also happy to recommend pairings from the vast Italian wine list.