Owner Jacqueline and her staff of estheticians slather organic products onto clients’ faces during facials to help alleviate rosacea, sop up excess oil, or hydrate dry patches. They also scrub away dead skin cells on bodies with raw sugar or extra-fine sandpaper, and bestow eyelashes with extra length using semi-permanent lash extensions.
Having promoted more than 300 students to the rank of black belt, Master Peter Antonelli knows how to recognize and develop a person's martial-arts skills. At Hudson Valley Karate, he and his staff draw from both tradition and progressive teachings to build a karate curriculum that caters to all experience levels. Adult classes cover choke holds and aggressive strikes, and are restricted to a small size so that instructors can devote their attention to individuals. Children's karate classes have a dual focus: form and character. They build social and leadership skills alongside self-defense movements, training kids to be confident in a variety of real-world settings. The studio also offers kickboxing fitness sessions, which tone muscle through rapid-fire punching and kicking drills.
Over the years, George and Amy Corso have racked up their fair share of fitness certifications. While some of those credentials overlap—such as the ones that designate them as personal trainers—others do not. George is authorized as a strength-and-conditioning specialist; Amy holds rank as a level-three Spinning instructor. At CORSO, the duo fuses these areas of expertise into a comprehensive collection of fitness opportunities. They conduct TRX training sessions, intense cardio-circuit workouts, and rounds of indo-row—a fast-paced class that captures the elements of on-water rowing, just without all the pirates blowing past on stolen jet skis. Joining the Corsos, yoga instructor Dana Lucas helps exercisers heal with accessible and fun yoga classes.
Under the constant threat of invasion, the soldiers of Thailand (then known as Siam) developed a style of combat based on swordplay but practiced with empty hands. The fighting art grew into a spectator sport for royalty, and lives on to this day in the form of muay thai. At Newburgh Muay Thai, instructors preserve the art, culture, and context of Thai fighting, embracing Khanomtom muay thai—the sport’s most traditional form. Instructors travel each year to Thailand to train for a month, sparring with and learning from current and former champions before bringing their knowledge and skills back to students in New York. The gym also offers training in western-style boxing as well as cardio kickboxing.
Peace can spring from the roughest, toughest places, according to Zosha, the former ER nurse who founded Primal Power Yoga. Instead of lining her studio with bamboo and lotus flowers, she’s stationed it between exposed-brick walls and sturdy wooden pillars that signify power and perseverance. Here, students mine their inner depths as they practice flowing Vinyasa sequences and athletic Ashtanga routines.
Poses and deep breaths flow together, centering minds and strengthening bodies to promote long-term wellness. During warm and hot Vinyasa classes, temperatures rise to 80–105 degrees to limber muscles and oust toxins. Beginners learn to synchronize poses and breathwork during Vinyasa Basics classes. In these sessions, an experienced instructor imparts meditation techniques and the Sanskrit names for concepts such as standing, stretching, and catching popcorn in one’s mouth.
To keep participants engaged during physical challenges, many classes also incorporate music and pose modifications. After class, students can linger to socialize and sip herbal iced tea, which Zosha brews fresh each day.
Evolution Fitness Club readily accepts its identity as a boutique fitness center, meaning it doesn't have everything for everyone, nor does it try to. Instead, the intimate, close-knit club strives to offer clients a refreshing alternative to joining impersonal chain gyms or surreptitiously working out in Jack LaLanne’s living room. On its main level, Evolution greets visitors with cardio equipment, strength machines, and a spacious, well-lit studio where instructors lead groups through classes of yoga, Zumba, Pilates, and more. The facility also boasts a discreet underground area with floor-to-ceiling mirrors where the owners keep more strength machines and free weights.
At Performax Fitness, a team of licensed doctors, physical therapists, strength and conditioning specialists, certified fitness trainers, and certified athletic trainers come together to provide well-rounded expertise on clients' individual fitness goals. The center's curriculum runs the gamut from open-gym sessions to Zumba dance classes, with a slew of equipment including kettlebells and Olympic weights.