For 15 years, Sky Athletic Club has shepherded members to physical fitness inside a 20,000-square-foot workout sanctuary free from muscle-obsessed fanatics or intimidating drill sergeants. The gym's mission of accessible-to-all fitness earned it the 2011 Best Boot Camp on Long Island award from the Long Island Press. More than 40 certified personal trainers coach members on two floors of studios and exercise equipment, and visitors from across the age and ability spectrum scout through a schedule of more than 100 classes per week.
A ladies-only area accommodates feminine frames with a weight room and floor space for mat work, and an extensive Pilates program perches members aboard Reformer machines that get cores more tightly wound than a stressed-out slinky in a private studio. Patrons augment their weight-hoisting routines with pampering spa services, getting chi realigned by a certified acupuncturist or working out tension with a chair massage. Complimentary childcare and free steamy beverages from the lounge and café evince the club's hospitable mission.
Blue Firmament Holistic Center's services span from health-spa treatments to classes and workshops, all of which strive to bolster corporal and mental serenity. Lessons on yoga and dance—including Zumba fitness, belly dancing, and pole dancing—lead physiques into sinuous routines that augment strength and flexibility. Other group events might include drumming performances or meditation seminars, and tarot card and candle readings, when held simultaneously, predict upcoming poker table fires. Different massage modalities can also reduce muscular tension as they knead away stress.
The center places great emphasis on natural pathways to wellness, prepping its spa procedures and juice bar with exclusively organic ingredients. On weekends, guests can munch on uncooked meals from Maggie's Raw Love Cafe to avoid raspberries from burnt tongues.
Revolution Yoga’s crew of yogis espouses the virtues of self-exploration through movement and meditation, a feat accomplished in 17 different types of yoga classes held seven days a week. Classes are held in full-sized classrooms or a space set aside exclusively for families and kids. Unlike many yogis, the teachers look beyond yoga and napping inside armoires to fully explore the scope of self, turning to community and arts to supplement their teachings.
Behind the studio stands Revolution Gallery, which has hosted paintings, mixed media design shows, films, literature, and musical performances. The staff also runs an artisan boutique, which is full of clothing, herbal supplements, and yoga gear—all manufactured from fair-trade products that provide jobs to unemployed trees and shrubs.
On Sunday at Cannon's Blackthorn, a fluid collective of flutists, drummers, and fiddlers gather around brick fireplaces and play traditional Irish music through the afternoon. They welcome all musicians into their circle, as well as the occasional Irish dancers, whose footfalls reverberate off the dining room's stone floors and wood walls. Though Sundays provide the liveliest display of Irish pride at Cannon's Blackthorn, the eatery celebrates Irish culture in more subtle ways throughout the week. Dining companions can settle into private enclaves to share a romantic dinner and whisper sweet nutritional facts into one another's ears before noshing on hearty meat stews and pot pies. Additionally, bartenders pour brews until 4 a.m. seven nights a week.
For more than a decade, the classes at HotYoga4You Rockville Centre have helped practitioners stretch out over the course of 90 minutes. But, in the fast-paced world of yoga instruction, tradition is secondary to innovation. Responding to the popular demands of their students, the center's instructors now offer a brand-new 60-minute version of their signature class. The hour-long classes include the same poses and breathing as their 90-minute counterparts. By shaving off the excess 30 minutes, instructors save their students some precious time, which they can then use for important business such as picking the kids up from soccer practice or building a scale replica of the soccer stadium out of old game programs.
When combined, the thunderous rolling of balls, clattering of pins, and whip-like clashing of high-fives form the soundtrack for Maple Family Centers' string of family-owned alleys. Open seven days per week, each emporium's array of slicked lanes host everything from youth programs and leagues to birthday parties as competitors of all ages duel with or without bumpers. During cosmic bowling on weekend nights, Maple Family Centers honors the sport's discothèque origins with glowing lanes and thumping tunes. A full menu of pub fare re-energizes fatigued fingers, and on-site pro shops help improve players' games by providing the latest equipment or fitting older balls with new prescription glasses.