Yoga Vita seems to be made of sunshine. Glowing paper lanterns and golden-yellow walls greet all who enter, awakening the senses while melting the day’s stresses. Amid lush, green plants, new and seasoned yogis cultivate strength and focus with lengthy poses, controlled-breathing exercises, and guided meditation. To help students to align their bodies properly, instructors such as studio director Debra Lauren incorporate straps, blocks, and other supportive props. Debra has amassed a deep understanding of Iyengar yoga during repeated trips to India, which have refined her teaching skills and earned her enough frequent-flier miles to book passage to Jupiter.
CGI Holistic Fitness & Spa makes it their mission to engineer a world where everyone benefits from "healthy bodies, happy hearts, and peaceful minds." So far, the sprawling mecca of Eastern holistic-health philosophies, state-of-the art exercise equipment, and luxurious spa facilities has conquered 30,000 square feet. The venue features a gym full of cardio and weightlifting machines, as well as an air-purification system. The heated, competition-sized pool hosts aqua-aerobic classes, and the entire 25-yard body of water is pumped through a natural-element filtration system that reduces the need for chlorine in the water. Group fitness classes take place in the gym or in classrooms, ranging from high-energy dance aerobics to meditation-minded yoga classes.
In the spa, patrons relax in the heat of multiple kinds of saunas, some infused with salt, others heated with classic steam, and one constructed of Korean-imported Mec granite, a stone famed for its array of body-friendly minerals. Aromatherapy baths submerge all the senses in a mix of hot water and essential oils. Hot and cold soaking tubs assist members in recovering from injuries, cooling down after a particularly intense workout, or saving their pet snowmen from the ravages of summer.
At Flow Pilates Centre, Gina Santangelo and her staff have three roomfuls of Stott Pilates equipment at their disposal, including reformers, stability chairs, and vertical frames. It's this ample space and massive equipment arsenal that allow them to offer up to five equipment-based Pilates classes per day, where small groups of eight students focus on strengthening their cores and building lean muscle on the fitness contraptions. For those new to Pilates, mat classes instill the technique's core principles without a reformer's resistance or a pulley's physics equations. But the studio's offerings extend far beyond Pilates, with classes ranging from yoga and Zumba to Xtend Barre and TRX suspension training. Santangelo, who is also a certified health and wellness coach, can also help students replenish and detoxify with her anti-inflammatory nutrition program.
BambooMoves yoga studios have sprouted up in towns in New Jersey and New York, each serving as a tranquil retreat from the stress of office jobs and futile hunts for the remote control. Though focal point of the studios is their yoga classes, the seasoned and certified teachers also lead tai chi, capoeira, and meditation sessions. They offer a comprehensive yoga teacher training program too, guiding aspiring teachers in everything from yoga philosophy to nutrition.
The expert staff can also treat clients to soothing massages in styles such as reflexology, Swedish, and shiatsu shin tai. Nutrition specialist are available to guide clients through juice cleanses, which aim to purify bodies of harmful toxins and excess fat.
Brazilian Jujitsu dominates mixed-martial-arts competitions and has captured the imaginations of hundreds of aspiring fighters, including Tito Hatz, the head instructor and current owner of East Coast United. To hone his skills, Tito travelled to Brazil to train under members of the Gracie family, the clan credited with originating modern Brazilian Jujitsu. As an instructor, he believes in sculpting bodies of all ages and genders into the physiques of elite athletes. Students at his gym grapple through the traditional exercises of Brazilian Jujitsu or pummel unseen opponents with the lightning foot, fist, elbow, and knee strikes of muay thai kickboxing. Those interested in professional fighting undertake training in a blend of the two arts in mixed-martial-arts classes. Certified yoga instructor Maywatte Hartz teaches relaxation and mental focus in her Vinyasa yoga classes, which focus on mastering deep breathing and flowing movements.
Bikram Yoga Bronx and Yorktown offers students 38 weekly classes. ?While you move?through 26 poses in 90 minutes, the temperature holds steady at 104 degrees to keep muscles limber and slow-cook any nearby pork roasts. Once class is over, you can hit the studio's showers before heading back outside, detoxified and revitalized.