AuM Body & Soul Spa brings the ancient practices of Eastern cultures into a modern setting to let clients center their souls and renew their exteriors. The spa specializes in Ayurveda, a holistic method of healing that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. By using ancient herbs and specialized techniques, Ayurveda works to balance the elements of the body in order to heal and energize, much like a hug from Lady Justice.
Within the lobby of AuM Body & Soul Spa, dim lighting and exotic art greet guests as they begin their journey into ancient-eastern relaxation. Along with the tapestries on the walls, orchids and ferns guide them to one of nine specialized treatment rooms in the facility, where Ayurveda-trained massage therapists, aestheticians, and nail technicians work with guests to individualize each treatment based on their personal desires. As the Eastern-influenced spa services work to open energy channels, intimate yoga classes help guests center their minds in seven diverse classes, along with specialty sessions that embrace the outdoors or help children relax after long days negotiating political treaties with the lunch lady. The spa champions all-natural products, including Aveda and Banyan Botanicals, which also line the spa's ample boutique shelves alongside skincare treatments, meditation books, and herbal supplements for purchase.
The knotted wood floors, exposed brick, and cerulean walls at Go Row Training Studio set a rustic scene for one-hour rowing workouts that hold groups of 10. Rather than falling into a repetitive workout routine, exercise physiologist Garrett Roberts’s college-rowing-inspired workouts change up in order to keep torching calories and chiseling muscles. Sessions kick off with rowers perched atop the studio’s signature WaterRowers, which replicate the experience of open-water rowing by cawing like a seagull and picking at unguarded picnic lunches. Exercisers then orbit a weight-training circuit, lifting anywhere from 5- to 33-pound dumbbells. The class closes with students again mounting the rowers to further stump muscles and to rehearse a rescue mission to Gilligan’s Island. Garrett helms each class on Go Row’s schedule, and the 10-student attendance cap allows him to ensure each paddler performs with proper technique.
East Coast Fitness’s 20,000 square feet house separate rooms for martial arts, spinning, group workouts, massages, and general exercise. On the main floor, strength-training machines, cardio machines, and free weights occupy separate areas, with additional room sectioned off for stability ball exercise and a herd of eight punching bags. Certified trainers and instructors also lead more than 15 classes that range from spinning and Pilates to yoga, kickboxing, agility training, and Zumba. In the lobby, a juice bar refreshes hungry athletes and a separate room offers free childcare.
The slew of Koko Smartraining exercise machines at Koko FitClub curate customized 30-minute workouts that track results and supply computerized coaching tips. Prior to the initial session, a staff member meets with guests to highlight a goal, such as losing weight, gaining muscle, or scaling Mount Everest on a pogo stick, which helps the team of personal trainers stock a USB device with a customized fitness plan. Next, exercisers can plug the device into the facility's machines to load up the day's routine, which the Koko Smartraining system automatically updates based on previous performance. To help monitor the percentages of fat, muscle, and squatting garden gnomes in the body, guests can augment the training sessions with the system's body-composition tracking.
Co-owner and chief fitness strategist Raymond Wallace's passion lies in designing high-intensity fitness curriculums and training patrons of all fitness levels to increase their muscle mass and annihilate fat at PEDAL NYC. Raymond himself has trained Harry Connick Jr., and fellow trainer Ary Nunez has worked with Rihanna and Alicia Keys. Triathletes and former NCAA Division I athletes round out the rest of the staff. The gym—named for Raymond's cycling expertise—incorporates classes from many other disciplines of exercise, including TRX suspension training, and YoStretch, for a total of over 30 classes per week. Within the always-buzzing facility, purple-painted cinderblocks peek from above the full-length mirrors that span every room, contrasting with the fiery orange sunlight that streams through floor-to-ceiling windows. Rows upon rows of indoor bicycles whirr beneath riders, who draw motivation from upbeat music, the instructors' infectious enthusiasm, or imagining pedaling away from a monstrous fanged cupcake.
MPHC Climbing Gym spans 5,000 square feet of climbing surfaces, challenging newcomers and experienced climbers alike with a variety of walls. One-hour lessons imbue beginners with basic summiting skills, such as how to don the included harness and climbing shoes and tips for communicating with a belayer using a series of winks. Afterward, students are free to explore the more than 60 top-roping routes available throughout the gym, which are redesigned monthly. A massive skylight welcomes the sun's rays upon the cave area, complete with a 40-foot multistepped lead roof. A 160-foot bouldering route snakes through the gym, underlined by thick crash pads, and two 20-foot squeeze chimneys act as practice grounds for wannabe Santas. Those toting a one-month membership gain unfettered access to the gym and equipment rental, which is open seven days a week.
A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and Berklee College of Music, David Sklar has composed for independent films, played at Lincoln Center, and won several piano competitions of his own. But his true legacy lives on in the deft fingers of the countless protégés to attend his studio, where he helps them hone their musical expression and creativity with a mixture of technique, music theory, and ear training during fun and engaging one-on-one lessons. Specializing in a variety of styles—from classical sonatas to show tunes and pop music—David also gives students his undivided attention during voice and songwriting classes.