wellness

Turn Up The Heat with Hot Pilates (and Yoga!) Classes At YO BK

It’s cold outside, but your workout routine doesn’t have to feel frigid. One of the thingsI love most about working out (besides the end-of-class wind down) is warming up my body to focus on my breath and its movements.

All photos via Chrissy Conners Photography

Right before the new year, I wanted to mix in a new fitness class into my wellness regimen so I looked at YO BK (607 Manhattan Ave). My current routine involves loads of morning stretches, Bar Method classes 4-5 times per week, and the occasional hot yoga class as a treat.

And one class at YO BK caught my eye in particular: Inferno Hot Pilates. I knew I had to try it out, and who knows? Maybe I’d be totally hooked.

The newly opened Manhattan Avenue studio offers Bikram Yoga, Inferno Hot Pilates, and Baptiste Power Yoga classes to expand your body and mind. Bikram Yoga, known as the original hot yoga, is a therapeutic and challenging series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises done in a 105F room. Baptiste Power Yoga is  an energetic and empowering vinyasa flow class practiced in 95F heat with music. And, Inferno Hot Pilates features a high-intensity, low-impact interval training class done in a 95F room with a disco ball and energetic music. These distinct and dynamic classes are great for fitness novices and seasoned wellness enthusiasts alike.

I consider myself somewhere in between, I’m no stranger to working out but I’ve only been seriously mindful of a regular fitness routine for the past two and a half years or so. Needless to say, I was more than ready for the Inferno Hot Pilates class since it’s designed for all fitness levels.

I entered the studio in my typical workout ensemble: high-waisted black leggings, sports bra, and a sweatshirt. Pro tip: Leave your sweatshirt in the locker and bring an extra towel and a water bottle. Things are going to heat up very, very quickly. The workout room is pleasant and relaxing: warm, low lighting, and ready for action. The class kicks into gear gently, with a series of floor work moves, standing exercises, and Tabata training. The dial turns up, the music heightens, and your muscles heat up.

Right from the start, I loved all of the movements. From working on my core to a series of fast-moving burpees, I felt my muscles immediately engage. The low-impact workout is challenging with high intensity. Not to mention, Inferno Hot Pilates is an express class (45 minutes), so students can expect to cycle through movements rather quickly. In short, you won’t be bored one bit.

As the class progressed, I sweated way more than I ever thought imaginable. (Don’t worry, everyone else is too). But as I completed the floor work and standing exercises, my muscles felt more ready and pliable to each brand new movement. It was a quiet and joyful realization in the middle of a challenging workout.

If you want to engage in mindful body movements, burn fat, and strengthen your muscles in under an hour, YO BK’s Inferno Hot Pilates is the ticket. As for me? I was positively hooked.

Thinking of checking out YO BK? Sign up for the $59 Introductory Month package. And, the studio is hosting an open house on January 26-27.

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Treat Yourself to Health & Healing at Michael Kabram Acupuncture + 30% Off for Greenpointers!

Meet Michael Kabram: NYC native and holistic acupuncturist

Fall has arrived and with it comes sweater weather, Halloween, and perhaps a visit to a doctor for that cold your co-worker gave you or that carpal tunnel from your guitar skills. Before you visit your primary western physician, consider a more holistic view on your health at Michael Kabram Acupuncture — a space that promotes the health and healing already inside your own body.

Michael Kabram, a NYC native, customizes each treatment to the individual and utilizes not just Chinese and Japanese acupuncture; but also Japanese herbalism, Moxibustion, electro-stimulation, cupping, and bodywork to release pain and blocked energy. By using a large range of modalities, his mission is “giving people the space to heal themselves.”

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Help Maha Rose Reach Their Fundraising Goal To Support Their New Expansion

Lisa Levine in the new Maha Rose space. Photo via Maha Rose
Lisa Levine in the new Maha Rose space. Photo via Maha Rose

A few weeks ago we wrote about local healing and wellness center Maha Rose expanding to the space next door. The additional 1500-square-foot space (they’re currently at 97 Green Street) will feature an infrared sauna, and additional treatment and workshop rooms. After getting down and dirty and deep into the construction process, they have decided to use the power of crowdfunding to help offset the work, which is taking them twice as long and costing more than double what they anticipated.

They hope to be open in mid-September and are asking the community for help in reaching their financial goals so they can continue to offer a unique set of services and provide a safe space for North Brooklynites to breathe, learn, heal and expand their consciousness. Donate to Maha Rose here. Continue reading

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Maha Rose is Expanding Their Space, and Your Mind, Body & Soul

image via Maha Rose

There’s some magical news from the mystical Greenpoint wellness destination Maha Rose (97 Green Street).

The center for healing will be expanding into the space next door. With plans to open the new addition in September, Maha Rose will offer a second workshop room, a sauna, an additional treatment room, an office, and more lounge space with crystals, tarot cards, and books. What else does this mean? With a bigger healing center, Maha Rose will also offering memberships and sauna packages. Whew, that’s exciting!

The space was notoriously featured in Vogue when they expanded upstate with their Catskills retreat center Maha Rose North two years ago. Artist Lisa Levine started Maha Rose in her loft-like Greenpoint home more than a decade ago when she began offering meditation sessions and a space for friends and colleagues to explore alternative healing methods. After formally studying reiki, breathwork and acupuncture, and getting a huge interest from other healers to use the space, in 2014 she officially opened the doors to the public (and has since moved out so the space is 100% Maha Rose). Continue reading

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Practical Enlightenment: Modern Buddhism at Kadampa Meditation Center

“Anything you do can be incorporated because it depends on the mind in which you do something, so you can always have a peaceful, loving, enjoyable, heart centered feeling at work, with friends, with family; especially when things are stressful. It’s a practical practice. It’s not just about sitting formally.” — Joe Giacona, Meditation Teacher at KMC Williamsburg Branch

On the Northside of Williamsburg, inside one of the many new towers that have arisen, sits Kadampa Meditation Center — a cozy, peaceful space with bright walls, golden Buddhas and very chill teachers. In this busy town, coming back to ourselves for simple, quiet reflection is increasingly difficult. Even in this space of North Brooklyn that boasts apothecaries, yoga studios, and new age classes, we can struggle to find that which we are all searching for: Peace and Happiness.

Enter Joe Giacona, a volunteer and Teacher, who’s been helping run the Kadampa Meditation Center of Williamsburg for years by setting up in various yoga studios throughout Greenpoint. (It’s only recently this branch of the New Kadampa Tradition found a permanent home at 119 North 11th Street between Bedford & Berry). This self proclaimed “goof” exudes a sense of serene happiness. As he talks about meditating on love and compassion in simple routine times like your daily commute, you realize that steps towards enlightenment aren’t nearly as stressful as they’re made out to be.

“Meditating on Love is just recognizing somebody wants to be happy … and you have the same the wish … If people could just meditate on that alone, the world’s problems would just cease. You’d recognize we are all in it for the same thing. We’re not on these different sides; getting stuck and entrenched in our views, thinking you’re right and they’re wrong. No, we all just want to be happy.” — Joe Giacona, Meditation Teacher at KMC Williamsburg Branch

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Contrary to popular belief, exercise does NOT cause weight loss!

Simply put, you just can’t exercise the fat away. Some of you have been exercising up to 5 days a week only to jump on the scale and see very little difference in your weight. This can be frustrating when you’re putting a lot of effort into your workouts; and can often make you question your weight loss game plan.

We’ve been demanding answers to these questions from the muscle gods; and as always…nothing! But studies have given us some good clues as to why we’ve been getting steadily fatter for the past few decades –despite a growing increase in physical activity.

Statistics show that health club revenues increased from $200 million in 1972 to $16 billion in 2005!!

The first NYC marathon was in 1970 with only 137 entrants; and in 2008 there were 39,000 entrants and nearly 60,000 applicants.

So if being lazy makes us fat and exercise prevents or inhibits it, shouldn’t this fitness revolution have launched an epidemic of leanness? Hmmm. But in reality, this so-called fitness revolution has been coexisting with an epidemic of obesity. Another hmmm. Continue reading

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Goat Yoga is a Thing, And It’s Coming to North Brooklyn

Goat yoga is a thing. Image via NY Goat Yoga
Yoga with goats. It’s a thing. Image via NY Goat Yoga

Holistic wellness and convening with nature is so on trend right now, and so it only makes sense that the next cool thing would be Goat Yoga. Aside from being the cutest farm animals ever with their playful demeanor and crazy rectangle eyes, baby goats have a natural ability to calm and delight everyone around them. NY Goat Yoga, usually based upstate in Gilbertsville, is popping up in Bushwick (at 74 Ingraham St) in April, May and June for both Goat Yoga classes and Goat Yoga Happy Hours. You can view their full schedule on Facebook. Continue reading

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TOMORROW: Reiki & Meditation at PS 9 Pets

Are you a dog lover? Do you also dig on self-care, wellness, and mindful practices? Well, here’s a great event for you and your best pooch. Tomorrow (2/18), PS 9 Pets  (169 North 9th Street) is hosting a reiki share and guided meditation for you and your furry friends. With the healing and impactful practice of reiki and the calming, clarity of meditation, you and and your dog can experience a mindful, deep, and restful journey together.

New to reiki and meditation? No worries, beginners are welcome. A $20 suggested donation gets you into the event and sets you up for a successful and peaceful practice for you and the pup in your life. Folks, space is limited, so RSVP with Esther at [email protected]

February 18th, 6-8 pm
PS 9 Pets
169 North 9th Street

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Greenpoint Winter Survival Guide: Get Your Lit On This Winter

Steffanie Ostrowski, Floor Manager of Word Brooklyn.

What types of books are your fellow Greenpointers curling up with this winter? More winter survival tips are coming your way this week, this time we get some solid literary recommendations from Word Bookstore’s Brooklyn floor manager Steffanie Ostrowski.

Check out our previous interviews here, here, here, here and here.

BOOKS: WORD BROOKLYN | 126 Franklin Street
Steffanie Ostrowski, Floor Manager

Greenpointers: What types of books are currently the most popular at the Greenpoint store?

Steffanie Ostrowski: I think that in general, everyone is looking for a lot of social science books so that they can learn about things that are going on today. Also, there’s the escapism of fiction so that they don’t have to deal with the world, so people are getting the new fiction that’s coming out. When Pete Souza’s Obama book came out, that was our big ticket item. Now it’s out of stock everywhere because everyone just wanted to remember. Continue reading

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Local Deals To Jumpstart 2018 With Health & Wellness

It’s the month of self-improvement; bettering our minds, refueling our energy levels, getting on track with your health and wellness. Here in the city of concrete jungles, we have some North Brooklyn gems that can take you out of the hustle and bustle to guide you back into a new year full of relaxation, vitality, and wellness.

Brooklyn Athletic Club

Located on Berry St, across from McCarren park, BAC is a state of the art training facility with trainers who are ready to coach you to your best performance in a group or personal setting. Unlimited fitness classes (spin, pilates, yoga, glutes and abs) and endless pools for low impact training come in each membership. Recovery, relaxation, and community (or team) are just as important as training; so infrared sauna sessions, massage therapy, physical therapy, and community events are available to provide the most dynamic training experience possible.

Specials: 30 Day Jump Start Program (one month trial) for $149. All access membership which includes: Gym membership; Unlimited Group Training Sessions; 8 Semi Private Training Sessions; Unlimited Yoga, Pilates, & BAC Burn Classes; Endless Pools; 2 Infrared Sauna Sessions; 2 Olympic Weightlifting Classes; and 1 Private Pilates Lesson.

Address:  8 Berry St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
For More Info: Here’s their website
Phone: (718) 486-6929
Cost: $149 JumpStart Program

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