While mostly known for its dive bars and hipster scene, Brooklyn’s now placing itself on the global wellness map. Kelli Armstrong uncovers some of the sweat, spirit and soul food scene.
People are calling it their best indoor workout experience in New York thus far. That’s big time! Boxing, barre, swim, cardio and spin – this über fitness destination, that borders Greenpoint and Williamsburg, has four levels of sweat potential. For those who like to mix up their training days, there is everything you need in the one space that includes lifestyle facilities such as private saunas, a childcare centre and a roof deck.
Website: Brooklyn Athletic Club
Whether you’re an inversion pro or just mastering downward dog, owner of Tangerine, Tamara Behar and her diverse roster of teachers are ready to welcome you. The architecturally-designed studio is focused on building a ‘kick-arse’ community and features a reclaimed wood bench for students to chill out on before and after class, Liquiteria juices to sip on while discussing sun salutations and Manduka Eko mats that are included in the class price (USD22). As are refreshingly lavender-scented towels to cool off with after the hour-long session. This is an intense and challenging class that will leave you feeling invigorated, centred and totally detoxified.
Website: Tangerine Hot Power Yoga
Offering healing sessions in acupuncture, reiki, hypnotherapy and breathwork, this space in Greenpoint delivers mind, body and spirit bliss. Heralded as an oasis of calm in an otherwise manic New York state of mind, the centre opened in 2012 by jeweler and acupuncturist Lisa Levine who wanted a place to meditate that was closer to home than Manhattan.
Website: Maha Rose Holistic Wellness Centre
The antidote to urban living started as a pop up mediation bar in East Williamsburg and has now grown into a twice-a-week Qi Gong and Meditation studio sitting designed to help New Yorkers procure a touch of calm amidst the city’s crazy pace. The idea was born over a conversation between two Australian girls, health and wellness publicist, Camille Jalandoni and entrepreneur and executive coach Jenni Dawes. Jenni, has taught the tailored combination of Qi Gong and mindfulness in far corners of the globe and is now helping to calm the frenetic minds of New York’s creative and corporate communities. Participants are invited to join the founders for dinner at a local restaurant after class, and hikes and outdoor adventures are offered as additional means of networking
Website: Ital Kitchen
This vegan restaurant is a best-kept secret in Crown Heights – a rapidly changing neighbourhood where hole-in-the-wall eateries are being turned into trendy bars. IK offers a home-style environment and slow, home cooking. The Jamaican chef, Michael Gordon, who’s quoted as saying; “Obfuscation should be a crime in the kitchen” has the vegan jerk chicken down to an art, so good that enthusiasts can barely tell the difference.
Whole Clarity Skincare
Developed in 2013 by Connie DaSilva after she studied health and nutrition and discovered the benefits of a vegan diet. “I was incredibly disappointed by how un-natural and ineffective “natural” products were,” says the avid label reader. “So I decided to make deodorant and had such great results that I made a face cleanser and toner as well”. The range has grown from there with 80 percent of her ingredients organic, and the remainder sustainably sourced. “I hear from our users reports of brighter, more even skin tone, tighter, softer, and smoother skin,” says Connie who’s mission is to make natural skincare and household solutions accessible to all. I’m definitely a convert having noticed a much smoother, even-toned complexion after just a week using the original oil cleanser and face and body cream.