With the holidays fast approaching, the holiday spirit is usually accompanied by batches of cookies, grandma's famous pies and decadent cakes. It's a wonderful time of year to indulge in some of your favorite traditions and holiday treats. But, why wait until the new year to commit to a healthy and fun new regimen? There's no better time to plan your healthy exercise routine than now. Here are a few places we suggest for you to get a head start on your new year's resolutions.
Fighting Spirit Karate
After sitting down for an interview with Fighting Spirit Karate Studio's owner, Sean Schenker, I was able to learn a little more about the studio and it's offerings for children, adults and seniors, alike. Sean has been proficient in Karate since he was 5 years old and nearly 40 years later, has come full circle with an award-winning studio of his own. With six years of incredible success under its belt, Fighting Spirit Karate Studio has ventured into its seventh year in Gardiner, NY. Sean explains that the dedication to the students and expertise of the teachers really shine through and sets Fighting Spirit apart from other studios. And after being named this year as the Best Karate Studio by Hudson Valley Magazine's readership, that makes them a four-time "Best of Hudson Valley" award winner. Making the move from New Paltz to Gardiner was spurred after existing at maximum capacity for five years in a row. Sean explains that the "younger students were forced to choose between sports in New Paltz; now we have unrestricted space and the staff to take it on." Some of the perks? The new, local studio has access to a huge outdoor space for training, bussing for local school districts, and nearly unlimited room for students in each class.
Offerings for Everyone
Fighting Spirit offers several different disciplines and courses for it's students. Among them is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Aerobic Kickboxing, Cardio Classes, Strength Training and Morning Fitness Classes. Sean goes on to say that they have classes for "people interested in fitness that don’t want to have anything to do with martial arts." A class picking up in popularity is their Krav Maga; a course on self-defense. The instructor, Katie Murphy, is a nine-time world champion who focuses on the Israeli defense system that highlights rapid response, particularly for women. They even offer classes for parents and children to train together. Sean encourages locals to stop in and say hi and discover what classes would be best for them. To learn more about Fighting Spirit Karate Studio and class scheduling, visit their website here.
Take the Leap Dance Studio
A studio once home to "Got Rhythm?," Take the Leap Dance Studio has been transformed and revitalized into a new dance studio by dedicated dance mother, Mary Alexander. When Mary learned that "Got Rhythm" was coming to a close, she explains that keeping the dance studio open was as important to her as it was to her daughter. Mary, who has been involved in her daughter's dancing endeavors for more than 10 years, explains the newfound transition to be somewhat normal. After participating for so long, she feels that "it was so much a part of who [my daughter] was, that like a soccer mom becomes a coach, I sort of jumped in. I’m learning a lot as the owner of the studio now and looking at at from a fresh perspective." Take The Leap Dance Studio offers classes for all ages starting at age three, with the oldest dancer in his 70's. The studio boasts talented dance instructors and students that attend classes from all over the county with bussing provided by all New Paltz Central School Districts.
A little Something for Everyone
If you don't know much about dancing, Mary encourages new students to join in on the practice. With classes available for all levels, the studio is host to beginner and advanced courses. Take the Leap boasts an impressive variety of classes, from ballet & point, tap and jazz to contemporary, lyrical and hip-hop. Classes for younger students typically have an earlier time slot and as students get older, courses run later at night. For more information about Take the Leap Dance Studio classes, pricing and upcoming events, visit their website here.
Stone Wave Yoga
What was previously a canvas clothing shop has been transformed into an airy yoga studio that sits at the base of the rolling Shawangunk Mountain Ridge, claiming one of the best views in the Hudson Valley. Rooted in the foundation to "come as you are", Stone Wave Yoga encourages students to join in their approachable and community-oriented classes; this includes children, adults and seniors. Liz Glover Wilson explains that Stone Wave Yoga Studio was inspired by Millbrook Cliff, "a breaking wave of power, strength and fluidity. Like stone, we seek strength and stability and yet - like a breaking wave, we remain agile and flexible; allowing for deeper growth and openness to beautiful change." Liz has designed an environment and experience that welcomes people of all ages, genders, and religions, encouraging newcomers unsure of the practice.
A Class for Everyone, and a Little Something More
Stone Wave Yoga offers beginner classes, core building, restorative, sculpting and more. The studio also features several series throughout the month such as sound healing, Reiki and Tai Chi. An added bonus for new mommies? There are prenatal classes as well as childcare offered at select classes for just $5 bucks. The studio is even open for private bookings and customized retreats. To learn more about Stone Wave Yoga Studio, visit their website here.
Article and Pictures by:
LACE Photo Media