In a space-starved city, New Yorkers have become experts at cultivating wellness in tiny studios, public parks, and even major commercial plazas.
Ike Rodriguez built his wellness center on a boat.
Thai massage beneath the George Washington Bridge
“Having a floating sanctuary just kind of spoke to me, because that’s what the boat was to me,” Rodriguez told me, wind roaring into the phone as he steered the boat up the Connecticut River recently, rushing to get out of Hurricane Irene’s path.
After owning a chain of clothing stores at a young age, Rodriguez felt burnt out and wanted to find a better path. He sold everything, bought the boat, and became a Reiki Master.
Now, as captain of the Spirit Seeker, he gives and teaches Reiki on the boat, hosts mediation cruises, partners with beloved yogis like Elena Brower and Sadie Nardini for yoga excursions, and holds concerts with Wanderlust stars like Garth Stevenson and Earth Rise Sound System.
So does a meditation or Reiki feel different on the water?
“That’s why I do it, says Rodriguez. “Water is a natural conduit for energy, so you’re super amplified. Second, on the boat, you’re in total rhythm with the natural harmony of nature, and it puts you in this place of well-being.“
While his home base is Nyack in the summer, Rodriguez may set course for Florida come winter. Before he does, though, he’ll be hosting lots of spiritual sails around New York City through October. “Eventually,” he says,“everybody jumps on board.”