For our second annual trends report, we didn’t wait for epiphanies during savasana or consult our neighborhood psychic.
We waded through the hundreds of interviews we conducted in 2010 with the city’s wellness experts and cognoscenti, and evaluated what was fad and what was entering New York City’s wellness zeitgeist.
That’s tough to do in a city with a constant barrage of the new, where there are more practicing yogis than residents of Rhode Island; where coconut water is downed like, well, water; and where boutique fitness classes can command $35 a pop. Here are the ten New York City wellness trends that you’ll see take off in 2011. —Alexia Brue and Melisse Gelula, founders of Well+Good
1. BARRE OBSESSION
White-hot barre workouts continue to multiply. Established NYC brands CoreFusion and Physique 57 have been joined by the Bar Method, the Nalini Method, YogaWorks' BarWorks, and, soon, an outpost of barre3. Gyms are jumping on board by adding “barre” classes to their schedules. We predict an all out barre brawl.
2. VEGAN VOGUE AND GLUTEN-FREE FOR ALL
New Yorkers are going gluten-free and vegan in greater numbers—either because of food allergies, animal rights, or a general desire for healthier eating habits. As a result, in grocery stores vegan and gluten-free offerings are becoming more plentiful, growing from a dusty shelf to an active aisle. We predict an explosion of gourmet offerings catering to the health- conscious New Yorkers embracing these formerly fringe diets.
3. HEALING WORKOUTS
The same fitness instructors who want you to feel the burn now want to help your body—and mind—heal. Look for therapeutic workouts, like Equinox’s “IntenSati,” which uses personal affirmations, and “Thread,” where core work and body-awareness techniques “unlock muscular inhibition.” Also on the horizon: a fascination with supportive aerial yoga and fitness-meets-life-coaching workshops.
4. SMALL-BATCH BEAUTY
New Yorkers love artisanal foods, and, increasingly, beauty products that are carefully made in small batches. Amanda Walker blends A Perfume Organic by hand; batches of Hope Gillerman’s new HGO Lab preservative-free skin-care line will be made every six weeks for freshness; and for quality control, Tata Harper grows many of the ingredients for her eponymous line at her Vermont farm.
5. THE NON-TOXIC NEW YORK SPA
Because of a growing demand for “3-free” nail polish, paraben-free skin care, and hair straightening sans formaldehyde, NYC spas are dedicating more of their menus to non-toxic treatments. Expect every spa worth its bath salts to include natural beauty services. Leading the way are The Mandarin Oriental Spa with Amala, the Carlyle Sense Spa’s Red Flower services, and Exhale’s Kahina Giving Beauty treatments—a serious sign of progress.
6. CELEBRITY SPECIALISTS MAKE SUPPLEMENTS
It used to be that fitness trainers and holistic doctors sent their clients to the Whole Foods vitamin aisle for supplements to support their health. Now New York City wellness experts, like celebrity fitness trainer David Kirsch and integrative health guru Frank Lipman, MD (Gwyneth Paltrow’s doctor), are rolling out their own branded nutritional supplements aimed at fixing what ails us.
7. FUSION YOGA
Vigorous vinyasa is currently the city’s most popular style of yoga. And for some New York City yoga teachers, it’s becoming a platform for layering on practices like Capoeira (a Brazilian martial art) and breakdancing. Carlos Rodriguez, who created Caponyasa, and Anya Porter, founder of Breakti, are just two examples of this innovative new school of yoga.
8. JUICE COUTURE
This year’s juice-cleanse mania created a thirst for premium juices that has nothing to do with fasting. With ABC Elixir Bar, Jean-Georges Vongerichten proved that a juice joint can be upmarket. One Lucky Duck, Juice Generation, and newcomer Liquid Pump are making quality cold-pressed drinks widely available, while stalwart Organic Avenue plans to open more outposts in 2011.
9. A CALL TO ARMS
Toned arms are the must-have muscle group, thanks to Michelle Obama and Madonna. Try to find a group fitness class that doesn’t seriously salute the guns—spinning classes include a 10-minute arm sequence; barre classes make sure your arms get as jacked as your core. Fitness fashion is changing as a result: arm-baring tanks have completely replaced old school t-shirts.
10. THE NEW NEW YORK MOM
Moms-to-be can expect seriously upgraded wellness options. Every yogini can now choose from a wide selection of prenatal classes—from gentle to serious Vinyasa—as well as designer maternity apparel to practice in. Prenatal spa menus expand at New York City spas, from SoHo Sanctuary to the Peninsula, thanks to greater demand and greater therapist expertise.
Think we’ve missed an important NYC wellness trend? Tell us in the Comments section, below!
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