Last year, at about this time, we read the runes and the writing on the wellness wall when we predicted the ten trends that we thought would make a major impact on the city’s locker room landscape.
Was our crystal ball cloudy or clear as a chime at the end of yoga class? Here’s a recap of our trends (and how we think we did). Feel free to weigh in! And stay tuned for our 2011 predictions on December 13…
1. No reservations needed: Beauty saddles up to the bar
We predicted that quickie, communal spa services like at SoHo’s Dermalogica store and express ones at exhale spas’ Wellbar would usher in a year of easy, breezy, affordable services. Given that even more have joined the scene, like the Spa at the Andaz Hotel on Wall Street, and that spas nationwide are adding shorter treatments, we get an A!
2. Hello single-shingle proprietor; farewell outsize splashy spa
A plethora of pampering New York City spas were hit hard in 2010, as New Yorkers saved their spa sheckles for no-frills massage at Rick Relax and purpose-driven peels. We didn’t fully consider the impact of Lifebooker, Spa Week,, the other 8 million deal sites trying to sell you cheap treatments. We give ourselves a B.
3. Juice bars and cleanses go mainstream. (And we’re not talking Jamba Juice.)
Last year we noted that large, local cleanse purveyors such as Blue Print Cleanse and Organic Avenue brought high-quality juices to those who previously found juicing intimidating or irrelevant. The juicing scene continues to explode, both the cleanse customer and the casual sipping crowd. We give ourselves an A+ for spotting this trend early.
4. Core engagement infiltrates every type of exercise
We hit this trend in the solar plexus: Last year, we called attention to how core activation had infiltrated every type of exercise—from Spinning to exhale spa’s Core Fusion Sport. This year, core-focused barre classes have taken center stage and new fitness technology like ViPR emphasize movement from the core. Give us another A, please.
5. Urban Homesteading: DIY veggie-canning and fruit-dehydrating become super chic
Last year this time we wrote: “New Yorkers are embracing canning classes and fruit dehydration like it’s 1899…Call it a quest for purity and transparency in food sourcing, with the bonus social aspect of group prepping.” The craze to cure fish, can chutneys, and pickle vegetables continues unabated at DIY outposts like the Brooklyn Kitchen. And more and more enthusiasts are selling their wares at Brooklyn Flea and New Amsterdam Market, something we didn’t predict. A-
6. Yin and yang in yoga: mega-studios and boutique studios
Last year we predicted that yoga would flourish at two ends of the spectrum. At one end, there’d be mega-studios such as YogaWorks and Pure Yoga with their luxurious gym-like amenities. On the other end, intimate, quirky studios would thrive. We feared that the mega members-only studios would be luxurious private enclaves. But, in fact, both Yoga Works and Pure have thriving communities (who like the flat-fee rates) and they offer special events and workshops for all. We give ourselves a B- for this forecast.
7. Meet the specialist acupuncturist
We predicted that specialist acupuncturists with fortes in fertility (Jill Blakeway), oncology support (Joan Boccino), and facial rejuvenation (Beth Hooper and Laura Kauffmann) were a sign that acupuncture was becoming as vital to NYC health care as Western counterparts. While we’re still waiting for the Census Report, natural-living New Yorkers remain eager to employ the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine grads for whatever ails us—seasonal allergies, sports injuries, and insomnia. We don’t want to get sick without one. Our grade: A
8. Fitness fashion trends go feminine
We said: “Demand for Lululemon and Omala skeggings prove that there is such a thing as female fitness gear and that NYC women are willing to pay for it.” And the recap? The popularity of yoga harem pants this summer and the fact that we reached for long, layering tunics instead of collegiate hoodies this fall proved our point pretty true. And as workout gear goes feminine, so come concerns about camel toe and the sex appeal of yoga pants. A+ for us!
9. Practitioners who make products
This year we saw New York City wellness practitioners demonstrate their natural beauty product-making chops like Buddha Nose by Shiatsu practitioner Amy Galper; Hope Gillerman’s aroma remedies inspired by her Alexander Technique students, and She Essential Beauty, created by two NYC acupuncturists. Many have followed their efforts, including two New York dermatologists, who debuted natural skin-care products this year. We couldn’t have seen that one coming. We’ll take a A-, thank you.
10. Return of The Big Sweat
Last year, during the depths of Great Recession, outdoor running had a Renaissance as did other old-school sweaty workouts. And Lululemon’s mantra urged us all “to sweat once a day.” The boot camp craze—they’ve taken over city parks and there’s now one for every demographic from new mommies to gay men—continues unabated. And new Equinox classes like the Dirty Dozen are all about kicking cardio up a notch. We give ourselves a B+.
How accurate do you think our 2010 predictions were? Please tell us, here! And stay tuned for our 2011 predictions coming your way in just two weeks.