Well before opening the doors to Fuel the Soul exercise studio at 188 Merrick Road in mid-April, owners Greg and Lauren Fine determined their mission would be to try to bring "health, vibrancy, energy and radiance to the community."
Helping to fuel the soul of their clients are a full array of services including: Yoga (infrared hot yoga, IntenSati, Vinyasa prenatal yoga, mommy & me yoga, and kids yoga), pilates, gyrotonic exercise, therapeutic massage and "far infrared" sauna.
Heat, particularly infrared heat, plays a big part in this unique studio's offerings. In fact, according to the Fines, Fuel the Soul is the first and only exercise studio equipped with a state-of-the-art infrared heating system, said to provide a more penetrating and detoxifying exercise experience.
Normally "hot" yoga studios use forced hot air to raise the temperatures in the exercise room to help members sweat, but Fuel the Soul's infrared heated studio uniquely uses special lamps which gently heat the body, not the room.
"It's the same type of lamps used in neonatal care units and even by NASA to help keep astronauts healthy in space," the Fines say. "Exercising or just sitting in an infrared heated sauna can help you burn calories much faster, up to 600 calories per hour."
Devotees of infrared heat exercise believe there are many benefits, including increased blood circulation without putting strain on your heart and increasing levels of oxygen and white blood cells in the blood.
It is supposed to help stimulate the production of collagen in the body, rid the body of toxins by causing you to perspire, help speed metabolism, aid in weight loss, relieve muscle pain, ease joint pain, improve immune system response and even reduce the appearance of cellulite.
"Many people we work with say they feel better after our hot yoga and exercise sessions and when they spend time in our infrared sauna," Greg Fine says.
In addition to yoga and pilates, Fuel the Soul offers gyrotonic work-outs, a regimen favored by dancers, athletes and celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Shaquille O'Neal and Madonna.
Using specialized equipment, the system employs 3-D circular movements and uses specific breathing patterns said to cleanse, detoxify and rejuvenate the entire body. Greg Fine studied with and was certified in 2001 by Juliu Horvath, the inventor of the gyrotonic exercise method.
"It's a unique method that uses movements found in swimming, yoga, and tai chi and helps to improve strength, flexibility, balance and coordination," Fine says.
Fine says that people of different fitness levels and ages can use the system.
"For younger people it can be a very intense way of moving the body and for older users its gentle movements are non-impact for the joints," he says. "I've taught the method to clients 60 and 70 years old."
Balancing out the exercise at Fuel the Soul is a menu of therapeutic massage services spearheaded by Lauran Fine, a New York State licensed massage therapist and also a supervisor of the Massage Clinic at the New York College of Health Professions in Syosset.
At Fuel the Soul members can choose from the classic Swedish and deep tissue massages, to prenatal and more unique amma therapeutic or Thai yoga massages.
Amma therapy is rooted in the same fundamental principals as acupuncture and Chinese medicine, focusing on the balance and movement of energy within the body.
Thai yoga massage is performed on a mat in the studio and the recipient, dressed in comfortable clothes, is guided by the therapist through a series of yoga postures while massaging along the body's energy lines and pressure points.
Together these actions are said to offer a comprehensive full body treatment that relieves muscular tension, improves circulation, boosts the immune system and balances the body energetically.
The Fines, both 32, are happy to have selected Merrick for Fuel the Soul. Lauren grew up in nearby Baldwin and Greg for a time lived in Merrick as a child attending Chatterton Elementary School.
Greg Fine is also a talented musician (www.myspace.com/gregfine) and experienced business owner. Fine and his sister own The Spoon Coffeehouse in Lindenhurst. The energetic couple have a 3-year-old son Jonah and are expecting their second child. Namaste.
Interested in learning more call: 516-379-0810 or visit www.fuelthesoul.com.