New Yorkers are stressed: 25% of employees across professions report experiencing work-related issues such as anxiety, hypertension, and depression. Especially here, stress is at an all-time high as industries increasingly digitize and become more complex. Yet, New Yorkers do all kinds of things to reduce stress and get fit: indoor cycling, pilates, yoga, and working out are all things one can do in Manhattan. But, with mega-gyms and personalized training studios charging ever larger subscription rates, New Yorkers are starting to feel more pressure to earn more (which isn’t a bad goal) even while in the gym or the studio (this isn’t so great).
Nargilya Alekperova, founder of YogaSpa, used to suffer these same kinds of problems. “I was depressed for a while, and the hope of healing from that became my motivation for creating this space. I realized, eventually, that getting better meant taking care of myself more effectively. I started with yoga, and built out my daily regimen from there, asking every day what I could do to become my best self.”
“Eventually my problem faded away, but I wanted to do more. I wanted to help others as I’d helped myself. The problem I saw was that while there are lots of companies offering different wellness solutions stand-alone, it’s rare to find organizations that give an assortment of these at an affordable price. Helping others is just the same as helping yourself, so I felt teaching others yoga would provide as great a degree of healing as it had provided me. Since those early days, the business has grown to accommodate the full scope of Ayurvedic medicine: yoga, massage, scrub, and so on.”
The altruistic nature of Alekperova’s practice was evident immediately upon arriving at the space. Its minimal, colorful, fragrant atmosphere made it clear that Yoga Spa was built to provide visitors a relaxing home away from home, away from the city’s frantic energy. I immediately felt at home, but had a hard time understanding how Yoga Spa was able to compete with the other, more expensive studios in the immediate vicinity. “We’re growing to include more practitioners and products so that we can serve more people. Aside from that, however, we’re not in this for the money. incredibly, this is reflected in our clientele: the people-centered focus of this place actually repels visitors who are exclusively money-conscious. Energetically, they feel ill at ease here.”
Yoga Spa offers customers multiple treatments to optimize wellness and sustainable health. Ayurvedic Yoga is the cornerstone of the practice, helping budding practitioners and veterans alike balance what the tradition calls the three Doshas—Kapha (Water), Pitta (Fire), and Vata (Wind)—metaphorical descriptions of the different types of biochemicals that run the body. The combination of the external treatments and yogic meditation practice Yoga Spa offers and teaches helps practitioners optimize the balance of those biochemicals to sustain healthy living and improve emotional health.
Yoga Spa’s Rejuvenation Package begins with individual and group yoga sessions for beginner, intermediate, and advanced practitioners to further their meditation practice.
Next, Yoga Spa offers a cleansing scrub to cleanse the skin of sweat and other oils accumulated during yogic posing. This is essential: the skin is the body’s largest organ, so making sure it is clean and supple helps to optimize physical health.
Last, a shower is taken, followed by an expert massage to manually knead out any remaining tension left unaddressed by yoga.
Alekperova is a follower of Deepak Chopra, and told me that since beginning to practice Ayurveda, her health has dramatically improved. “It helped me: in six months, I looked fifteen years younger!” She is driven to help others out of recognition of her own success with the practice. Her goal is to improve the practice with more modern treatments, such as laser skin treatments. While she admits her success has further motivated her to continue the practice, it’s doing for herself that inspires her to help others as well.
Yoga Spa also offers massage sessions following poses to manually clear away any leftover tension potentially unaddressed through yoga.
She fervently believes that it’s possible to grow younger with effort, consistency, and self-love, and that it’s never too late for people to start incorporating Ayurvedic principles into their daily lives, regardless of age. She also asserted that life displays a tendency to show people the necessity of holistic living. “There is a time and place for everything: at some point, people realize that living healthfully is essential to living well.”
I was astonished at the level of honesty and compassion displayed at Yoga Spa. Their dedication to helping others and improving lives is so great, they’re currently offering a winter discount to their signature treatments. Yoga Spa also has an upcoming New Year’s promotion, giving 1 month of unlimited classes. I plan to sample what Yoga Spa has to offer, and will be doing a follow-up article about the experience. Stay tuned!