When Mariola Zaremba opened her Manhattan Avenue wellness center, Awakening NY, this past May, one of her main goals was to make her holistic treatment philosophy accessible to everyone. Last week, the real estate developer turned yoga instructor showed the neighborhood just how far she had come by offering a day of free movement classes, personal consultations and massages, as well as complimentary organic snacks from their café.
“My dream is coming true!” declared Zaremba, as she surveyed the many new faces receiving free instruction. “I feel like a pioneer breaking the ice. These are not the typical yogis who come to yoga studios. Many of them are doing exercise for the first time in their lives.”
According to Zaremba, the two most pleasing aspects of the October 24th event were the diversity of the attendees, and how the day became a family affair, with kids taking yoga, dance and power stroke – a children’s fitness program, while mom enjoyed a free massage. “People came in for lunch, saw there were classes, and ended up staying for a couple of hours,” said Awakening NY’s Michelle Iwaszkiewicz.
While all the classes were full, the biggest demand was for Dr. Naina Marballi’s Intro to Ayurveda, a Hindu system of traditional medicine. Consultations about wellness with Zaremba and Shamanic Healing with Awakening co-founder Phillia Kim Downs were also in high demand.
As she displayed her already successful programs at the open house, Zaremba unveiled the latest additions to her 7,000 square foot facility. New classes include ballet, taught by long-time Greenpoint institution Hamilton Dance Studio, and Nia Technique, a body and mind fitness and lifestyle program. Building on its already formidable size, Awakening NY has just opened its basement, which features three theme-based massage rooms, two more yoga studios and a traditional dance studio. For relaxing tangled nerves, there is a new bathtub with jets, Cleopatra baths and a steam room for two (“perfect for Valentine’s Day,” advised Zaremba with a smile) that includes aromatherapy sessions.
Zaremba is determined to keep Awakening NY welcoming to all, regardless of age, health or wellness past. “I just want to plant the seeds in their minds and I know they’ll come back,” she said. “They’re going to start to take care of their health and exercise. They’re going to be more healthy in their lives.”
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