LOCAL PROFILES: Pamela Warshay - Sage Fitness (8.8.18)
With so many great fitness studios below Canal Street, it can be daunting trying to navigate them all and find the right workout for you. Luckily, most of the businesses and business owners we've met (new and established) in the neighborhood have been kind, welcoming and have a positive impact in their respective neighborhoods, making trying a new workout a fun adventure.
We spoke with Pamela Warshay, Founder of Sage Fitness (a fitness OG, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year!) in Financial District, about what makes Sage Fitness so unique and its workouts lasting...
Tell us about Sage Fitness...
I established Sage Fitness 20 years ago. We offer Pilates, Pilates 4 Youth, Gyrotonic and Indian Club Swinging. Sessions and classes are individually tailored to achieve goals of balance, strength and flexibility. Posture and alignment are the focus of every session. Asymmetries, imbalances, structural weaknesses and past or current injuries are addressed to help shape each client’s session. Whether a beginner or an advanced student, clients get a challenging workout.
Our client base is a mix of people with different kinds of fitness and alignment needs. We have a large constituency of baby boomers but all ages come in the doors. My youngest client right now is 8 years old. My oldest is 78. People come to Sage to workout in correct alignment and know their workouts are tweaked from session to session depending on how their body is doing that day, whether they are prepping for a marathon or have a hip replacement and need careful and accurate exercises. Over the years, we have trained clients with varied needs such as peri and post-natal, scoliosis, Parkinson’s, CP, post cardiac surgery, plantar fasciitis, frozen shoulder to name some issues. And not to forget wedding prep sessions for brides- they practice Indian Club Swinging for their arms and even take a pair home to practice daily!
What inspired you to open Sage Fitness in the Financial District?
I relocated the studio last year to FiDi. It has been a great transition. What we acquired from the move was more space. This allowed me to finally offer small group Pilates and Club Swinging classes for adults, Pilates 4 Youth classes for kids as well as professional development workshops in Indian Club Swinging. And because more solo lessons can go on simultaneously, clients can more easily book their one-on-ones.
A big reason I felt our move downtown would succeed was that FiDi was under served with the teaching we offer. The big bonus is I get to walk to work. I have lived south of Canal Street for 22 years and in addition to watching its transformation, I am proud that Sage is a part of the downtown renaissance.
You have been around since 1998. How has the evolution of the neighborhood impacted you and the studio?
I don’t think I could have done this move last year without this transition that has been evolving post 9/11. Out of our country’s terrible tragedy, the neighborhood was able to bounce back in a way greater than ever anticipated. In evolving to a robust residential neighborhood with enormous commercial growth, I was able to seamlessly move Sage Fitness from Union Squate to FiDi in a NY minute! Our newer clients from the neighborhood are a combination of residents and neighborhood employees, as well as people from outside FiDi getting here easily with the Fulton Transit Center being across the street.
What is unique about Sage Fitness locals should know?
Clients come here who want to exercise, but need the hawk-eye of seasoned trainers to keep their form in check. We are a studio of current and former dancers. If you want a great Pilates or Gyrotonic session, getting trained by a dancer is usually a good bet. We’re all “symmetry junkies” at Sage and you will get evened out!
In terms of offerings, I believe we are the only studio downtown offering Gyrotonic sessions.
It’s a multidimensional, fluid exercise system created in 1984 for dancers. Gyrotonic training uses equipment comprised of weighted pulleys and rotational discs, which works the whole body at once. Gyrotonic exercise offers similar benefits also derived from yoga, gymnastics, swimming, kundalini yoga and ballet. The work incorporates spinal curling, arching, twisting, spiraling and lengthening movements, as well as other joint articulations. The movements promote coordination, flexibility, endurance, strength and mobilization. Clients note that after a workout, they feel mobilized, centered and very elongated. With its circular and rotational motions, Gyrotonic exercise is noted to improve many activities and such as one’s golf swing, tennis game and dance practice. Additionally, it helps women feel well during pregnancy and is a great system for overall life-long conditioning.
Plus, I brought Indian Club Swinging to the studio about 3 years ago, now called Complete Clubs. Its definitely still a fringe workout, although it was popular in the the U.S. from about 1880-1930s and was even an Olympic sport! It’s really the ultimate mind-body workout.
Based on traditional Indian Club Swinging, I’ve updated the swinging patterns and sequencing while adding a lower body component to the exercises. Complete Clubs optimizes upper body strength, length and range of motion. It’s an effective and safe workout that gets your arms and back stronger while improving trunk stabilization and alignment. Complete Clubs is a non impact cardiovascular workout which is great for people wanted to keep the impact low on their lower limb joints.
Complete Clubs has applications for everyone, whether you’re overcoming a shoulder injury, a parent needing more strength to hold and carry your growing child or an avid rock climber! The workout helps with wrist and hand issues like carpal tunnel syndrome to sporting goals such as improving your swim stroke or finessing your golf or tennis game.
What's coming up for Sage Fitness in 2018?
I recently launched our Pilates 4 Youth program this spring. We are now introducing intensives for children and an expanded class schedule this Fall. This program keeps the class ratio small, with no more than 6 children to a class. The goal is to get kids to build confidence, body awareness and improve their fitness while learning about self-care early on. There’s a period in early childhood called the “magic window”. This is the time when children best grasp new ideas and techniques- think of the dancer or musician that started learning those crafts at 8, 9 or 10. I played the piano as a kid…if you put me in front of one, I can still read sheet music and play a few simple tunes decades later. Imagine the idea of teaching young children posture and how that translates into adulthood. When you teach a kid quality fitness now, they will develop muscle memory and an appreciation and aptitude for it to last a lifetime and become a life skill.
What are your go to spots in the neighborhood?
So my neighborhood spots are all based around food! Here goes…GRK on Fulton Street, Hole in the Wall on Cliff Street, Eataly at Westfield, Takahashi Bakery on Murray Street, V-Bar on Front Street, Huu Ramen on John Street and Nish Nush on John Street.
For those interested....
•Pilates 4 Youth begins September on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons.
•Group classes in Pilates Mat and Indian Club Swinging are held on:
Mondays at 12:15 pm
Tuesdays at 6:30 pm
Wednesdays at 12:30 pm
Fridays at 2:00 pm
For scheduling, go to www.sagefitness.com