Well+Good’s 10 New York City Wellness Trends to Look for in 2011

WellandGoodNYC.com Wellness Trends 2011

For our second annual trends report, we didn’t wait for epiphanies during savasana or consult our neighborhood psychic.

We waded through the hundreds of interviews we conducted in 2010 with the city’s wellness experts and cognoscenti, and evaluated what was fad and what was entering New York City’s wellness zeitgeist.

That’s tough to do in a city with a constant barrage of the new, where there are more practicing yogis than residents of Rhode Island; where coconut water is downed like, well, water; and where boutique fitness classes can command $35 a pop. Here are the ten New York City wellness trends that you’ll see take off in 2011. —Alexia Brue and Melisse Gelula, founders of Well+Good

Physique 57 barre obsession

Barre obsession: Physique 57


White-hot barre workouts continue to multiply. Established NYC brands CoreFusion and Physique 57 have been joined by the Bar Method, the Nalini Method, YogaWorks’ BarWorks, and, soon, an outpost of barre3. Gyms are jumping on board by adding “barre” classes to their schedules. We predict an all out barre brawl.


New Yorkers are going gluten-free and vegan in greater numbers—either because of food allergies, animal rights, or a general desire for healthier eating habits. As a result, in grocery stores vegan and gluten-free offerings are becoming more plentiful, growing from a dusty shelf to an active aisle. We predict an explosion of gourmet offerings catering to the health- conscious New Yorkers embracing these formerly fringe diets.

IntenSati Equinox Trend Bryant Park

Healing Workout: IntenSati Equinox (photo: Camille Tokerud)


The same fitness instructors who want you to feel the burn now want to help your body—and mind—heal. Look for therapeutic workouts, like Equinox’s “IntenSati,” which uses personal affirmations, and “Thread,” where core work and body-awareness techniques “unlock muscular inhibition.” Also on the horizon: a fascination with supportive aerial yoga and fitness-meets-life-coaching workshops.


New Yorkers love artisanal foods, and, increasingly, beauty products that are carefully made in small batches. Amanda Walker blends A Perfume Organic by hand; batches of Hope Gillerman’s new HGO Lab preservative-free skin-care line will be made every six weeks for freshness; and for quality control, Tata Harper grows many of the ingredients for her eponymous line at her Vermont farm.

Mandarin Oriental Spa Nontoxic spa beauty

Non-toxic spa: Mandarin Oriental Spa uses natural Amala Beauty products


Because of a growing demand for “3-free” nail polish, paraben-free skin care, and hair straightening sans formaldehyde, NYC spas are dedicating more of their menus to non-toxic treatments. Expect every spa worth its bath salts to include natural beauty services. Leading the way are The Mandarin Oriental Spa with Amala, the Carlyle Sense Spa’s Red Flower services, and Exhale’s Kahina Giving Beauty treatments—a serious sign of progress.


It used to be that fitness trainers and holistic doctors sent their clients to the Whole Foods vitamin aisle for supplements to support their health. Now New York City wellness experts, like celebrity fitness trainer David Kirsch and integrative health guru Frank Lipman, MD (Gwyneth Paltrow’s doctor), are rolling out their own branded nutritional supplements aimed at fixing what ails us.

Yoga handstand Anya Porter Breakti

Fusion Yoga: Anya Porter (photo: Sam Hollenshead)


Vigorous vinyasa is currently the city’s most popular style of yoga. And for some New York City yoga teachers, it’s becoming a platform for layering on practices like Capoeira (a Brazilian martial art) and breakdancing. Carlos Rodriguez, who created Caponyasa, and Anya Porter, founder of Breakti, are just two examples of this innovative new school of yoga.


This year’s juice-cleanse mania created a thirst for premium juices that has nothing to do with fasting. With ABC Elixir Bar, Jean-Georges Vongerichten proved that a juice joint can be upmarket. One Lucky Duck, Juice Generation, and newcomer Liquid Pump are making quality cold-pressed drinks widely available, while stalwart Organic Avenue plans to open more outposts in 2011.

Call to Arms_Athleta Tinker Tank

Call to Arms: Athleta Tinker Tank bares buff biceps


Toned arms are the must-have muscle group, thanks to Michelle Obama and Madonna. Try to find a group fitness class that doesn’t seriously salute the guns—spinning classes include a 10-minute arm sequence; barre classes make sure your arms get as jacked as your core. Fitness fashion is changing as a result: arm-baring tanks have completely replaced old school t-shirts.


Moms-to-be can expect seriously upgraded wellness options. Every yogini can now choose from a wide selection of prenatal classes—from gentle to serious Vinyasa—as well as designer maternity apparel to practice in. Prenatal spa menus expand at New York City spas, from SoHo Sanctuary to the Peninsula, thanks to greater demand and greater therapist expertise.

Think we’ve missed an important NYC wellness trend? Tell us in the Comments section, below!

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23 Comments | ADD YOURS

  1. December 13th, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Thanks for this great overview!

  2. December 13th, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Hey, this is terrific Alexia and Melisse. Living in Chicago, I actually can resonate with these predictions. For example, so many big restaurants here are now offering both gluten-free and vegan options (for example Charlie Trotter’s — of all places). Additionally, Yoga studios are cropping up like mushrooms in a forest floor and this includes lots of different options. Just heard about a two new Bikram places and a new Kundalini. Seems you two are right on target, not just for NYC but for other major urban areas as well. Congratuations.

  3. December 13th, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Great post! Another trend along the lines of #4 is in New Yorkers making their own cosmetics and bath & body products.

  4. December 13th, 2010 at 12:39 pm
  5. December 13th, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    My favorite trend, that I truly hope keeps growing, is eco-friendly clothes. I, personally, am finding it easier to find organic, bamboo, soy, hemp, etc. options, both online and at NYC retailers. I think this trend fits in nicely with the other ones you’ve listed, as they are all part of taking care of yourself and your surroundings.

  6. December 13th, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    excellent article! Bar exercise is so hot.

  7. December 13th, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Another amazing class to file under HEALING WORKOUTS should be the MELT Method. It’s an amazing method that uses specialized foam rollers and hand and foot balls to decrease pain, heal injury, and reduce the negative effects of aging. The creator of the method- manual therapist Sue Hitzmann- has been training instructors all over the US and it’s really spreading like wildfire. Check out http://www.meltmethod.com to find a class near you. It’s the most healing class I’ve found. Intensati is great too, of course!

  8. December 15th, 2010 at 8:04 am

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    Another amazing small batch product is this amazing Facial Oil I started using its called de Mamiel, she does facial oils based on the seasons, all limited edition and will be available at Shen Beauty in Brooklyn. – They are huge in the UK!!!

  13. Well+Good
    January 4th, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Thanks, Gabriella. Fortunately for us, there are lots of great small-batch brands popping up. But this one I hadn’t heard of. I’ll definitely check it out. -Melisse

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  18. September 10th, 2011 at 9:57 am

    I’m happy to see that wellness is a trend and that people are taking responsibility for their own health in a variety of ways. And that spas and manufacturers are stepping up to provide healthier options for the earth and consumers.

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    November 1st, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Great article! Living in NY I can agree I can see this shift in well-being trends.

    For me personally, I have taken up juicing.It’s great for the start of the day. I love orange, kiwi and berries.

    I have also cut down on meat significantly and started to eat more fresh vegetables.

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