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Feature: Power-House Pilates, at The Brunswick Center

Clients can get personal instruction and support as they build their flexibility, strength and fitness:


Power-House Pilates



It can be hard to get a workout on the East Coast without being jammed into cramped classes at busy big box gyms. At Power-House Pilates, however, clients can get personal instruction and support as they build their flexibility, strength and fitness.

Owners Risa Harris and Morwen Banq met while working at a Manhattan-based studio and bonded over their love of the fitness system, which uses concentration, control, centering, flow of movement, precision and breathing.


Harris and Banq, who both have a dance background, said they first started using Pilates as a way to supplement their dance training and improve their dancing abilities. But you don’t have to be a ballerina to do Pilates, they say.

“Pilates is great for everybody — people who are sick or people with injuries; younger people, older people,” said Banq. “There’s so many variations and modifications to the exercise…everybody can benefit from it.

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Harris agreed, adding, “The goal with Pilates is full-body strength training with a big focus on core strength.

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“It’s really great or people with back pain, preventing injury, helping people have much better posture and overall just making people feel much better,” she said. “It makes people feel really good and helps them get in better shape using an exercise program they can sustain for the rest of their lives.”



Both say they are committed to making Pilates a more personal experience, with Harris saying she wants to “make people feel really cared for.”

“We just want to offer personalized Pilates instruction in classes that are really small, with up to 4 people, and private sessions,” said Harris. 

Banq says they will also offer tantric Pilates and Mommy-and-Me classes for new moms and their newborn babies. Clients can pay per session, or purchase packages.


“…you don’t have to be a ballerina to do Pilates.”




“It’s really great for people with back pain, preventing injury, helping people have much better posture and overall just making people feel much better.”

Banq, who lives in the Powerhouse Arts District (which coincidentally shares its name with the Pilates term for the body’s core and the pair’s studio), said she’s excited to bring their new business to a booming area like Jersey City.

“There are so many people moving here and I think it’s going to be a good addition to the neighborhood,” said Banq. “When I first moved here six years ago, it was just starting to change. Before, people were living in Jersey City and going to the city to work, but now they’re staying in JC and we’re seeing more fitness places opening.

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Harris is particularly excited about joining other fitness-related businesses at the Brunswick Center.



“It’s nice to not feel isolated and feel a sense of community,” she said. “I think it can only be a positive thing to be around other like-minded people who are also in the fitness industry and to just feed off each other’s energy.”


“…an exercise program they can sustain for the rest of their lives.”



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For more information, visit Power-HousePilates.com.

Feature: FreedOM Therapeutics, at The Brunswick Center

Where therapeutic massage and yoga are combined, to refresh oneself both physically and mentally:


FreedOM Therapeutics

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Working 65 to 70 hours a week in the retail industry, Oneika Mays found herself constantly stressed, tired and aching. That is, until she found yoga.

Today, the longtime Jersey City resident has long left the world of retail behind and is a licensed massage therapist, yoga teacher and owner of FreedOM Therapeutics.



“When people first get on my table, I have them take a moment and breathe so they have a sense of awareness. Then we do a gentle body scan, face-up or face-down, which gives them a chance to bring themselves into this moment,” said Mays.

“Using yoga and meditation in conjunction with massage gets people inspired and helps them set their mind on self-healing.”




Mays, who has taught yoga to everyone from cancer patients to prisoners on Rikers Island, says therapeutic massage and yoga combined allow her clients to refresh themselves both physically and mentally. In the case of her patients with athletic injuries, she says they can even heal faster with her help.


“Working with stretches is such a different way to explore therapeutics than statically lying on a table — You just feel more moved.”



She tailors each 60- to 90-minute session for each client. Some of her patients just opt for yoga, others for just massage, and for several, her winning combo of both.

“Some people like to do therapeutic postures before moving onto the table, or even stretches with a yoga feel on the table,” she said. “Working with stretches is such a different way to explore therapeutics than statically lying on a table. You just feel more moved!”

Being in the Brunswick Center also adds to the experience, she says.

“It’s amazing. The energy in this space just feels so good — there are people doing spin, kickboxing and even capoeira! Everyone is so community-oriented and it’s just such a friendly place,” she said, adding that the center is one of the most fantastic community resources in the Village neighborhood and Jersey City overall.

“There is an explosion happening in Jersey City that is absolutely incredible, especially with local businesses that have a wellness spin,” said Mays. “It feels like the time is right to be here. It’s great to see how Jersey City has blossomed into a great place for people to live and now, work.”




For more information, visit FreedOM Therapeutics.

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