Shape shifting

Self steam

Photo: Federica Paoletti

Sadie Nardini, former co-owner of Shri Yoga in Tribeca, recently relocated to Essential Therapy to initiate a series of newly designed yoga classes (the first of any kind there). Although based on traditional postures, Nardini’s method—which stresses deep abdominal work—is different from other vinyasa-related instruction. “It’s like hot yoga, except instead of heating the room you’re heating from the core center,” she explains. “It’s a sweaty, calorie-torching process.”

Nardini’s emphasis is as much on feeling the burn as on firing up a useful worldview. She offers a contemporary spirituality that students can apply to real-life situations; as she asks in class, “How is my Down Dog going to help me during a fight with my boyfriend?” There are more than ten instructors teaching the technique, but classes can be hit or miss; we recommend working with Nardini herself. And although her workouts are challenging, variations are always offered so that even first-timers won’t feel left behind. Essential Therapy, 122 E 25th St between Lexington and Park Aves (212-777-2325, www.essentialtherapyny.com).—Emily Weiner