Around the Island

Fit Island: Fitness 411 for Islanders

COURTESY PHOTO | Maggie Davis leading a fitness class in the park.
COURTESY PHOTO | Maggie Davis leading a fitness class in the park.

Being active is one of the best ways to promote health and longevity and Shelter Islanders now have more fitness options than ever!

There are numerous yoga classes to help you strengthen and restore. Heidi Fokine,, offers an alignment based flow class Saturday mornings through the summer at the Shelter Island Historical Society’s Havens Barn. Michelle Mankins will be doing flow and restore yoga focused on a deepening awareness of heart, body and mind at the Manhasset Chapel for July and August. Email her at [email protected] Jean Lawless, (631) 749-1377, offers a gentle yoga class for seniors at the Senior Center year round. Jessy Nees will be leading classes at the Ram’s Head Inn weekend mornings in July and August. Jessy also gives stand up paddleboard yoga classes if you’re interested in taking your practice to the water! Find her schedule at Shelter Island Yoga & Fitness offers a variety of yoga classes with instructors Lauren Mussleman, Catrina Heimann, Celine Antoine and Jessy Nees. They each bring a unique style to their practice and you can find their latest schedules at

Suzette Smith,, has two studios that offer private and semi-private Pilates classes and group barre classes. Pilates is low-impact whole-body workout using proper body mechanics to create a stronge and flexible body. Barre is a dance-inspired workout that incorporates elements of ballet and Pilates to sculpt and stretch. Every weekend she teaches a Pilates mat class at Shelter Island Yoga & Fitness.

If you like the idea of combining Yoga and Pilates into one flowing full body workout, try PIYO taught by Julie Weisenberg at the Legion/Youth Center year round and at Manhasset Chapel in July and August. For class times contact Julie at [email protected]

Fit Fusion taught by Callie Atkins is a gentle alignment based yoga and exercise class held at the Legion/Youth Center. Contact Callie for her latest schedule at (406) 260-0092.

Indoor Studio Cycling (also known as spinning) will get you in top condition as you ride to the beat of energizing music at Spin Shelter Island located at Shelter Island Yoga & Fitness. Julie Karpeh, Candace Ryan and I offer rides for every fitness level. Look for schedules at

Also at Shelter Island Yoga & Fitness, are TRX classes taught by Peter Farrar. TRX is a series of exercises using your own body weight as resistance done on suspension straps to engage the core and strengthen your muscles.

I instruct a conditioning class using light weights with the emphasis on balance, agility, functional strength and endurance. The classes are held outdoors at Fiske Field in July and August and the Legion/Youth Center year round. For more information email me at [email protected]

Laury Dowd teaches a no impact stretching and movement class called Eccentrics. This class uses flowing movements to create flexible muscles. Classes are held at the Legion/Youth Center and the Shelter Island Library. Contact Laury at (631) 353-2623.

If you enjoy getting a workout while moving to the rhythm of music you’re in luck as there are several dance options. Melanie Matz, (631) 365-6640, teaches zumba, a Latin-based dance class, at the Shelter Island Library. Zumba Gold with Susan Binder at the Legion/Youth Center is perfect for active older adults who are looking for a modified class that recreates the original moves at a lower-intensity. Follow their Facebook page Zumba Fitness on Shelter Island. Julie Weisenberg, [email protected], leads a total body dance cardio class called “Country Heat” dancing to pop country tunes at the Legion/Youth Center. No dance experience needed!

She is teaching a Country Heat class for the town that is a dance cardio workout set to pop country music. It runs from 6 to 6:45 p.m. on Mondays and from 5:30 to 6:15  p.m. Fridays. Those classes cost $5 each and while they started in April, students are welcome to join any time.

Ms. Weisenberg is also teaching PiYo classes at Manhanset Chapel on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30  in July and August. Classes  have roots in pilates and yoga.

Also teaching at Manhanset Chapel is Michelle Mankins who was set to teach flow and restore yoga last summer when an accident sidelined her. She is back and will be teaching Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:30 to 11 a.m. starting July 3 through September 1.

The Town Recreation Department and the Shelter Island Library sponsor many of these group exercise classes, which are offered at a very affordable rate of $5 per class. Other classes range between $10 and $30 per class with class packages offered at reduced rates.

Be sure to call, email or visit instructor or studio websites for rates, schedules and information and make this a fun, fit summer!