New NYC Holistic Center Offers Herbal Remedies and Wellness Workshops
STATEN ISLAND, NY — It’s Wednesday in a small storefront studio on a busy section of Amboy Road, and Katerina Babaytseva is deeply involved in a one-handed music workshop. Quiet and soothing, with small harp sounds vibrating in the Great Kills space, the class is soothing and its members stress-free. The whole room is synchronized and connected – each participant came to Babaytseva to improve their well-being.
“This class brings an indescribable feeling of self-healing because the vibrations of music resemble the vibrations of our own body,” Babaytseva said. “You don’t need to know how to play music to take part in this – you can just repeat the sounds you hear and enjoy the amazing cosmic music. The only thing you have to do is get lost in the rhythm of it all, relax and enjoy.
This is the goal of all the work of Babaytseva Natural Approach Center, a business she owns and operates with longtime friend Oksana Smirnova. Full of herbal teas and vitamins, as well as handmade soaps and serums that are made to soothe body and soul, the retail portion of the shop offers customers a range of holistic products, while the company’s back rooms are filled daily with scheduled treatments. yoga and meditation classes and sessions. And the whole concept was born out of the duo’s passion for healthy living.
“I love teas and herbal products and Oksana is a vitamin expert,” said Babaytseva, who grew up in a holistic family, her herbalist father. “In January, we found this space and decided to pool our talents. It’s something we’ve always talked about, and all of a sudden it all clicked into place.
The products are personally selected by Babaytseva and Smirnova, natural remedies chosen to relieve digestive disorders, sleep problems, colds and flu and other common ailments. On weekends, Babaytseva seeks out some of her herbs, buys others, and then combines them: chamomile, echinacea, and elderberry for immunity; ashwagandha, lavender, mint and sarsaparilla for relaxation and anxiety. If you want to detox, there’s burdock root and calendula for that.
“It’s not a medical remedy, but it’s a supplement that will help you with whatever problem you have,” Babaytseva said. “There are herbs to cure hangovers and concoctions you can sip to relax and boost your immunity. We have it all.
Natural Approach classes are made to improve your quality of life.
“We invite people to our center so they can live a happier and healthier life,” Babaytseva said. “It’s an encouraging environment where people of all ages can connect, learn and improve their well-being.”
The center’s schedule includes Vinyasa and Kundalini yoga classes, belly dancing, numerology, art therapy, and sound healing. There is also a Mandala dance, an esoteric school, women’s circles, Reiki, karaoke and more. Birthday parties, girls’ nights out, corporate and team building events are some of Babaytseva’s specialties.
Babaytseva and Smirnova, both of Ukrainian descent, also use their center as a collection site where Staten Islanders can drop off food and other essentials for people displaced by Ukraine’s current war.
“My family currently still lives in Ukraine,” Babaytseva said. “They are safe, but I am worried. Our customers have been so generous. We send them care packages every week and donate as much as we can. This whole business has been built around personal healing – it warms my heart that our clients are helping others heal too.