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.

Katerina Babaytseva leads a hand-pan music workshop at her natural approach center in Great Kills. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel)

“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.

New holistic center offers herbal remedies and wellness workshops

Oksana Smirnova, left, and Katerina Babaytseva pose outside their health and wellness boutique in Great Kills. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel)

That’s the goal of the entire 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.

New holistic center offers herbal remedies and wellness workshops

Natural Approach Center is full of herbal remedies, vitamins and gifts. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel)

“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.

New holistic center offers herbal remedies and wellness workshops

Each tea is a blend of herbs that can help soothe different ailments. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel)

“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.

New holistic center offers herbal remedies and wellness workshops

A yoga class is led by instructor Tatiana Sirota, seen here in a red tank top. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel)

“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.

New holistic center offers herbal remedies and wellness workshops

Yoga classes are offered at the Natural Approach Center several times a week. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel)

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.

New holistic center offers herbal remedies and wellness workshops

“We invite people to our center so they can live happier, healthier lives,” Babaytseva said of her new store, Natural Approach. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel)

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