Catching Up with New Kids: Nofar Method

As a competitive swimmer and water polo player, Nofar Hagag has always approached her practice of Pilates from the lens of an athlete. She’s been competing or training for nearly all her life — even during her service in the Israeli army, she was an athletic trainer. She came to the States to play water polo for St. Francis in Brooklyn and after an injury, started working out at the Movement Salon on 17th Street, looking for a way to work through her injury. The combination was her “aha” moment.

She trained there for years, and then, in 2019, opened her own small studio in the Flatiron, calling it the Nofar Method and bringing her own athletic twist to the Pilates reformers and “Cadillacs.”

“Classical Pilates is very specific — it’s built for a dancer’s body and is very stretchy. The workout is less satisfying if you don’t have that body,” Nofar says. “Our workout is more athletic. The exercises are very challenging — the repetition, the approach to the full body. People feel it the day after.”

The Tribeca studio — her second; a third just opened in Miami — has 10 Reformers and 10 Cadillacs; a typical 50-minute class has students switch rooms after 25 minutes on each. Each class has two teachers, so there is always oversight and adjustments going in each room. There are morning and evening classes, $45 each or $37 with a 10 pack.

Nofar says that much of her clientele, especially in Tribeca, ranges in age from 20 to 70, a testament to the customized and safe workouts that the machines allow.

“In my opinion it’s a magical machine if you don’t have a lot of tenge of motion,” she says. “The machine let’s you go into a plank without hurting your back or do a pushups or lunges that protect your body. And you can modify with a machine with those injuries. Plus I like how it makes people feel. It makes you feel accomplished and successful.”

The Cadillac is loaded with toys and props, “an amusement park for the body,” so the workouts change in each class with each trainer. “And that’s the secret to stimulate your body. It’s a surprise every time you come.”

The pandemic sent her business on Zoom, but it also allowed her to afford a bigger space in the Flatiron when things reopened. Tribeca opened in September 2022 in an even bigger space — she has a room for private classes downstairs and will add an infrared sauna room in December.

She has 20 teachers on staff, all of whom she has trained herself from scratch. “I didn’t want to take teachers from the classical Pilates world,” she said. She also trains them in the social aspects of teaching — she wants her studios to be welcoming and fun. “I feel like the connection between the people makes the workout more successful. That’s something I brought from Israel. It’s a friendly, interactive class.”

Her teachers will do rotations in Miami, where she will keep an apartment for them when they come. And of course she will continue to teach in all locations. She teaches 20 classes a week now, down from 30 in order to keep the expanding business running. She also does occasional Pilates retreats.

And she’s gone back to her first love, water polo, training with the New York Athletic Club’s masters program. “I am doing it for me, to stay connected to who I really am and why I came to America, before I started all this. It grounds me.”

Nofar Method
68 Thomas | West Broadway and Church


1 Comment

  1. I like this place because every time I walk by I get a laugh. On the front window it says in big letters ORGANIZE YOUR BODY and I think “Gee, my body already has plenty of organs, why would I need more?”