Free NYC: Union Square Sweat Fest! Feb 9-15
The Union Square Partnership (@UnionSquareNY) is thrilled to announce their third annual UNION SQUARE SWEAT FEST, a week-long event series highlighting the district’s vibrant health + fitness scene.
With more than 1,000 participants last year, Sweat Fest’s lineup has been expanded to showcase over 65 event partners at 40+ fitness activities.
The event schedule includes complimentary workouts at the district’s best athleisure retailers + top gyms, “drenching” paid studio classes with swag, a dynamic line-up of kids fitness, as well as plenty of giveaways + a social media contest.
#USQSweatFest classes have a limited capacity + are made available on a first-come, first-served basis
Some classes are complimentary + some require advance purchase + sign-up through the #USQSweatFest website or via a link to the studio’s website
Purchased classes are typically “drenched” with swag as indicated in the class description
Check the event schedule for changes + updates
SPECIAL OPENING + CLOSING EVENTS
Sweat Fest kicks off on Thursday, February 9th with a launch party featuring Sound Off™ + Insider Insights at the W New York – Union Square. Using wireless headsets, enjoy an immersive soul yoga experience led by Julie Serow of Laughing Lotus while renowned DJ Lety Love spins beats. Stay after for exclusive giveaways, healthy refreshments, and a wellness + beauty collective.
Close out the week with us on Wednesday, February 15th with a special yoga class + wellness celebration at GrowNYC’s beautiful new event space, Project Farmhouse. Led by internationally renowned yoga teacher Kat Fowler of Kat Fowler Yoga and Yoga Vida, you’ll experience 60 minutes of calming practice followed by healthy bites + drinks, and exciting swag + giveaways.
Looking to change up your workout routine or sample a new class or studio? Sweat Fest showcases a variety of local workout venues, instructors + classes. The schedule includes activities for all levels at the neighborhood’s favorite gyms, retail stores + boutique studios.
Check out Yoga Vida’s Yoga Flow and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) at JackRabbit, or sample new workouts like Friday Night Power Hour at SWITCH Playground and Train like a BOSS at HUB seventeen. Bring Young Tigers to Bo Law Kung Fu, have a date night learning Tango at the 14th Street Y, or recover with Mindfulness Meditation at The Rubin Museum of Art.
No matter what you’re looking for, #USQSweatFest can help you find it.
This year, we’ve expanded the line-up to include children’s yoga, dance, ballet, martial arts + family swim. Check the schedule for class descriptions, recommended age levels, sign-up instructions + cost.
SOCIAL MEDIA PROMOTION + GIVEAWAYS
We’re giving away awesome swag throughout the week thanks to our event partners. To participate in our social media contest, follow us @UnionSquareNY on Twitter + Instagram and tag your #USQSweatFest photos from February 9th – 16th.
Stay in touch with us for the latest @UnionSquareNY news, including our summer schedule of free outdoor fitness offerings in Union Square Park, by signing-up for our e-newsletter.
Winter Warmup: Brodo – A New Kind of Hot Beverage
Put down that coffee cup. If you’re looking for a winter warm up pass up Starbucks and head to Brodo instead. If you haven’t heard already, broth is the hottest superfood this winter, and it’s being served up daily at this East Village takeout window (attached to the restaurant Hearth), AND now you can visit their newest location in the West Village!
Simmered for 18 hours, the drinks contain amino acids and minerals like magnesium, calcium and gelatin (all of which fight inflammation, boost digestive health and even help your hair and nails grow). You can choose from organic chicken, grass-fed beef or the signature house blend (a hearty mixture of turkey, chicken and beef), and make your brew even better with add-in options like ginger, chili oil and freshly grated turmeric.
Brodo, we’re feeling you.
MomStyle: 5 Ways To Beat The Cold With The Kids In NYC
So, it’s FREEZING here in NYC again, and that means no braving it on the playground. Having the temps drop means having to figure out indoor spots to entertain the littles. There are always the great standbys like The Museum of Natural History and Children’s Museum of Manhattan, but here are a few of my neighborhood favorites (& ways to save when visiting).
CMA- The Children’s Museum of Art offers classes and activities for children of all ages. Kids can paint, color, play in their bouncy ball gym and enjoy creative art exhibits. Thursday afternoons are “pay as you wish” and a perfect opportunity to visit and check out the offerings.
Karma Kids Yoga: I LOVE my yoga and Karma Kids has the most offerings for the little ones. With two studios centrally located not far from Union Square, they offer kids yoga and dance classes, mommy & me and pre-natal classes, and fun events and themed classes like Shark Yoga and Pajama Glow-In-The-Dark Yoga. They also have a great FREE story time twice a week and discounted community classes.
Integral Yoga: Another great yoga class for kids. Instructor Lakshmi Pidel takes toddlers (and moms) through simple poses using singing, music and props to enliven the experience. Classes are 45 minutes and just under $20. You can also try it out for FREE (first timers only), and the studio is included in my favorite yogi money saving resource, the Yoga Passbook, so you can access two more classes using that.
NY Public Library: The NYPL offers a variety of toddler and baby classes and story times. The Hudson Park branch used to be our go-to (they had a great big play area with lots of toys), but they are closed for renovations until spring (hmgh) so we’ve been heading over to Jefferson Market for story time which is a fun hour of stories and crafts. Libraries throughout the city are a great FREE resource and programs are offered throughout the year.
YMCA: I wish I had known all the great stuff the Y offers sooner! They have programs for kids– from swim to dance to pre-school prep classes, all at a very competitive price– in fact cheaper than anywhere else around the city. You can sign up for classes alone (most require commitment for a term), or join as a member and take advantage of the gym, pool and other amenities. My local Y is super nice with state of the art work out equipment, group fitness classes and (most importantly) Child Watch services that allow parents to drop off their little ones to be watched while they work out…for free.
Want more MomStyle? Check outMommyhoodTake1.com
Living Large In A Small NYC Apartment : 10 Stylish Tips
Just because you live in a small apartment doesn’t mean it has to look and feel small. Instead, you can rely on some clever tricks that can have your small apartment feeing and looking more spacious in no time.
- Think Big: Most people think that having a small space means they have to have small pieces of furniture. Not so, in actuality sometimes a larger piece in a small area will give the appearance of more space.
- Go Glam: A lot of New York apartments have wonderfully high ceilings. There is a lot that can be done with a small room with high ceilings. One of my favorite ideas? Hang a chandelier – what girl doesn’t want a chandelier somewhere in their home? It can even be an inexpensive faux chandelier, hung easily with a small hook that doesn’t need a light attached! It’s all about the glamour and the effect. Of course a fully rigged up chandelier is equally awesome. Just think about your budget and your space and what will work best.
- Expand The Eye: A four poster bed in a small studio can give the impression of more room, because as the eye travels up and there is a sense of “wow, there is a lot of room here”. Of course, there are some basic rules with large pieces of furniture in a small space. Try to keep the pieces white or neutral in color to expand the eye.
- Light It Up: Just like with furniture, it’s also a good idea to keep the color palette neutral in a small apartment to create a feeling of openness and space.
- Get Artsy: To introduce color and personality add splashes of color with accessories that can really showcase your personality. One great way to do this is by changing artwork in the major seasons. Decorative changes in summer and winter are great ways to change the feel of your apartment without a lot of expense. Large canvases can be purchased on-line anywhere from Etsy to art.com which means you can change the feel of your home with just a click of a button. Being in New York City also gives you the chance to explore vintage shops and flea markets as well as indie art fairs and emerging artist galleries – there’s no limit to the creative pieces you can find in this creative city!
- Accessorize your apartment with fun cushions, fresh flowers, or bowls of fruit. In this fast paced world it really is important to stop and smell the roses. Every Sunday I walk down to my local bodega and buy super cheap fresh flowers for my home. It makes me feel so abundant, and my home positively shines. Also, have some key pieces that pop and draw the eye to specific areas of your apartment- even in a studio – is a clever trick to draw the eye around your home.
- Get Low: Another easy trick? Low-lined furniture is a great way to avoid the feeling of being closed in or feeling cluttered and overwhelmed.
- Reflect: Mirrors, mirrors and mirrors. Placed leaning and hung mirrors against give an instant sense of openness to any space. Ikea currently has great floor mirrors for $99 – a and less than the cost of a great pair of heels! The bonus with floor mirrors? No need for hanging simply buy and lean against a wall, of course if you have kids around always secure to the wall for safety. Also try to have the mirror grab a view if possible, even if its just showing off a well stocked bookcase or a piece of art, something attractive.
- Warm It Up: Another creative way to spice up a small apartment? A fire place for those who live in apartments. The electric flames simulate real fire and the mood it creates is unbelievable. Who then wouldn’t want to race home to a cozy apartment? They take up virtually NO room are super cheap to run and create the most wonderful illusion of space. Bought on-line delivered by courier couldn’t be easier.
- De-clutter! Finding a place for everything? Yeah right I hear you say! I know. Start small. It’s all about making your life less stressful. Knowing where things are helps your apartment and your brain. Have a laundry basket that is easy to access, that way you’ll put your laundry in it. Have hooks in your entrance way for your handbag when you walk in the door. A place on a small side table for your keys and cell phone. A place for the remote controls and other trinkets. A place where you always re-charge your cell phone….Give everything a home inside your home.
The Bed Challenge: One more tip that will have you feeling great when you come home? A made bed. Make your bed after you rise in the morning as it closes the previous night and feels fresh and welcoming for the next evening. It truly takes a minute yet the feeling is priceless. Do it for 21 days and see how different you feel? Make it with love, it doesn’t have to be a drag. I can feel resentful and rushed making it or I can feel really self-loving. Go on treat yourself and remember how precious you are…. You deserve a lovely bed to get into tonight.
Until next time sweet dreams.
|With a lifetime of experience as diverse as her ability to create magnificence in each transformation, Jane Brown is truly an artist. Jane learned the art of styling from a young age, growing up in a large family where her parents travelled the world for business, importing antique furniture and silver.With new and unusual pieces from the eclectic to the classic arriving frequently, Jane’s flair for integrating pieces to harmonise several personalities into one environment began to shine. Her father’s own words sum it up perfectly “Just give Jane a little bit of time and she’ll make it beautiful”. Today, Jane’s life experience has become her passion, as she brings her natural gifts and talent to the homes and offices of her many clients to create amazing transformations in their homes and in their lives. For more on Jane and her work go to www.janebrowninteriors.com|
10 Tips from Pure Yoga to Jump-start Your Yoga Resolution
So, now that we’re a couple weeks into the new year, how are you doing on keeping to your fitness resolutions? Karen Nourizadeh offers tips and advice for initiating and maintaining a yoga practice in 2017.
“A common misconception about yoga is that it involves complex stretches intended only for highly flexible people. Others believe that all yogis chant, meditate and are vegetarians. However, many people are surprised to learn that Yoga is a holistic approach to mind, body and breath which can be easily applied to all people… no matter your age, size, diet, profession or body type” says Nourizadeh. “In order to develop and maintain a healthy, safe, regular and challenging practice, it is essential to know your own body and its boundaries.”
10 TIPS FROM KAREN TO JUMPSTART YOUR YOGA RESOLUTION
1. Make a time commitment to yourself and be specific. Setting forth specific days and times weekly will encourage you to honor your practice. Treat your commitments as appointments with yourself. If you need to cancel a session, already having it on your calendar the following week will help you to maintain a regular commitment.
2. Set realistic goals. If flexibility is a goal, be prepared to commit at least 2-3 hours weekly and incorporate the appropriate exercises to increase your flexibility. Challenging but safe poses provide real opportunities for growth and evolution.
3. Find classes that are appropriate for your level and be patient with yourself. For beginners, classes emphasizing technique, alignment and safety are crucial to building a proper foundation and protecting your body.
4. Find a teacher whose voice, personality and energy resonates with you and your goals. When you experience harmony with your teacher and their approach to yoga, your desire to practice will increase as well as your desires to fulfill your own personal goals.
5. Do not feel intimidated by the instructor or other practitioners. If you have questions about poses or need modifications, speak with the instructor before and/or after the class. Yoga should be tailored and safe for your body. While healthy competition is good, knowing and respecting your boundaries is better.
6. Develop body awareness. Knowing where your body parts are and how each part feels from moment to moment allows us listen to what our bodies need, not what our minds tell us we need. Body awareness helps us to prevent injury and illness, while encouraging a healthy synergistic effect on the whole body.
7. Bring consciousness to the unconscious act of breathing. Focusing on breath has a calming effect, allows us to be in the now, where life is happening, and maximizes the benefits of your practice.
8. Watch your thoughts as they arise and then practice letting them go. Your mind will want to take you out of the present and into the past, future or even a fantasy. When you are attuned to the present moment, you are able to focus your energy fully on what you are doing and maximize the benefits of your practice.
9. Connect to your inner child. Allow yourself to approach your practice playfully, without judgment and with little fear.
10. Work in one-on-one sessions with a private yoga instructor. A private instructor will help you to attain your goals, work with your unique body type and schedule times appropriate to your schedule.
As you move from 2013 to 2014, Nourizadeh reminds us of the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Yoga teaches us to connect to, trust and honor your inner voice and wisdom. Make that connection to yourself through yoga. It is a gift that never stops giving to your mental and physical well-being.
Get Your Down Dog On For the Elephants: Free Yoga At The Bronx Zoo
Another great Yoga Journal event is coming to NYC. They’re teaming up with the 96 Elephants Campaign and invite you to the first-ever Yogis for Ellies event!
Mark your calendars for Friday, September 23, from 4-7 p.m. at the Bronx Zoo. The event will feature free yoga classes with Tao Porchon-Lynch, Kristin McGee, and Bethany Lyons in honor of the 96 elephants who are lost every day.
Join us and help raise awareness and support for elephants through yoga. This free event will include open Bronx Zoo animal exhibits such as Madagascar!, Zoo Center, and the Sea Lion Pool (with a special feeding!).
If you’re in the area, we hope you’ll come and invite your friends to join too! Free admission and parking will be provided, and complimentary snacks and refreshments will be served. Be sure to BYO yoga mat!
Together, at this first Yogis for Ellies event with our friends at the 96 Elephants Campaign, we hope to honor the 96 elephants who are killed every day for their ivory.
Thank you for making your practice count.
City Escape: The Finger Lakes
Ok, so summer is in full swing and that means getting away from the steamy city any chance we can get. Since the Hamptons, Connecticut coastline, and Jersey Shore are already staples in any New Yorker’s vocabulary, we decided to explore escapes beyond our usual boundaries. This week we are proud to report back on a fabulous find— the Finger Lakes Region.
The Finger Lakes region is located upstate NY, about a 4 hour drive from the city. While it is a fairly expansive region that includes 11 lakes (stretching towards Itathca, Syracuse, and Rochester), the heart of the Finger Lakes includes two of the longest lakes — Lake Cayuga and Lake Seneca. This area is well known for stunning scenery, expansive lakes, gorges, waterfalls and scenic wine trails. Here is a brief recap of a quick escape worth making.
Where to Stay: The Finger Lakes are surrounded by sweet inns and b&bs and we ended up laying our head in the beautiful Halsey House. This luxury Inn is run by a husband and wife team who do a fabulous job keeping their guests comfortable and happy. The rooms exude a romantic elegance, each with private baths and luxury linens. They also boast modern amenities like wifi and HD-TVs. Special features of the Inn include beautiful decor and a side porch which is the perfect place to have a cool drink and take in the summer breeze. The gourmet breakfast (which is included in your stay) is also a great way to fuel up for a day of exploring.
What to do: Just down the road from Halsey House is Taughannock Falls State Park. We started our first day with a hike through the park and took in some of the spectacular scenery that The Finger Lakes region is known for. Taughannock Falls State Park’s namesake waterfall is one of the outstanding natural attractions of the Northeast. The Falls plunges 215 feet past rocky cliffs that tower nearly 400 feet above the gorge. Gorge and rim trails offer wonderful views from above the falls and from below at the end of the gorge trail. Definitely worth checking out.
Where To Eat (and drink!) After a morning of exploring we were ready for some food, drink, and relaxation. Luckily, we were practically on the Cayuga Wine Trail, one of the areas best routes to experience award-winning wineries, local gourmet eateries, and an abundance of breathtaking views! A must stop (and taste) is The Thristy Owl Company. They have a great selection of wines (try the Reisling as it is the variation the area is known for) and a wonderful bistro with delicious food. We enjoyed a relaxing lunch on the outdoor patio overlooking Cayuga Lake and the vineyards. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon!
These are just a few highlights from a fabulous weekend in The Finger Lakes. For more information on the region and all that it has to offer head to http://www.fingerlakes.org/
Solace In The City: Meditation Hot Spots
Seems like everywhere I go, people are talking up the topic of meditation. People want to be able to sit still but have no idea how to start. They hear it’s good for you, like vitamins or massage, but are anxious about how it all works.
You would think that sitting still and quieting your mind is the most effortless thing we can do, but for quick and speedy city people just the thought of it alone gives us anxiety!
I’ve sampled many meditation groups and sessions in this city and know what I like. I believe it’s best to start out meditating in a group, before you purchase a CD and do it at home yourself. Once you get into a meditation groove in a group, then it’s safe to take your practice home. Until then, everything in your apartment will be distracting!
Meditation relieves your worries, puts you in touch with your intuition, increases your happiness, and keeps you centered. No wonder it’s getting so much of attention. I personally do a double dose when I’m feeling especially moody. Look out! Here are some ways to reap the benefits of meditation in the city:
Ishta Yoga – Take a meditation class with Yogi Alan Finger 5:30 pm Monday and Wed or 9:30 am Tuesday and Thursday. It’s easy to follow with Yogi Alan Finger and a great way to get started — be prepared to do a few yoga poses before the meditation begins. Then you can buy Allan’s CD and do it at home.
Dharma Punks – Free meditation sittings on Tuesday nights for the hip, downtown East Village crowd. Everyone is welcome though and look forward to a large group. Meditation is followed by a Dharma talk by a punky spiritual leader with tattoos and all.
Shambhala Center – This Buddhist retreat in the middle of the city offers free meditation sessions and classes. They use a traditional Buddhist method where your eyes are half open — which can be hard. But you can also meet with a meditation counselor there to check in at any point to get help with your specific practice.
Bhavani Lorraine Nelson at Kripalu – Bhavani Lorraine does an amazing meditation workshop three times a year the Kripalu retreat in Massachusetts. Find out when and where she teaches on her website here. Once you take her fabulous workshop, buy her CD and continue the peace at home.
Also, to stay motivated at home, take the Chopra 21 day meditation challenge. It started about a week ago but you can sign up late and start it any time. It is a daily online recording about 15 minutes long.
Enjoy the silence!
Check out Ilana’s blog, Downtown Dharma for more zen tips in the big city.
FREE ALERT: A Bevy Of Fun In Bryant Park (Broadway, Yoga & More!)
Bryant Park is back at it again this summer with events for the whole family. From music and movies to yoga and tai chi to juggling (yes, juggling!) and readings – just try and stay away from the array of (free!) fun Bryant Park is offering all summer long!
For all you yogis out there, every Tuesday and Thursday until the end of September Lululemon Athletica is putting on free yoga classes for all levels. Mats are provided if needed and you will not be there alone as the crowds for these classes have been huge! The Tuesday morning class (starting at 10 a.m.) takes place on the Upper Terrace and the Thursday evening class from 6 – 7 p.m. takes place on the Lawn. Don’t forget your water!
One of NYC’s major attractions is the bevy of Broadway musicals and plays. What if we told you some of the biggest hits of all time are performing this summer in Bryant Park and you don’t need to beg, borrow or steal for premium tickets? Every Thursday afternoon until August 11th performers from Broadway shows such as Rock of Ages, Mary Poppins, and Wicked (just to name a few!) are taking to the stage on the Lawn to sing and entertain the masses! This is one activity the whole family can enjoy. For times and performance details, visit their website.
For all you film lovers out there, Monday could be your new movie night! Every Monday evening until the end of August, the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival will be showing beloved classics such as Cool Hand Luke and The Lady Eve on the Lawn starting at sunset. So bring your blankets, snacks and loved ones and get snuggled in for a night under the stars watching a cool flick!
A quick look at a few other fun & unique activities at the Park:
~ Word for Word: A series of readings (or story-time for the kiddies!) by various successful and popular writers, poets and children’s book authors. Takes place several days a week in the Bryant Park Reading Room.
~ Piano in Bryant Park: Some of the best pianists from NYC come to Bryant Park to tickle the ivories every weekday from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. in the Upper Terrace.
~ Bryant Park Tai Chi: Every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 a.m. at the Fountain Terrace. Tai Chi and Eternal Spring are instructed by members of Tai Chi Chuan Center for all ages and experience levels.
~ Bryant Park Juggling: Every Friday afternoon from 1 -3 p.m. on the Southeast corner of the Lawn. Test your coordination and dexterity and have some fun with free juggling lessons. All is welcome and equipment is provided.
~ Bryant Park After Work: Every Wednesday evening from 6 – 7 p.m. on the Fountain Terrace. Put an end to your work day by listening to music from talented New York jazz musicians and singer-songwriters.
5 Places to Get Centered in the City.
Sinatra said it all when he sang the words, “I want to wake up in a city that doesn’t sleep.” Waking up is the key here, for if you are spending your days in a trance from lack of sleep or you feel like a hamster on a wheel at work, then how are you ever going to be the king – or the queen – of the hill and top of the heap?
It’s easy to feel off-balance, especially if you live in New York City. External demands and the fast pace often result in internal pressure, which is inevitably affecting your day, your relationships, your mind and your body. So how can you get centered in the city?
Here are 5 places to get centered in the city:
- New York Open Center– Committed to holistic learning and world culture, NY Open Center offers a variety of programs including lectures, classes, certification programs, yoga, and volunteer opportunities. They attract amazing speakers/teachers like Dr. Michael Beckwith and Marianne Williamson and attract like-minded participants. They recently moved to a new location: 22 East 30th Street.
- Sacred Center New York – If you’re seeking a spiritual community that will support you in going deeper in your personal growth by giving you tools to live a prosperous life, then look no further. Sacred Center New York, led by the dynamic Rev. August Gold, holds a service each Sunday where Western teachings are blended with Eastern philosophies, music fills the room, and all are welcome. Classes and guest speakers like “The Secret’s” Lisa Nichols, are also offered each month.
- Meta Center New York – Dedicated to raising consciousness, healing, personal growth, transformation and creativity, the Meta Center offers workshops and lectures on all of these topics. This educational center has been Feng Shui aligned and you feel it the second you walk in. Founded by Jodi Serota, META stands for Multi-dimensional Education and Transformational Arts Center.
- Kabbalah Centre – If you want to get on the same, spiritual page as Demi, Ashton and Madonna, this is your place. Through classes, books, webinars and one-on-one instruction, you will learn how to apply the ancient wisdom of the Kabbalah – the study of how to receive fulfillment – to everyday life.
- Chopra Center & Spa – Deepak Chopra has created a space in the Dream Hotel to help “calm the chaotic lives of busy New Yorkers”. How much do we love this guy? This center offers workshops, yoga, meditation, and Ayurvedic spa treatments designed to bring balance to the mind and body.Here’s to you getting centered in the city!
Stefanie Ziev is a Certified Life Coach who helps people discover what makes them happy by developing a healthy relationship with themselves the way they would a friend or a partner. Stefanie coaches individual and corporate clients, leads seminars and speaks to groups about a variety of topics related to consciously developing a healthy and committed relationship with one’s self and one’s life. Her approach is creative, fun, and direct as she holds clients accountable to themselves throughout this powerful and transformational process. For more infomation on Stefanie or her services go to www.ZievCoaching.com