As a leader in barre fitness they’ve been toning and tightening for 10 years and want you to be part of the celebration! Join exhale and Women’s Health for a nationwide Core Fusion party and make May 22 your most hard core day of the year.
Wednesday, May 22
Free classes | DJs | Lite Bites | Giveaways | Appearances from The Next Fitness Star finalists | And more!
exhale Atlanta | exhale Back Bay | exhale Battery Wharf | exhale Bridgehampton | exhale Central Park South | exhale Chicago
exhale Dallas | exhale Gramercy | exhale Meatpacking | exhale Miami | exhale Soho | exhale Santa Monica | exhale Stamford
exhale Upper East Side | BASK by exhale Atlantic City
Today’s city food find (or should we say findS) is a guided tour from the experts at Urban Oysters that highlights some of the city’s best and most innovative culinary artisans. We found this deal from our friends at Gilt, but hurry, it ends in a couple days!
Get a first-hand immersion in Brooklyn’s artisanal food culture with this comprehensive tour, which will take you along Smith and Court streets and through the surrounding neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill.
With a vibrant collection of small, locally owned food shops and restaurants, Brooklyn’s culinary landscape is rich for exploration—so come hungry.
During the three-hour tour, you’ll visit both old and new spots, experiencing a mix of traditional and innovative flavors along the way.
Italian and Middle Eastern mom-and-pop shops offer a tasty lesson in culinary history, while the growing crop of New American restaurants demonstrates the neighborhood’s evolving food scene.
Urban Oyster was founded on the belief that around every street corner lies a treasured resource. Taking their name from the bivalves that used to proliferate in New York Harbor (before pollution decimated their population), this group of tour guides, city obsessives and food-and-wine enthusiasts hope to show everyone that local neighborhoods should be explored, respected and celebrated as part of a vibrant urban economy and community. Whether exploring borough breweries on a craft beer crawl, enjoying a strolling lunch through the food carts of Midtown or sipping vintages produced at Brooklyn Winery, the company offers dynamic hands-on tours and events that help New Yorkers grow more connected to the small-batch treasures around them.
This first week there were plenty of asanas (poses) but the real focus was on the spiritual aspect of yoga. Yoga after all means connection– connection to breath, connection to others, and connection to what lies within us. For many the physical practice is what allows us then to really relax–to quiet the business in their head and just “be”. I know for me this is why I fell in love with yoga. It was one of the few things were I could quiet my chatty mind and let go of all that was going on there, and really connect in to what I know is true and important. Sometimes in the craziness of life (especially in a frantic city like NY) we get caught up in our thoughts, our issues, and in all the incidentals in our life and lose focus on what’s truly important.
Cleansing also came into play this week— physically, mentally and emotionally. We discussed things like letting go and giving up the things that don’t serve us, for these cover our truth and only through shedding layers can it truly and fully experienced. School Yoga Institute uses the Sadhana Yoga tradition which focuses on spiritual practice, which was what attracted me to this training program. We’ve delved into a variety of meditation practices, chanted and talked all about methods that can help us further turn inward.
A physical cleanse also went along with it all, and I experienced my first “raw” cleanse (only taking in foods that are uncooked and pure–no preservatives, etc). Luckily for this crunchy, salad eating, hummus loving yogi, it wasn’t at all jilting. Sure I gave up my coffee with cream, and brown rice and cooked veggies, but there were SO many delicious, creative dishes here at Present Moment that I never felt like I was missing out. Big tropical fruit plates, coconut salads, sprouted quinoa and a plethora of made-to-order smoothies and healthy juices. I certainly never felt deprived, and I was amazed at how light and bright and energetic I was. GO raw! Aside from the clay drink we also took down twice daily, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
So, all in all it was a great week. I’ll chat more about what’s happening on the mat next post. I’ve got my first “test” tomorrow, and a 6am daily wake up so this yogi must go to bed. It’s all good though, and I am actually amazed at how much I already know about the different poses, alignments, and adjustments. It’s definitely already deepened my practiced and I can’t believe that I’ve learned a whole hatha sequence (class) in less than a week! It’s definitely been a riguourous program, but one that has been so worth the investment.
Ah, Spring. The weather is warming up, the trees blooming, and everyone is ready to get outside and play. If you’re a mom in the big city, we’ve found some great options for you and the kids! From workouts to playgrounds, NYC offers many great outdoor activities that everyone will enjoy.
If you’re looking to get a good workout in while still spending time with your little one, Stroller Strides may be the program you’re looking for! Stroller Strides is a franchise company with locations all over the map. Essentially, it consists of a group of moms and their babies (in their strollers, of course), who participate in a 60 minute workout of power walking and body toning exercises, led by a specialized instructor. All you need is yourself, your baby and your stroller – and let’s face it, you have to haul your stroller everywhere you go anyway! Visit http://www.strollerstrides.com/ to find one of the many classes that take place in all areas of the city!
If you’re eager to give your child as well as yourself a fun, hands-on and educational experience, you may consider heading to the zoo! There are few kids out there who do not find themselves absolutely thrilled and intrigued in seeing and meeting adorable and interesting animals! The Prospect Park Zoo features mammals, reptiles and amphibians from all over the world. There are daily feedings and shows to catch, as well as some specialized seasonal exhibits, along with all the regular zoo favorites. This is definitely an activity that both moms and kids will learn something and enjoy!
Another idea could be venturing down to the Brooklyn Bridge Park! With many different expansions on the horizon for the next year or so, one still can’t argue that the view the park offers is absolutely beautiful! The Cove in Brooklyn Bridge Park is breathtaking and is a great beach walking spot for the warmer months. In the upcoming summer months, free movies will be played every Thursday night at the newly renovated Pier 1! The “Main Street Lot” houses a nautical themed park and playground area for kids and families too. Everyone can enjoy and tire themselves out while using the climbers, running around and playing in the sandbox for the day! To fully discover what the Brooklyn Bridge Park has to offer, see their website: http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/
One hidden spot that you may not have even thought of to take the little ones is the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum. As the farmhouse itself dates back to the late 18th century, the museum works to tell the story of the transformation from farming community to the urban neighborhoods we now live in. With a full calendar of events such as tours and “History Play Dates” geared specifically towards kids, along with a garden full of beauty and history, the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum may be the perfect spring activity for yourself and the kids! For more information and museum hours, visit http://www.dyckmanfarmhouse.org/
It’s time to learn what Modern Meditation is all about! This three-session course offers a comprehensive understanding of neuroscience and meditation in a way that you can use every day of your life. It takes place over the next three Saturday afternoons. It starts this Saturday, April 27th from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm., with a 2 hour program on Modern Meditation. No flowing robes. No chanting. No stretching or difficult exercises to learn. Just straightforward instructions on how to start a meditation practice for busy people in the real world.
This is Modern Meditation in action and it is perfect for harried New Yorkers to reduce stress and anxiety, while learning to take a moment to enjoy the city at its finest. See how easy it is to do. And yes you can have a life in balance without losing pace with the city!
It all starts at the Jefferson Market Library on 6th Avenue and 10th Street this Saturday at 11:00 am. To find out more information about this great event, just click below:
Created for those with little or no experience in meditation, each class teaches the basics of meditation and how they can apply to each issue:
April 27 – Foundation Class – learn the basics to create a meditation & mindfulness practice that works with your life
May 4 – Remove Stress & Build Your Life – learn how meditation and mindfulness can remove and help to create calm amidst chaos and remove the bad habits that undermine your life.
May 11 – Expanding Awareness – learn to refine your relationship with the world around you for greater balance and growth.
Saturdays, 11am to 1pm!
Jeff Cannon is an author, speaker and coach. He founded the Simple Truth Project where he works with individuals and groups. He hosts meditation workshops throughout Manhattan as well as in Connecticut, Long Island, New Jersey and California, and has worked with executives at such companies as Gucci, Armani, Nickelodeon, and ITHAKA Learning, as well as with such corporate entities as Harper’s Bazaar, and Sony.
The East Village is sprinkled with hidden gardens, but one of my favorites is the serene, lush garden on 6th Street between Ave A and Ave B. This sweet little spot boasts an abundance of summer wildflowers, manicured bushes, and even a calming waterfall to ease away all the stress of the day.
The garden is maintained through volunteers, and today I can hear the distant sound of someone doing a little handy-work in what looks like the garden’s tree house (in fact it is a solar electric installation- very cool. Check out http://greenhomenyc.org/bldgs?id=7 for more info).
6th Street Botanical Garden is a true delight, and a refuge for any one seeking a little solitude and peace and quiet. It has plenty of places to sit and relax, including cozy hidden spots with adorable rock tables and chairs. It also has a japanese goldfish pond, complete with a calming waterfall, lily pads, goldfish, and the occasional snapping turtle.
This is one of my favorite East Village parks, but there are plenty of others nearby to enjoy. The Miracle Garden on 3rd between A and B; the Creative Little Garden on 6th between A and B, the 6th Street Garden on 6 and B, El Sol Brillante on 12th between A and B; and the Liz Christie Garden on Houston and Second Avenue are just a few.
Here’s a little interesting history for you about the creation of these gardens. Many of these gardens came about in the 1970s when a huge part of the East Village burned to the ground after the city’s fire fighting budget closed many of the local firehouses. Village residents soon reclaimed many of the neglected, empty lots left, and turned them into what are now some of the prettiest places in the East Village. However, this all was not without a fight! There was a battle early on when the city wanted to cash in on these pretty spaces, and replace them with valuable, sellable real estate (surprise, surprise). Fortunately, through the persistence of residents, many of the gardens still remain today.
So among my latest decisions, was the one to do a yoga teacher training in Mexico this spring. Becoming a yoga instructor was never part of my plan or on the “to-do” list, but, as with most things I’ve experienced, the road of life simply lead me there.
I’ve been enamored with yoga since my first downward dog, and through the years my love affair with it (and extreme appreciation for it) has only grown deeper. I could go on and on about all the benefits– especially those beyond the physical, but I’ll save that for another post.
What I do tell everyone who thinks about getting on the mat for the first time, or giving it a second or third shot, is to find a style and a teacher who you connect with. This is essential. There are SO many different types of yoga, from a more athletic ashtanga to a more gentle restorative practice, and even within each style, every instructor has their own twist (pun intended). To connect with the instructor and find one that “speaks your language” both physically and spiritually, is essential– especially for those just starting out.
The same goes for yoga teacher trainings. There are a plethora out there, each with it’s own unique style, location, and duration. All 200 hr courses require just that, but the allocation of those hours varies drastically.The programs also vary on how the execute the Yoga Alliance requirements. I investigated local trainings in NYC, many spreading the course over 4-6 months and taking place mainly on weekends or after weekday evenings. But for me, a more intensive program– one where I was immersed completely for 3 weeks straight– eating, breathing and living the yogic lifestyle 24/7, was more my style. Of course, it also didn’t hurt that that the School Yoga Institute training that I choose took place at Present Moment Retreat — a boutique hotel and yoga spa on the Pacific Riviera complete with bungalows and spiritual gardens.
So, indeed, come early summer I will be certified to teach the art of yoga. I’ve yet to decide in what capacity that will be, but I know this experience will be one of my best yet, even if I decide never to teach. For, like many things in yoga and life alike, the journey is just as important (if not more) than the destination. I know that this program will bring a wealth of knowledge and benefits, new strength and wisdom, and, as with all the great adventures in life, bring about change for the better by broadening my perspective and appreciation.
I look forward to sharing the experience with you and will be sure to post updates from time to time as I go through 3 week program. It’s an intensive 200 hour program, but I know it will be blissful and life-changing. If anyone wants to join me for enlightenment south of the border, there is still room (and a special HSNY discount to boot– see below!)
Luxury might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of the Florida Keys. In fact, the string of islands that extends from Key Largo to Key West is known for having a no-pretense, laid-back attitude where sand between the toes and good times take precedence. Kitschy motels and beach front dives are around every turn, offering no-frills accommodations and little more.
Yet, we found a place that holds onto the essence of the keys, while offering first class accommodations, five star service, and an amazing array of amenities. Yes, luxury is not lost in Islamorada. Cheeca Lodge has been serving it up for decades, attracting everyone from former presidents to celebrities, and after a 30 million dollar renovation, is better than ever.
Located on 27 lush acres, the grandeur of this resort can be felt within the first steps. The beautiful entrance courtyard and open air lobby instantly welcome guests, and the 214 guest rooms, bungalows and suites impress with west indian style decor that exudes tropical luxury. Premiere suites go beyond, with expansive ocean front balconies complete with whirlpool tubs, and glassed in rain showers that allow bather’s to gaze out over the sea. Cheeca’s 1100 feet of private beachfront (enormous considering many key’s resorts can barely claim a beach) offers guests the perfect place to soak in the sun or stroll under towering palm trees. Unique features like the resort’s private lagoon and impressive 525 wooden fishing pier get guests face to face with tropical fish, and paddleboards and kayaks are on standby for those seeking a closer encounter.
For those looking to stay on land the resort also offers up six lighted tennis courts and a Jack Nicklaus designed 9-hole par 3 golf course, with clubs rentals included in your stay. Guests also have access to beach cruisers and young and old alike can be seen biking throughout the gardens and resort beachfront. “Family friendly” is an understatement at Cheeca, and kids 5-12 can experience “Camp Cheeca”, a day camp that reveals the natural wonders of the Florida Keys (and gives mom and dad a chance to truly relax).
Accommodating to all, Cheeca offers a gorgeous adult-only pool complete with plush chaise lounges and butler serviced cabanas. The spa completes the relaxation factor offering services with a tropical flair including sea plant wraps and signature hot lava shell massages. Beachfront sunrise yoga and an array of fitness classes are on the resort’s menu as well.
Speaking of which, three on-site restaurants and a wood-thatched tiki bar cater to all culinary tastes, and make ever having to leave the resort unnecessary. Outdoor and beachfront dining give guests the opportunity to indulge on delicious fare and a stunning backdrop.
From dawn ‘til dusk, Cheeca provides the perfect place to enjoy the fullness of the Florida Keys. A tropical playground and relaxing oasis, it’s a all in one resort with top tier amenities and a laid back, island vibe. It’s luxury at it’s best…no shoes required.
I used to be one of those girls who worked from 9 to 7 in a Manhattan cubicle before running from event to event each evening to make what I thought were important connections. I had a harried, on-the-go look 24hours a day. It wasn’t pretty.
It took a few low moments and a lot of anxiety to realize I wasn’t happy (or having too many good hair and skin days for that matter). I’d turned 30 and my life was nothing like I thought it would be. I didn’t have the guy, the apartment, or the dream job. But it took that moment
for me to make some important changes. With some help from authors, friends, and mentors, here’s what I finally discovered.
Happiness Comes from Inside No class, event or person is ever going to make you happy. The order goes like this: Become happy. Then go out into the world and do what you need to do. You see, the high we get from our senses or material possessions lasts about six minutes. Yep that’s it. Then we’re ready for the Next Big Thing. Sounds crazy, but you can find more happiness sitting alone in your apartment than running around. Get still and secure with your life first, then make decisions about what you want and where you want to be.
Focus on What You Have My brain used to run the same script every morning, running through everything I didn’t have in my life. Now I realize that what we focus on is exactly what we get. The more I thought about not having love or a dream job, the more stuck I got. When I started waking up with gratitude for everything I did have in my life, more of that grew.
Meditation is Better than Medication I never thought I could sit still for more than 2 minutes, but a fun trip to India changed my ways. We meditated every morning for about an hour before practicing yoga. I learned that stillness is what connects you to your true self. It’s your spirit that has all the answers you need and lets you see things clearly. There are a few mediation spots in New York City I love. Meditation is the best elixir. It calms and centers me, and draws the coolest parts of me out.
Finding Love Starts with You Every guy I dated was a mirror to where I was at in my own life. If a guy didn’t call or blew me off, I might have been playing his same game without realizing it. No one is ever going to love you more than you love yourself. So when I wasn’t getting the love I wanted, I turned up the heat at home. I gave myself the love I wanted; and like magic, better-quality and more available men showed up.
Watch What You Tell Yourself Every thought and word you say has power. That New York cynic in you criticizing every situation just created his or her destiny. What we see and what we believe is exactly what we get in life. Even if you have to convince yourself, think positive thoughts and make wishful statements.Using positive affirmations is the best trick.
Living in busy and anxious New York isn’t always a walk in Central Park. But by looking inward and changing some of your habits and thoughts, it’s possible to live your dream life in the city. No to-do or check list needed!
Ilana Donna Arazie is a blogger and vlogger based in NYC who chronicles stories about living your best life in a big city. Her stories have been featured on the Associated Press, Chicago-Sun Times, Yahoo, The Travel Channel and other media outlets. She is the founder of Downtown Dharma.com , a site that is a bit of Cosmo meets Deepak Chopra, offering deep yet fun insights into finding peace and meaning.
We are now well into March and Spring is approaching fast! This is an amazing time of year. The air is fresh, the breeze begins to get warm and everyone is excited about the chance to get outside. This winter we had an especially cold and snowy experience. Embrace the opportunity with Spring to renew your resolutions to get fit, eat healthy and enjoy life’s blessings!
As a trainer, personal coach and boot camp owner, I am shocked at how many people are not aware of the fantastic fitness opportunities local to them! If you live in NYC – here are some great programs offered by NYC Parks and Recreation. Take advantage!
Alley Pond Adventure Course (QUEENS) :I want to share a secret with you- that I discovered……Alley Pond Park – in Queens – there is an Adventure Course – that is open to the public and FREE on Sundays!!! The Queens Boot Camp and members of Becky’s Fitness Company went out to try it! What a blast! Check out the video below!