Namafknste | How Costa Rica Gave Me the Fresh Start I Needed

It’s the middle of the afternoon on the first Saturday of the new year.  Here I am, cramped into an economy window seat back to the USA, sweating under the mediocre fans Delta has installed on this aircraft, craving a coffee that’ll help me power through the long travel day ahead.  I’m still wearing my red Costa Rica tank with the Surf Yoga Beer logo on the back, a garment I’ve probably sweated through numerous times over the past week and likely isn’t a source of appeal for the unlucky guy in seat 21E.  But as I reflect back on the SYB experience that just concluded in Costa Rica, I couldn’t be more comfortable, relaxed, and ready to attack 2019 full-steam ahead and with 34 new friends.

Flash back to summer 2018 when, on a whim, I threw my deposit down on a New Years’ adventure to Nosara, Costa Rica with SurfYogaBeer after hearing about them from my Bumble date who had just returned from a trip with them herself (yes, a freakin’ dating app got me here) so I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I guess I have a vulnerability to succumb to spontaneous urges like this. I started thinking I was insane...What the hell did I just sign up for? I’m going to wake up early every morning on vacation to work out? With a bunch of strangers? In a foreign country? Will they judge me? Will they like me? As a fiercely independent and stubborn person with a type-A personality,I seriously questioned how this was all going to turn out.

I had a lot of surface-level reasons that attracted me to the Nosara trip with SYB. And these reasons were solidified every time I told a friend or family member about my upcoming adventure. It turned out everyone else wanted something just like what I had signed up for. They’d respond: “I want to surf.” “I want to get away from the cold for New Years’.” “I need a different type of vacation.” “I’ve never been to Costa Rica and love to travel.” “I heard the female to male ratio on these trips favors guys.”

But beneath the superficial appeal of going to Costa Rica with a group of like-minded, fun, fit people, there were, as it turned out, deeply personal reasons that brought me and the rest of this group together. On our remote resort nestled just north of Nosara near Ostional, we got to know each other and discovered that we shared in many of the same pains, hardships, and setbacks throughout 2018 and in recent years. Stress, death, illness, anxiety, depression, addiction, etc. – we had all gone through something that’s often stigmatized in our society and in turn holds us back from opening up and releasing that negative energy. Personally, I’ve struggled with health issues over the past few years that nearly destroyed my body. While I took a major step forward this year, still felt as though I was at an impasse between where I was and where I wanted to be in life. I quickly realized the appeal to come on this trip came from more than just wanting to spend the NYE holiday at a tropical destination.

SYB is not a therapy retreat - that couldn’t be further from the truth.  You can find the proof to that in how much we laughed and danced together.  But there’s something to be said about the connections that are fostered within a small group when you wake up, sweat, and break bread together for 7 days straight.  For whatever reason, after I’ve struggled through burpees with you at 7am, being open and communicating with each other doesn’t seem so difficult. And to be fair, the paradise of Nosara certainly doesn’t hurt either.

What I realized this past week is that I desired – no, I needed – scratch that, I CRAVED a fresh start. I’ve been yearning for this form of abstract reset button. I refused to go into 2019 with the same song and dance. But I accepted that it’s not all on me. Ultimately, you are in the driver’s seat of your own life, but there’s always room on your bus. Surround yourself with friends and family who support you, provide advice, and maintain positivity, and your journey is that much sweeter.

I wouldn’t trade this experience in Nosara for anything.  Among the highlights for me:

  • We surfed one of the most beautiful beaches in the world

  • We did sunset yoga in a massive shala overlooking the Pacific.  We sang along to Bohemian Rhapsody and learned salsa dancing (or tried, anyways)

  • We SUP’d to a remote beach where we cracked coconuts and swam together with not another soul in sight for miles and miles

  • We enjoyed family meals together thanks to our man Eddie (read: LEGEND)

  • We laughed ourselves to tears

  • We pushed each other through the workouts, helping each other overcome fears and doubts along the way

  • We laid down under the unobstructed night sky and watched for shooting stars until the wee hours of the morning

Above all, I did it all with an amazing group of people.  They’re all unbelievably talented, unique, and a true joy to have met.  Thanks to them, I’ve never felt more ready to take on the challenges of a new year.  That’s the damn truth.


Article by: JB



Since 2016, Nicaragua has been SYB’s home away from home. When we arrived at Playa Maderas for the first time and checked out the view from our villas we knew instantly we had found our tropical paradise.


We decided right then to plant the SYB flag and make this our regular winter pop-up.


As we settled in and met the locals we forged relationships with some special people that have made our adventures in Nicaragua great experiences. They guided us and made us feel welcomed in their beautiful country.

Two guys in particular stand out, and anyone who has traveled with us to Maderas has met: our resident Surf Instructor on Playa Maderas, Orlando.


And our transportation guru , Alvaro.


Not only are these guys part of our Nicaragua team but over the years they have become part of our SYB family.

In April 2018, not long after our February Adventure, civil unrest broke out in Nicaragua. The government attempted reform of the social security system, increasing taxes and reducing pension payments. Student protests broke out against the reforms and were met with a violent government response. Protests and government reprisals increased over the coming months and more than 300 people were reported dead.


San Juan del Sur and Playa Madera did not see the violence that took place in the capital of Managua but the tourism industry, which is the main source of income for San Juan del Sur, was devastated and tourist dollars disappeared overnight. Beaches were empty, as were the hotels, restaurants, bars and shops.  The residents of San Juan del Sur, unprepared for the sudden changes, were forced to find other means of supporting themselves and their families with little time to adjust.

Both Orlando and Alvaro reached out to us at this time and asked us for help, they explained the situation and the urgent need for action. We could not stand by while our friends were in a bind and when we got the call we knew we had to do something.

July 17, with the help of SoulCycle, we hosted a charity ride to benefit our friends in need in Nicaragua. The ride sold out and 65 enthusiastic members of the SYB community came out to support our cause.


Given the political turmoil and unable to safely travel there ourselves, we appointed Orlando and Alvaro our SYB ambassadors. They agreed to bravely travel to the next largest city, Rivas, at great personal risk to themselves, in order to collect the funds.

Orlando and Alvaro were able to buy supplies for 20 families in San Juan Del Sur for an entire month with the funds! 


We are very happy to have been able to give back to the community of San Juan del Sur that extended such a warm welcome to SYB over the years.


Our friends in San Juan del Sur will always have a special place in our SYB family, that said Nicaragua is one of many places that we have visited on our adventures around the world where we encounter people that need help. In an effort to give back to the places we visit, we at SYB have started our own not-for-profit that will work to identify causes where we feel we can make a positive impact on the people and places that host us on our adventures and have become our extended families. Keep an eye out for our next charity event where you can join in and help make a difference!


Our next charity ride is for Migrant Aid down at the US Mexico boarder, which will provide meals as the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday approaches. See here for more info!

Brad's Story | Iceland 2018


I never had been to Iceland, met Mantas, or even heard of Surf Yoga Beer before I signed up for the Iceland Running trip. It looked impressive on the web-site, miles over waterfalls/volcanoes/out of the world terrain, photographer with a drone, local running guide, remote cabins with impressive views, this trip had to be something too good to be true. I signed up as a co-worker (Sean) cheered me on and thought, “what am I doing?” This is not me, signing up for a trip without fully exploring all the options, I’m an adventurer, I run marathons, I love to explore, but spontaneous group travel to another country, not me! What if I don’t like any of these people, what if I can’t run the miles, what if I got injured and couldn’t run my regular marathons back home. At that time I didn’t realize a 5 day running adventure with 18 strangers would do to me and the impact those people and the trip would have on me going forward. 

The first run of the trip, just outside our home

The first run of the trip, just outside our home

I eagerly packed my bag and prepared myself for running on trails for the first time. I also did my detective work on who was going on this trip. I learned about Mantas and his SoulCycle classes and how he started this group and past adventures they have gone on. I joined the summer run club and had a taste of the community that SYB builds.

It looks like a fantasy but this was our home

It looks like a fantasy but this was our home

I landed and made my way through customs to the duty free shop to find some local whiskey to buy for the trip. While groggy and looking for coffee I found a black carryon bag alone in the aisle with SYB stickers all over it. I looked around for somebody from the trip, but didn’t find anybody. I thought of all the times at the airport and luggage is left unattended what to do and the consequences to that bag. Soon Mantas swings by hi fives me and grabs the bag. I followed him to meet the others in the group and headed off to a bus onto our cottages in the northern part of Iceland. The awkwardness of a new group melted away quickly and within the first hour. Mantas and Inga asked us each to share a bit about ourselves and what type of runner we are, we had a full range from multi-marathon runner to non-runners, we had developed nick names and inside jokes amongst our group. Hours passed and when we arrived to the Raven Lodge area we stepped out into a scene appropriate for a MacBook wallpaper, it was perfect with snow capped mountains, a crystal clear stream, waterfalls, several black cottages scattered amongst the fresh air that we breathed in deep. It even smelled fresh! We were off on our first run 30 mins later along that stream up a ridge to view waterfalls and the hillside with rolling hills and a circling cloud on the mountain top. We ran like that for the next several days. We took pictures of us running, exploring, goofing off, relaxing, drinking, and building a gram portfolio for months to come. Over the week we toured several parts of Iceland and ran over volcanic rock, through streams, up and down ridges and cliffs worthy of National Geographic. I personally have never seen sights like those before in my life. I still remember the first mile of a 20 mile trail run we did and how I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, a cliff with a few hundred foot drop to a teal blue river with rock formations that looked Martian like. My iPhone snapped pictures along the way, but Aaron our professional photographer ran and took pictures of us, I felt like a Lululemon store model in those pictures he took. They adorn my iPad, iPhone, and work laptop wallpapers.

I typically run alone on the west side highway or in Central Park in New York City as I use it as mental clearing and personal therapy. These runs in Iceland were that, you had beautiful scenery to distract you from the miles put in, your head constantly focusing on the next step to take and avoid slippery rocks and sharp points, but when the runs stopped and we climbed the steps for the bus back to our picturesque cottages we learned about challenges back home, heartbreak, family stress, business triumphs, favorite gas-station snacks, personal goals, who snores/who doesn’t snore, and everything in between. I felt as if the run was a time to organize my thoughts and my bus time was the time to let it out share amongst my bus mates. These 18 strangers met in Iceland and escaped everything from where they came from for one week and focus on the moment we were in. 

Seriously this was unreal…

Seriously this was unreal…

I’ve ran numerous marathons and have become addicted to the runners high. I hold marathon finishes very highly in my head as what I call Living life to the fullest!  The second to last day we ran the four Forrest race it was a trail race with several distances that our group all signed up for. I did the 30k length and was nervous as we got to the start line by van. We were delayed as sheep had overtaken our path and wouldn’t move out of our way. I had ran 8 miles the day before and 20 miles the day before that. I was exhausted and only ran this race to finish. I ran with heart and the feeling of support from the other runners on my adventure. I remember one special part of the race and it has become my ultimate running experience! At the halfway point the 30k racers ran by the start of the 18k race group, I saw the pack of runners from a few hundred feet away and knew I would run past them. I was running alone in 3rd place and felt great and full of energy. As I turned the corner and passed the 50 runners and felt their energy I ran with so much heart I couldn’t stop from smiling and yelling as I passed them and hear their cheers. For a runner having that experience is like nothing else. I was living my life fully alive and felt the energy of everyone as I turned that corner and onto the rest of the race, it’s a moment I’ll remember forever.

Yes this was real life at 11pm

Yes this was real life at 11pm

Recovery at the Blue Lagoon

Recovery at the Blue Lagoon

So It’s been about 3 months since I returned back home, the group texts are still going, I’ve met up with my bus gang several times, I’ve met with a fellow Icelander to help with their business, I’ve attended numerous SoulCycle classes in my Iceland hat with other trip mates, I’ve continued on with the run club in the fall, I feel part of the SYB community I’ve gained genuine friends and support in a challenging city. Personally I’ve gained confidence that I didn’t realize I had. I left my job for a new one, ran a PR marathon, I feel like a part of the city and no longer a transplant, and have become more greateful for the things I have and the people in my life. Like I said before I really didn’t realize this running adventure to Iceland would have ongoing impact on my day to day life. 

And as it says on the SYB site “life changing purchase” they actually mean it. 


Brad Homan works in NYC as a packaging manager.

Brad after winning 3rd place in the 30km race

Brad after winning 3rd place in the 30km race

The Moment I Knew | Morocco 2018


We are the brave ones, the ones who do the hard things awkwardly, tumbling, fumbling, flailing down sand dune dreams, fueled by the burn of our fear-freckled optimism...

Posing at  Yves Saint Laurent  museum

Posing at Yves Saint Laurent museum

You’d think that if Mantas, the humble epitome of the cool guy in school (school being SoulCycle in this case), asks you “Do you want to go to Morocco?” you’d instinctively respond “hell yeah I want to go to Morocco!” Yet having wrestled a lifetime with anxiety, my mind immediately flashed back to my first time traveling abroad alone in Israel, sobbing in a grimy hotel room, texting my mother over the spotty wi-fi with tear-stained emojis shouting “I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING HERE.” But a year had passed since then, a year of highs and lows, of success in work and failure in love, of therapy and meditation, running a half marathon, playing Switzerland through my parents’ divorce and dual cancer diagnoses, and getting seriously stronger both inside and out. 

So I said yes, yes to 6am wake up calls on three hours of sleep, yes to desert-heat workouts and late night dance parties, and intimate conversations about life and fear and love and death with beautiful habibis who were only strangers just two nights before. 


The moment I knew I was welcome: singing my heart out during the introductions that first night, and all the high fives that came after. 


The moment I knew I was strong: running alongside Mantas in Marrakech, testing a course that included crawling through a shrub, a run that would have doubled me over only a year earlier.


The moment I knew I was brave: driving an ATV over towering sand dunes in the Sahara desert.


The moment I knew I was, had always been, and always will be ok: sending a floating lantern into the African midnight sky, wishing for nothing more than this moment, this life and to dare myself to live it fully.


Our group out on a sunset camel ride

Our group out on a sunset camel ride

What draws me to fitness is that doing the things you never thought you could do changes you. And it sucks because now that you know anything is possible, there are no legitimate excuses- you can no longer stand passive, paralyzed by the unknown because you know too well that you can survive it, you can cozy up to the suck, and as long as you’re still breathing, as long as you don’t stop moving you will finish. And into the awkward hurt we go, because that’s where the change happens, that’s where the growth is. In the just…one…more.

Holly getting thrown into the pool after a workout

Holly getting thrown into the pool after a workout

We are on this planet for a reason. To open ourselves to what’s possible- to leap into discomfort and meet ourselves stronger and braver on the other side. To open ourselves to each other and dive beneath the surface of “how are you” and swim to the bottom of “who are you?” It’s in that space that we become connected, transformed, and truly alive. This Moroccan journey was a milestone for me: showing me how far I’ve come, healing what was once wounded, reminding me that everything I want is on the other side of fear. If we only have one life let’s be in love with it— for me, that means dancing, singing, sweating, laughing as much as possible, surrounded by a courageous community, telling our stories and finding new ways to help each other grow. 


Written by:

-Holly Mitchell, CEO and Leadership Coach at Central Park West Dentistry




Workouts everyday

Workouts everyday

Sand boarding the Sahara desert

Sand boarding the Sahara desert

Stand Up Paddle boarding in Essaouira 

Stand Up Paddle boarding in Essaouira 

Our last night together

Our last night together

Fitness Retreat or Adventure?


One of my first days “on the job” I was asked by our caveman founder, Mantas, to tell a stranger what exactly SurfYogaBeer does. In a panic, I came up with something along the lines of, “We are a fitness retreat company that travels around the world and keeps people active while on the trip.”

My first mistake was not mentioning the best part; the beer! How could I be so naïve.

Bunch of babes that didn't know each other and now are besties... 2018 Nicaragua

Bunch of babes that didn't know each other and now are besties... 2018 Nicaragua

My second mistake was saying retreat... A retreat, as defined by my girl Merriam, is actually an act of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable.

Yea we go to cold places too... 2016 Colorado

Yea we go to cold places too... 2016 Colorado

That is most definitely not what we do here. At SYB, as the true homies call it, we go on adventures. These adventures have taken us through the jungles of Costa Rica, the mountains of Iceland, the deep seas of Belize, the ashes of Pompeii and through the time machine that is Cuba. Not only that, you’ll come home with 20-30 new best friends and become part of a community of like-minded people.

At SYB, we are taking it further than just a workout or yoga class, we are a culture of balance and a community of fun, sweaty, beer-loving people! 

While we do escape to some of the most beautiful places in the world, we also bring the energy of a hyperactive preteen and the heat of an NYC workout class- literally. We travel with some of NYC’s most well-known workout instructors.

SYB babes making our professional photographer get their hair flip in 2017 Cuba

SYB babes making our professional photographer get their hair flip in 2017 Cuba

Start your day with a boombox wake-up call and with a DTJD (don’t think just do- our motto) attitude. We sprinkle positivity and good vibes in our breakfast, cooked by none other than our own Chef Eddie from Salud NYC. Don’t worry, there’s always time for tequila shots and chilling by the pool.

Let’s be honest, sitting on a beach for a week gets pretty boring and according to a survey, as many as 80% of travelers between the ages of 18-35 would like to stay active on vacation. Duh, once you get those endorphins flowing, there’s no stopping you from serving up your best moves on the dance floor at night (and if you can't dance we typically get salsa dancing lessons to spice things up)! 

Poolside chill time in 2017 Costa Rica

Poolside chill time in 2017 Costa Rica

This is about creating habits, not goals. In just a few days you can jump-start your habits. Mantas constantly talks about his habits-over-goals mindset whether it be in the office, on the podium at SoulCycle, or on a 5 mile run at Run Club. This has helped him commit to a process, not an outcome. When you’re doing what you love, success just follows.

Vacationing can still be fun while maintaining your six-pack (or lack thereof). As a wise man once said, “Work hard, play hard.


So pack your bags, come one, come all and see why people keep coming back. DTJD!

Coast of the Gods


9 Reasons Why you Need to be in Italy this Summer

SYB is headed back for another enchanting Amalfi Coast retreat this summer, where crystal clear waters, delectable delicacies, sexy beaches and blissful boat rides await us. On-the-fence about attending? Here'snine things you'll miss out on if you pass up on this life-changing trip. 

1. Cliff Tops & Grottos 

The houses on the Amalfi Coast are literally hanging off cliff-tops, which means epic views from every corner. The SYB Villa is no different - expect breathtaking vistas from our jacuzzi and infinity pool over the Marina del Cantone, a secret beach spot where Italian locals and in-the-know travelers bask in the Italian sunshine. It's just a short walk over to the hidden Recommone bay - a gorgeous little hide away with sunbathing, chic cafés and grottos for exploring. 

2. LuxLife

The SYB Villa isn't just a house - it's a castle in the heart of Nerano, 500 meters from the ocean. But isn't real luxury about experience? Experience a place with daily maid service, high thread count sheets and event designer bathrooms, where you'll be free of all responsibilities so you can chill out, work up a sweat and explore the Italian coastline with your new SYB family. 

3. Clean & Delicious 

The food in Italy is amazing- fact. But if great abs means eating clean, won't being surrounded by delicious eats be a constant struggle? 

Not even close.  

Italy, unlike the US, doesn't allow GMOs, questionable chemicals, genetically engineered crops or additives in food. Which means food is both delicious and nutritious.

If you add fresh Italian ingredients + our chef Eddie Larios, what you get is a mind-blowing combination that will leave you completely satiated and guilt-free. So go on, have that cannoli - it's practically clean-eating in Italy.

4. Hangover-Free Wine

Italians produce low - sulfate, high-quality wine in quantity, which means you're apt to avoid post-wine headaches, even when drinking at lunchtime. We'll be making the best of that little gift from the universe by enjoying wine tastings in soil-rich volcanic regions, and celebrating our post-yoga sunsets with a little chin-chin (toast). 

5. Workouts with a View

Speaking of yoga + sunset, it's time to mention your workout views. Being in Italy means workouts aren't just visually explosive - they're also built into everyday adventures. Nothing could be more motivating for a daily run than knowing it ends with a dip in the sea; or that every bend on our half-day hike rewards you with endless ocean views. One of our previous Amalfi Coast retreat leaders, Erin Ward, said one of her favorite active-adventures was the (challenging) "Walk of the Gods." With a name like that, you owe it to yourself to see what she's talking about. 

6. Cultural Exploration 

The Amalfi coast is full of ancient history, incredible architecture and artistic offerings to keep the culturally minded happy for weeks on end. From the frozen-in-time city of Pompeii to exquisite handmade ceramics, to high-end linens and handmade leather sandals sold at adorable boutiques, you'll discover the prized gems of Italian history and sought-after artisan goods in droves - just make sure you've got space in your luggage for all those souvenirs you'll be bringing home with you.  

7. Limoncello mi amor

Maybe we've gone on a bit too much about food, but you can't see Amalfi without trying some Limoncello. It's a sweet, lemony liquor that you'll be licking off your sticky lips as you taste it everywhere from chic restaurants to old-fashioned street carts. Limoncello is an Amalfi classic, and it's the perfect end to a great meal and beginning of a very fun-filled night. 

8. Capri Cliffs 

Capri is a dream-island, famed for its rugged landscape, natural beauty and doce vida lifestyle.  Itsdramatic, cove-studded coastline and underwater caves are best explored by private-boat, which of course we will be doing on our SYB Amalfi Coast retreat. If you haven't jumped off a cliff into crystalline water after lunch on a private island in Capri, you pretty much haven't lived. It's time to get that checked off your bucket list, asap. 

9. #FitFam Forever 

Like every SYB trip, we're all about bringing like-minded people together to have a great time in paradiseand creating some life long friendships. As our incredible founder Mantas once said in an interview with LALA, the best way to get results is to find friends who you can work out with for fun because sweating breaks down barriers and connects people on a whole different level. SYB is all about facilitating those friendships and growing an awesome community of people - both at home and on vacation.

Live a life with no regrets. Book your ticket to Italy today and join the SYB FitFam for a life-changing adventure in Amalfi. See you for La Doce Vida! 




Don't Just Show Up | Alex Silver-Fagan


The difference between showing up and doing the work.

Have you ever taken a yoga or fitness class and the teacher says at the start, “You did it, you made it. You showed up.”? You know what I’m talking about right? And I’m sure when you hear the teacher acknowledge your participation, you feel relieved and think to yourself, “I did show up. I’m here.” But there’s so much more to it than just showing up. And I guarantee that you actually aren’t getting the most out of your time, especially after being praised for “simply showing up.” Why? Because life is crazy and we run around with our heads cut off half the time that when we finally do get to that class or workout - when we show up - we’re already completely drained. 

Unfortunately, this means we’re just wasting our time. If you don’t commit past just simply showing up… you aren’t getting anything. You gain the most when you push past the other junk and focus on what we came for. You need to go all in. 

In other words: It’s not just enough to show up. You have to make the effort to work hard and be present for every moment. This doesn’t just apply to yoga or fitness classes, it’s applicable to every aspect of your life: workouts, business meetings, quality time with friends, even brushing your teeth! What I’m referring to is being present in the moment and focusing your energy on that particular task or activity, whatever it may be. When we just simply show up, we zone out. But when we show up, tune in and focus… we get to find a state of flow.

Flow is an amazing experience, and one that we should all find in our daily lives. It’s something I strive for every day and part of the focus of my “Flow Into Strong” class. 

You’ve probably already experienced it even if you didn’t know it. Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi, author of the book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, outlined this theory. He says, flow is a psychological state that people experience when they engage in an activity that is challenging and involves concentrated focus on a task. This complete immersion can bring about deep learning and high levels of personal and work satisfaction.

Every activity you participate in will be more beneficial if you’re focused on what you’re doing. You can exist in the moment rather than worrying about the other twenty things on your to-do list. This type of multi-tasking, aka what most humans in 2018 do every single moment of the day, produces extreme anxiety. 

In my class, “Flow Into Strong,” I challenge my clients to dig a little deeper and work IN rather than just workout. I want you to learn how to focus your energy and concentration during every second of the class. This way, the experience is worthwhile. Rather than just an hour of moving mindlessly.

Instead of staying on the constant gerbil wheel of your life and running around aimlessly towards a thousand different goals, take a moment to look around, take a breath, and enjoy where you are and what you’re doing… RIGHT. NOW.

Alex_Fagan_Nike_19864 edit.jpg

Alex Silver Fagan is the founder of Flow Into Strong and fitness instructor in NYC with weekly classes at Solace. She is also leading the SYB Adventure to Belize - December, 2018. 

8 Reasons To Trail Run Iceland


Iceland is ideal for running, as the trails are plentiful and the scenery is spectacular. Running is a popular sport here and many people come from all over the world to enjoy Iceland’s pristine beauty and unique environment, shaped by ancient and current volcanic activity and other natural forces.

Inga Fanney leading a run tour

Inga Fanney leading a run tour

I took up trail running after starting a family and having less free time for hiking and spending time in the mountains. Here are my top eight reasons why Iceland is an amazing trail running destination:


The weather is rarely too warm and most of the time very refreshing. Iceland’s average temperature in summer is 10°C, and often there is a cool breeze blowing. This is because Iceland is situated by the Arctic circle (between 62° and 66° north) yet isn’t entirely glaciated (despite its name) except for parts of the Highlands.


Iceland tap water comes directly from the mountains and isn’t treated. And when you’re in the back-country, it’s not necessary to purify the water before you drink; rather, you can safely drink directly from number of streams along any running route.

Iceland’s environment is very clean and we even heat our houses with clean energy resources.

For example, most Iceland homes, swimming pools and greenhouses are heated with geothermal water pumped directly from underground, where it is naturally heated. As Icelanders, we take great pride in our eco-friendly practices and place great importance on protecting our island’s vulnerable landscape, which is why we have three large national parks, one of which is Vatnajökull National Park, covering 13% of the country, as well as many protected areas and nature reserves.


There is a lot of water in Iceland, and you may be surprised to learn that much of it is steaming hot. This is because one Iceland sits atop one the planet’s six geothermal “hot spots.”

The the underlying magma heats up all this water and gives us natural hot pools to soak in after our runs. The geothermal water comes directly from the earth and the ground underneath us to the surface, sometimes boiling hot.

In areas such as the Westfjords, Icelanders form small bathing pools from natural materials such as rocks and moss. The geothermal water bubbling up from underground is mineral rich and nourishing for the skin and body.


Very little of Iceland is inhabited by people. Which means that while trail running you, you rarely see any sign of human impact on the landscape.

One of our trail running tours takes us to Europe’s most powerful waterfall called Dettifoss. Other top trails for running take us around ancient or active volcanoes, such as Hekla, which erupts approximately every 10 years.

And one of Iceland’s most adventurous single track trails, Fimmvörðuháls, spans the distance between two glaciers, each covering an active volcano. One of them, Eyjafjallajökull, famously erupted in 2010 and disrupted flight traffic around the world for days.


It may sound like a dream to be able to run anywhere in a whole country without worry about mosquitoes, bears or rattlesnakes, but it is possible in Iceland.

Apart from the occasional small midges, there is no wildlife here that can bite you. While mosquitoes lurk on both the East and West coast of Greenland, Norway, and the UK, they don’t settle in Iceland.

You can also have peace of mind there there are no ants, cockroaches, snakes, bears or lions in our country.


Every part of Iceland is different, thanks to being continuously shaped by nature’s most powerful forces including relentless winds, pounding waves, sputtering lava and powerful geysers. As glaciers scrape over the land and raging rivers cut deep valleys, every part of the country has its unique characteristics.

Enjoy the sound of the trail running shoe hitting different surfaces, such as fresh lava from recent volcanic eruptions, pumice from older volcanic eruptions, snow that doesn’t melt in summer time, vegetation such as grass and moss that has managed to cover older terrain, stones and birch-tree branches and black-sand beaches.


Feel like running all day? In Iceland you can, thanks to the continuous daylight during the summer solstice. In fact, for the entire month of June and into July.

Since you have all day –and all night– there’s no need to rush your pace. You know the feeling of being inspired on your run and you feel like running all day? Let the abundant daylight fuel adventurous runs during which you can explore off trail, or wherever your curiosity may take you.




Inga Fanney is the leader for the SYB Iceland Adventure July 25-29, 2018. She was born and raised in Iceland and has been leading trail running trips all over Iceland since 2003. 



Up, Up and away you go..........

Who doesn’t like to travel?! In a world of experiences becoming a huge part of the millennial culture, travel is becoming more and more common in a person’s routine. But because we are creatures of habit, the healthy and mindful routines we have while at home suddenly become disrupted and some people make their time in an airport a free for all in the candy store or with the meal service on the plane.

If you are preparing yourself for your next SYB adventure, here are some tips I’ve put together for you to help stay on the healthy track while you’re on the road for those adventures:

airport handstands anyone?

airport handstands anyone?

1. Meal prep on the move

  • Keeping your body and mind fueled at the start of your journey will likely keep you from making a pit stop at the Hudson News across from your gate and going H.A.M on the chips and snacks. Try to have a meal rich in Omega-3s (salmon) antioxidants (berries) and folate (dark leaf greens) to keep you happy, full and nourished.
  • Grab a couple of those organic instant flax seed oatmeal packets you have in your cupboard. I LOVE Nature’s Path brand but Whole Foods 360 is a great alternative.
  • If you need to grab some snacks to keep you satisfied while in the air, (and haven’t packed your LiveFit approved protein bars), go for the raw almonds, maybe some Skinny Pop if you want some crunch and go for a Lara Bar if you want something sweet. I also like Peeled Mango snacks if you really want something candy like and their are no options for a fresh fruit cup anywhere in sight. If you are burning through your meal already and think you might need another one, find a mixed green salad with protein to take with you on the plane.
  • When the meal service comes around and you think you need something, check the menu for the dairy free, veggie loaded option (some of my clients have Low Lactose or Vegan selected in their airline profiles so the airlines know their meal preference beforehand). If that’s not your style, pull those oatmeal packets out and ask for some hot water and an extra cup. The meals and snack boxes they offer on most airlines are loaded with sodium, empty carbohydrates and sugar.
travel light... unless you're a leader

travel light... unless you're a leader

2. Make yourself a weapon

  • Air travel in particular is a breeding ground for germs, so make sure you are loaded up on tons of vitamins and minerals to keep a shield around you from all that recycled air.
  • Grab some juice before you head to the airport (I like Mother Earth and Mthr Fkr Fireball from Juice Press) and drink these before you go through security (No one likes their liquids confiscated by the TSA). These will give you an added boost of vitamins to keep you healthy while up in the air. If you’re looking for something on the other side of the security check point, Evolution green juices that are sold at most Starbucks are a good alternative. Just make sure you check the label for the proportion of fruits to veggies. If it’s mostly fruit juice, you want to watch out for the sugar content.
  • Once on board and the beverage service starts, ask for an orange juice as extra Vitamin C insurance.
stay sexy

stay sexy

3. Water, Water, Everywhere

  • Remember to keep yourself hydrated with your best friend... water. Grab 1 liter of water for every 5 hours you are up in the air. The airlines are a little stingy with beverage service so make sure you are taking care of it yourself.
  • When it’s snack or meal time up in there air, there are so many opportunities to dehydrate instead of hydrate.
  • Keep it simple and stick with water, club soda or tea. If you are traveling overseas, just because wine and liquor are free, this isn’t a signal for an open bar opportunity to get lit (it’s just not a good look).
  • Add some lemon to the water to give it some punch and vitamins. If really think you want something more, go for the orange or apple juice. Although high in sugar, the added vitamins as we spoke about earlier are always helpful.
wtf is going on here... 

wtf is going on here... 

4. Get moving

  • If you are on a flight that’s over 4 hours long, make sure you take some time to get up and walk around and stretch. Keep the blood going and muscles stretched out. Some carriers have in flight wellness programs as a part of the entertainment. I’ve seen yoga, stretching and meditation on some flights.

5. Stress Less

  • If your flight gets delayed and you start to stress out, don’t run for the nearest bar or grab that bag of popcorn just yet. Stress is the #1 trigger of emotional eating (and drinking). Breathe through it with your breathing exercises and calm your mind. Be present, be thankful for being able to take this trip and know that everything will work out and you will get where you need to go. Running to the bar to get drunk to pass time is only going to give you a hangover before you even get on the plane (not a good look). And ripping through your snacks won’t change the situation or help. Be mindful of your triggers and recognize them before you reach for the snack. Knowing to check yourself before you wreck yourself is empowering.


Arriving to your destination healthy, happy and hydrated is the goal. No one wants to arrive to a fitness adventure feeling sluggish, bloated and under the weather. By being mindful of your choices you will be off to a great start for one of the best vacations of your life.

Jackie chillin' on SYB Nicaragua NYE 2018

Jackie chillin' on SYB Nicaragua NYE 2018

Jackie Caterina



SNOW DAYS | Clay Perry


I've been traveling for as long as I can remember. I've been snowboarding for 20 years. I've been drinking beer for a decade. I've been doing yoga for 6 months. I'll be honest, I really did not know what to expect heading into my first Surf Yoga Beer trip. So, I decided to try out SYB because I was looking for a new, fresh travel experience that involved recreation, beer, and meeting new people. Oh, and snowboarding!

What I felt within the first hour was the welcoming and energetic community that is SYB. From the get go it was smiles, laughs, and major stokeage. Shortly after meeting the crew, we jumped right into an amazing yoga practice, greeting our arrival and the 11,000 foot mountain outside our window that would be shredded in a mere 12 hrs. Minds clear, stomachs full with an amazing first dinner, and body relaxed after a few beers, we headed to bed. I knew I was in for a fun few days.

I've never seen the movie "Rocky" but I now know how Silvester Stallone got his motivation. Man, Eye of the Tiger on full blast will really get your day going. Once up, we had a beautiful meditation session surrounded by the smell of bacon, which led to yet another amazing meal. Bodies and minds energized, we tackled the mountain like school kids on a playground during recess.


Back at the commune, we unwound that afternoon with a decompression yoga sesh. We all got cleaned up and headed into the iconic ski town that is Crested Butte for a family dinner for the ages. Another night, another time to lay our heads to bed with a full soul.

Last day - sore and fulfilled from more activities, we said our final goodbyes with hugs, high-fixes, and some tears. It’s not goodbye – it’s “I’ll see you later”.


I was surprised at how the SYB experience can bring complete strangers together in such a short period of time. You quickly learn to let your guard down, to be a kid again, to get out of your comfort zone and into a place that is safe and welcoming.

SYB reaffirmed my personal feelings that food, fun and fitness really does bring people together - in an absolutely stunning location.

NYE | Jackie Caterina



The group on a private beach together

The group on a private beach together

When my boyfriend and I signed up for the SYB Nicaragua trip, we didn’t really think about who else was going to be on the trip.
We both are very active NY’ers who workout 6-7 times per week and the idea of an active vacation including early morning wake ups for beach boot camp, surfing and sunset yoga led by one of our favorite fitness instructors seemed like the perfect way to start the New Year together.

As the trip approached, it dawned on us that we might be the only couple on the trip and that we may or may not be a part of singles trip with a low guy to girl ratio. We had no idea what to expect but regardless we were going for the workouts, to surf, to meet some new people and chill out.

With all judgement behind us, we arrived in Nicaragua and quickly came to realize that we were 1 of 2 couples and that there was a pretty even ratio of dudes to chicks. Not a bad start.
I consider myself an outgoing person as is my boyfriend, so being friendly is a non-issue. We both quickly found ourselves having conversations separately from one another and making friends with everyone together & separately. Being a couple on a predominantly singles trip could have been challenging - but we thrived in it actually. We loved competing against each other in boot camp games on the beach & motivating each other to push harder or run faster when we were doing individual relays. It was fun seeing the competitive nature come out in both of us and made us appreciate and trust each other more as the week went on.
A few times that week, it may have crossed my mind that I may have wanted some alone time with my dude but the people we were with made being with everyone together enjoyable. We had some small moments to ourselves to just enjoy a sunset or check out the waves but not once was I upset about getting woken up at 630am by Mantas and Jenn to Kanye West.

As we looked back on the week, we both agreed that this trip could have gone south real quick if we weren’t already confident in our relationship. Instead, those 6 days of making incredible bonds with complete strangers, helped to solidify that feeling. I realized that back in our real life in NYC we had a divide in our life with “his friends” and “my friends” but now we have “our friends” and we have SYB to thank for that.

I am so grateful to everyone at SYB for starting my year off on such an amazing note & cant wait to go on another adventure.



Jacqueline Caterina is a fitness enthusiast who lives and works in New York City. She and her boyfriend Mike went on the SurfYogaBeer Nicaragua New Years Eve Yoga and Surf Adventure - Dec 2017!

Breaking Free from 2017


There's a lot of goal setting going on this time of year. This year I'm taking a break from the vision boarding and breaking down what really makes me happy in 2018. I have a strategy of ways to break free from normal patterns. When I break my routine, life starts to show itself in unique ways I wouldn't have thought of. Goals feel less forced, and become more guided from a natural flow.

1. Break Up

WHY: Break up with anything negative from 2017. Stress is the new smoking. Stress shortens your patience, relationships, and most importantly your life. Simply by taking out small negative stimuli you can create space a happier mindset.

WHAT: Visualize your normal routine during the week. Go through each part of your day. What parts of your schedule bring you extreme stress? 

HOW: Example: if your commute to work causes a guttural lump, think of creative ways to make it different. Can you carpool, walk with a friend, download 3 new audio books or podcasts, spend money on a cool music app (like rock my run), listen to Deepak Chopra meditations, uber twice a week to mix it up, take a different route, ask your boss to change your hours to off peak traffic hours a couple days a week, get courage to ask to work from a coffee shop one day, etc. Go through each of your days stressors and see where you can vary the routine. Ask a friend for help if you're stuck. 

2. Break Free

WHY: Actually create "free time" in your week. I tend to over schedule as a default tool to keep me away from the present moment. To avoid sheer exhaustion and "netflicks zombie time" at the end of the night schedule "free time" for yourself (literally free from phone/internet/radio/computers)

WHAT: Visualize your Monday routine. Is there any space you can force yourself to not plan anything? 

HOW: Example: If you have a 9-5 kind of job, see if you can actually schedule 10 minutes in your Monday to plan nothing. No phones/screens/radio. Personally, pretty much every day I have free space 1-1:15. I set a calendar reminder for "FREE SPACE" and just look up. Sometimes I sit on a bench, sometimes I go for a walk, sometimes I just sit in my car with my eyes closed and music off. Just that simple practice of freeing up space from obligations and screens immediately brings my mood to an elevated state of calm. If you want to take this to the next level, start to schedule pockets of 1-2 hours in your calendar for absolutely nothing. Only when you're actually at that moment, let your body/mind/spirit tell you honestly what it wants be it a walk outside, a nap, a good book, meal prep, drawing, be with your animal, etc.

3. Break Down

WHY: Focus on smaller bites of your goals. My to do list will never end. There will always be something to check off. When I focus on smaller scale goals, I allow myself a sense of self pride and respect. 

WHAT: What are three things that if completed today you can call it a successful day?

HOW: Example: Each morning I wake up with an extra 15 minutes for me. I sit in bed, before I look at my cell phone, and decide what three things that I WANT to accomplish that day. The second you look at your cell phone, you are immediately reacting to your texts/emails from others. By deciding first what your priorities are that day, you set the trajectory to make yourself proud. To keep it easy, I divide it into three categories; mind, body, spirit. My personal list this morning sounded like, "Mind: I will practice Spanish with pimsleur method audible book for 30 minutes. Body: I will take 5:30pm yoga. Spirit: I will spend thirty minutes searching flights for my next trip." The best part is when those three things are accomplished, I immediately congratulate myself for doing the work that makes me happy. Granted, there are still dozens of things to check off the list, but I practice appreciation of myself. Watch your self esteem grow and your to-do list seem less important. 


These three practices may seem small, but when put into practice (just try three weeks worth) I notice a measurable difference in my sense of calm and self respect. When you build these emotions within yourself, doors start to open in your life you didn't think possible. The big life goals like healthy relationships, strong physical health, and financial abundance come flowing towards you because you're at a vibrational state that's ready to meet them.


Katie Burke has lead several SYB adventures around the world including Belize and Cuba. Her next trip is to Costa Rica January 17-22, 2018. 

Champion Macho Man


Fellow adventurers,

My name is Hunter and I will be your Sherpa on this amazing obstacle course adventure to Costa Rica. Like many of you, I used to be a city slicker, living it up in NYC -- subway-surfing through life. At heart, I knew slacks and penny loafers weren’t for me so it was time to trade them in for flip flops and endless sunshine on the West Coast. I’m a man’s man! I need adventure and challenges, not laptops and excel spreadsheets. When I left that world behind me, I began to embrace life in a more “here and now” mindset to find a richer taste for the experience.


During this trip, I challenge all of you to throw away the suit and tie attitude and trade it in for a bikini (or mankini)!! Try to discover yourself in the jungle and beaches of Costa Rica, capturing and creating our own meals and finding satisfaction from the earth rather than our electronics. At the table, I will be your YouTube, Mantas will be your Instagram, and the obstacle course will be your motivation! If you’re excited, let me hear it at the top of your lungs! If you’re afraid, hold someone’s hand and we will all get through it as a team. If you’re ready for a kick ass adventure, I’m ready to push you to your greatest potential.  I love a good challenge, but what I love the most is to experience and guide others through challenge!


Three things I want everyone to try while on our trip-

  1. Change something about your appearance- if you wear your hair down, put it up. If you’re a guy who always wears a shirt tear it off and let it all hang out. If you’re a girl, take away makeup for a few days and let your skin breathe.

  2. Learn something new everyday- learn to surf, learn to do a backflip, learn how to make a fire, learn how to embrace new challenge. This trip is meant to be an experience!

  3. And most of all: Be mindful! Be present!


Beer & Yoga | Nancy Joyce


Know the feeling of getting off the mountain, taking off your boots, and grabbing a drink to hang by the fire with your friends? What if we get off the mountain, take off our boots (and socks), still grab that drink but take the hangout to our yoga mats? Thinking beer and yoga don’t really go together? Join us in Breckenridge this winter and see that they do! We’ll be on a retreat after all, a vacation, a adventure, so why not break a few rules. Because after all, life’s all about balance, isn’t it? Now I’m not saying lets do drunken yoga, I’m just saying a beer by the side of the mat is no harm no foul! And to be quite honest, your body is going to want the yoga, after a day on the slopes.

Snowga Benefits:

1.     Mobility and Flexibility – Skiers (and snow boarders) may not realize the importance mobility and flexibility plays into improving function, range of motion, and performance. Adequate flexibility, particularly in the hips, allows for better speed, turns and cuts. The pre-stretch is just as importance as the post stretch. Think deep hip openers, calves and quads.

image2 (1).jpeg

2.     Breathing at Altitude – High altitudes can create challenges with depleted oxygen flow through the body, making it a challenge to breathe calmly while walking around in ski boots, even just going up the stairs. Yoga will give you the tools you need to focus on the breath, and help the flow of blood, oxygen and heat within the body.


3.     Sleep – Spending a day on the mountain can take a lot out of you. You need your energy, and the best way to get that energy is to get a good nights sleep.  It’s been proven that practicing yoga can help you sleep longer, fall asleep faster, and return to sleep more quickly if you wake up in the middle of the night. Get your beauty sleep on!

4.     Stress Buster


Beer Benefits:

1.     Beer can be nutritious – Beer is made from hops, barley and wheat, so the beverage contains some of the same nutrients the grains do, including potassium, calcium, vitamin B and minerals. It’s also a source of fibre and antioxidants!


2.     Beer may boost bone health – Dietary silicon, found in beer, is important for the growth and development of bones and connective tissues. One study (Journal of the American Medical Associate) found that moderate drinkers were 38% less likely to have osteoporosis than non-drinkers.

3.     Improves Digestion – Beer is shown to possess a number of digestive properties, including the stimulation of gastric acid and pancreatic enzymes.

4.     Stress Buster

So the round that up, yoga reduces stress, beer reduces stress. Yoga will tend to your sore muscles post-ski sesh/day on the slopes. And we’re just doing all of this for fun, for a good time, and to feel better, while on an epic winter adventure. Join along for the ride, and for the Pre-ski, and après ski, yoga (beer optiona!l).

Nancy showing that deep runners lunge.

Nancy showing that deep runners lunge.

Nancy Joyce is a yoga teacher at Y7 and other studios in New York City. She will be leading the recover and yoga sessions on the SYB Ski Adventure to Breckenridge March 2-6, 2018.

re-treat Yo’self | Kristin Calabria


Retreat Season is upon us. From now through June, get ready to live your actual best life.  Beyond the vacation, the new friends, the incredible experiences, and the delicious meals, retreats offer you the chance to reclaim who you are and how you show up in the world.  Especially in a culture that champions working through exhaustion, the ideas of ease, pause, and balance can feel foreign. At SurfYogaBeer, we are all about balancing the crazy city living with some good quality chill time. Here are three reason to join us on our next adventure!

  1. Recharge

    For most of our lives, we’ve been part of a system that facilitates and encourages breaks.  Every school calendar, from elementary to collegiate, has built-in weeks off. Remember how, just at the point when you felt like you were going to collapse from exhaustion and deadlines, Thanksgiving/Winter/Spring break arrived, you breathed your first true deep breath in the last month, and returned to a normal person again?  Welcome to adulting where that break is still very necessary, but no one gives it to you.  You have to carve out the time for yourself.  Unlike school, the last thing you want to do with your PTO is sit at home and burrow into your cocoon of Netflix and seamless (maybe that’s exactly what you want to do, but there are many better uses of PTO than this).  Retreats are a completely curated and well-rounded experience to help you recharge your batteries.  Escape the monotony of your routine by snorkeling with sharks or sky diving or taking breathtaking hikes.  Fill yourself up with experiences that remind you of the gift of this life.
  2. Recommit

    Ever think, “I could commit to a fitness/wellness routine if only someone were to wake me up at 6am so that I could roll out of my bed and onto a beautiful beach with other amazing humans to break a serious sweat”? Well, you're in luck! We’ve got you covered.  All it takes is a few days of assisted waking up to realize that you too can commit and crush a morning workout routine.  Get a jumpstart on those New Year’s wellness resolutions with the tools we give you to enjoy your workouts and wellness.
  3. Rewire

    You can train your brain to be consistently more happy.  Happiness is tied to presence and gratitude.  How many times do you viscerally experience the gift it is to be alive?  Most of us are bogged down by the mundane minutia of our lives, failing to recognize the miracle that is a falling leaf, the warm sunshine hitting your face on a chilly fall day, a single breath, looking into the eyes of some you care deeply about and know that they see you right back. Sometimes, it takes being thrust into a place with overwhelming beauty to realize these miracles. Shifting locations helps to shift perspective.  Because every experience is new, it can feel like you understand what it means to breath for the f