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.

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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 first time. Everything from watching the sunrise to eating a slice of fresh watermelon becomes a moment endowed with overwhelming gratitude. Take this back to your everyday life. When we are truly present in each moment of our lives, the mundane becomes magical.


PS. I'm dishing out these good vibes for five days in Nicaragua! Come join me and the SYB team Nov 21-26.  I can’t wait to meet you!


The Rundown on Run Club

Fun fact: I don’t like running. I want to like it, but I’m not good at it. When I try to do it on my own, I tend to give up as soon as I start feeling out of breath. I even coined a term, “wogging,” to describe my runs, which by definition is what one does when they set out with the intention to go jogging and ends up walking instead. Spin for 45 minutes straight? Hell yeah! Do strength training until I can’t feel my legs? Sure, why not? Hike a mountain, or hit golf balls until my arms fall off? I’m down! Yet for some reason, the motivation to commit and follow through on a solo run eludes me.

Enter: SYB Run Club. I was hesitant to try it out (due to that whole not liking to run thing), but since I live so close to the meeting spot I couldn’t think of a good enough excuse not to. I had already been texting one of the other #SYBabes, so both “I overslept” and “my phone died” were out. That is how I found myself lacing up my kicks early last Wednesday morning and letting Justin Bieber’s melodious voice coming through my earphones soothe me into thinking I might not collapse somewhere along the West Side Highway.

Despite my apartment’s proximity, I still managed to be the last one to the meeting spot, where the group was stretching and looking suspiciously happy given the time of day. I generally don’t like to be spoken to or interact with humans until I’ve caffeinated properly, but Mantas was smiling and cracking bad jokes, which then made everyone else smile, too. Even me, pre-coffee.

We started running and I quickly realized it was not going to be easy. That being said, there’s something about running in a pack of people that makes you want to keep up with them when you would normally stop. It helped that my fellow runner, Molly, was regaling me with stories that were making me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe. Laughter is absolutely the best way to begin the day.

New York, New York - Summer 2017

We ran slowly, we ran sprints, we ran sideways, we ran backwards. But don’t let the name “Run Club” fool you—it was a mash-up of that and SYB’s signature booty-kicking bootcamp moves. Lunges, situps, squats, pushups—no muscle was left unattended to. I exercise almost daily, but I’m still sore three days later from that particular run. And, as always, it was a judgement-free zone, which meant I could run at a snail’s pace if necessary without worrying about looking like a fool.

A challenging workout, plus getting to hang out and goof around with some of my favorite people—all before kicking off my work day? I think I just fell back in like with running—sign me up.

If you’re looking for a way to get moving, check out some beautiful cityscapes by foot and grow your social network, you can sign up for either a summer membership or just give Run Club a test run with a single session. Here’s the scoop:


THE 411

WHO: Whether you run like Usain Bolt or a sloth, all are welcome!—the workout is challenging but modifiable for all levels

WHAT: 1 hour of running (distance and sprints to improve both stamina and speed) + strength training (no weights required—you’ll use your bodyweight), followed by happy hour or breakfast


  • WHERE: Meet at The Chester in Meatpacking (subject to change, so check for updates!) and run/work your butt, legs, arms and abs for 2-3 miles north along the West Side Highway and back
  • WHEN: Bi-weekly through summer, every Monday @ 7pm and Wednesday @ 7am
  • WHY: Not only will you get a great workout in—you’ll have fun doing it (and make even more fun friendships along the way)
  • HOW: Peep the official schedule and sign up here

A beach bum at heart, Kirsten Robinson is a writer and editor living, working and playing in NYC.

Mountain Moments | Jessica Johnson

road trippin'

road trippin'

The Tuesday morning following Labor Day weekend I woke up around my usual time (6:25am) to get ready before leaving for work. But, it didn’t feel like any other Tuesday where I drag myself out of bed and then continue to drag myself to work. I felt refreshed, rested, and really really sore. Like, what was happening to my arms?? You’d think I was doing 100 pushups and endless dips for the past 72 hours. Oh right, I totally WAS doing that. But, let me explain, this was no regular fitness retreat I was on this past weekend. I was getting my ass kicked and absolutely loving it because every minute was pure f-u-n. The Hunter Labor Day weekender started Friday afternoon when the group of about 15 took off from NYC to Upstate. I unfortunately missed the group ride up to Hunter, but myself and workout bestie/partner in crime Didi, drove up separately in our luxury ride (IE. my Rav4). When we arrived to the massive log cabin where we’d be spending the next 3 nights, I was already feeling the good ju-ju. The group of lovely ladies that arrived with Mantas, Kingsley, and Marcos was doing yoga in the huge living room of the house. I have to say, I was a little nervous about meeting the other people in the group, but was immediately put at ease once I realized they were all very chill, cool people. At dinner, Jani (our chef for the weekend) had set out a very healthy, very delicious meal. Jani prepared healthy, fulfilling meals that had lots of flavor. I was quite pleased to find plenty of vegetarian options at every meal, without feeling like I was surviving on baby carrots all weekend.

I must say, there was a very brief, vague disclaimer from Mantas the night before, where he said there would be wakeup calls on Saturday morning.

After dinner, the whole group played charades. I can’t even remember the last time I played charades, never mind with a group of girls I had just met less than 6 hours ago. I’m also pretty sure I never laughed so hard in a very long time. The antics that ensued cannot be documented here, so I’ll take you onto details of the following day.

Saturday started like no other Saturday you’ve experienced. I must say, there was a very brief, vague disclaimer from Mantas the night before, where he said there would be wakeup calls on Saturday morning. But, this was a wakeup call unlike any other. I did know SYB uses some unusual wake up tactics used on all their trips. So I wasn’t completely taken by surprise when Marcos, carrying a speaker with disco ball attached (R2-D2), Mantas, Kingsley, and Kristin (yoga guru) busted in with music playing and Mantas dancing all over Didi who was laughing hysterically. What better way to start a Saturday? Once everyone in the house got their specialty wake-up call, it was onto the first workout of the day, BootYCamp. There were drills, sprints, sit ups, push-ups, and more running. What did I get myself into? This was unlike any girls weekend I had ever taken before. But, when you’ve done BootYCamp, and you’re ready to start a hike up Hunter Mountain all before lunch, you feel pretty damn accomplished. REAL TALK: Hunter Mountain. Hiking, to the top of a ski slope, if you will. When we arrived at the base of Hunter mountain and Mantas announced he and Marcos would be running up the mountain, I thought to myself, well it can’t be that hard. Well, that damn mountain almost got the best of me. This was no stroll in the park, it was a really challenging hike. In fact, Mantas came back down the trail from the top (after running all the way up) to retrieve us stragglers and encourage everyone to make it to the top. Close to an hour after we started, I finally made my way to the top. Of Hunter Mountain. Where people usually ride a ski lift UP, and then make their way DOWN. Everyone that started this hike finished too. After taking lots of pics, and one epic group shot, we all rode the ski lift down. And at the bottom we all drank well deserved BEERS.

I don’t even know what time we got back to the house, but lunch was pretty much a blur to me, followed by naps. Yes, everyone napped, and it was amazing. Before dinner that night, Kristin Calabria led the group through an amazing, relaxing vinyasa. This was a much needed stretch after morning BootyCamp, and afternoon hiking. Feeling so chill, I really felt like I was connecting with all the other people on this trip, and it had only been 24 hours. Everyone headed outside after dinner to gather round the fire pit Marcos had started up. Oh, did I mention there were S’mores? Of course there were, I’m pretty sure that’s why fire pits exist.

The following morning was sleepy, rainy, foggy, cozy. The weather didn’t allow us to do morning boot camp, but it was absolutely perfect for indoor yoga. Kristin’s teaching style is right up my alley, just the right pace, not too fast, not too slow. I think everyone was feeling tired, sore, and maybe a little lazy after the previous day’s events. So, after yoga, there were chia pancakes for breakfast. It was Sunday after all. Jani actually made pancakes healthy, they were gluten-free and yet, still so comforting. I didn’t miss the sluggish feeling you usually have after eating box mix pancakes.

My biggest take away from the goal-setting workshop was that you shouldn’t feel afraid or ashamed of any goal you have, big or small, for 1 year from now or 10 years from now.

Since it was still rainy outside, the next activity of the day was a goal-setting workshop led by Kingsley. Feeling like I would not enjoy sharing my goals or dreams with a group of people I still (technically) don’t know very well made me a little uncomfortable. I am a very private person and typically would not open up about goals and dreams to a group of people I’ve only known for two days. However, the way Kingsley presented this workshop was much more approachable than I had anticipated. My biggest take away from the goal-setting workshop was that you shouldn’t feel afraid or ashamed of any goal you have, big or small, for 1 year from now or 10 years from now. Those goals speak a lot about who you are, where you came from and where you’ll ultimately end up in life. So, don’t hide them, it’s ok to share those goals with someone else, it’s not as scary as you might think.

After the goal-setting workshop we all piled into the SYB van and headed to…a waterfall, yeah you read that correctly. Since the weather was still rainy/foggy, walking down the tree lined path to Kaaterskill Falls was almost surreal. Naturally this backdrop led to prime IG moments, and everyone was suddenly a model on location shoot. Kristin does take some amazing pics, the girls got talent (even outside of the yoga studio). After the impromptu photo shoot we followed the path to the waterfall, and of course were not disappointed. It’s so funny how just 2 hours outside of Manhattan there’s mountains, waterfalls, sooo much fresh air, and cute little towns. After a quick stop in town for a drink or two, we headed back to the house. Piling back into the van, and chatting with everyone a long the way made this feel like a family trip. And we didn’t leave Kevin behind. (you’ll giggle at that reference only if you were born in the 80’s)

Sad to say, the last supper had arrived. What happened to the time? It was only a couple days ago that I was stressing about emails and now I’m trying to hold onto the last minutes of my amazingly perfect weekend. After dinner that night there was an SYB talent show. I’m sorry, actually Kristin insists it be called a “Passion show”, because you may be passionate about something, but not necessarily talented at it. Fair enough. So, there were a variation of “passions” from singing, to baton twirling, to rapping, performed throughout the night. Oh, and Kingsley choreographed a dance that you may have seen on IG, NBD. The weekend belonged to Taylor Swift and the dance us girls performed in her honor. But, I must say, nothing finished off the last night better than a silly dance party. You had to be there to fully know just how silly and fun it really was. Remember when you were 7 years old, and had sleep overs with your best girlfriends? The dancing was that level of silly fun, except now you’re old enough to drink and your parents weren’t in the next room yelling at you to keep it down.

Every meal on this trip was like with family, everyone sitting down and discussing their day.

Ok, every story must come to an end..But, first, it’s time for another SYB wake up call (and it’s Monday)! Ah, sad to say this was the last one of the weekend. Now, it’s BootYCamp time again. Mantas was well rested since he didn’t get to run drills the day before, and the weather was perfect for being outside. I liked this BootyCamp more than the previous one since all the exercises were done with a partner. Push ups, sit ups, relays, and sprints seem easier to do when you and your partner can high five between stations. Onto breakfast before packing up to leave this amazing house on the lake. Since I didn’t mention it before, each meal feels like a family gathering. I come from a small family, and every night we would eat dinner together, before anyone had cell phones. Now, having a meal with humans who would rather have a conversation than scroll through their phone is so rare. I think we’re all guilty of having a meal with someone and being completely distracted by their phone instead of paying attention to the living breathing person across front of you. Every meal on this trip was like with family, everyone sitting down and discussing their day. There’s a rose, and thorn to everyone’s day, and it’s so interesting to realize how one person’s rose of the day could have been another’s thorn (Ahem, Hunter Mountain hike).

Finally, before everyone departed the house to head back to NYC, we were invited to sign the SYB banner. Hello yearbook flashbacks! As I went to sign the banner and leave a note of thanks, I realized, it’s highly likely I’ll go on another SYB adventure. I know this won’t be the last time I have dinner with this adopted family..or run relays..or hike mountains. Wait, I take back that last part. JK  But I whole heartedly can’t wait for the next silly dance party!!  #lookwhatyoumademedo

Jessica Johnson is a fitness enthusiast and works in NYC. 

Not Ur Avg | Jamie Wilkinson's Hudson River Adventure with SYB

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I teamed up with the awesome crew at Surf Yoga Beer for their weekend fitness adventure to Hudson River, NY.

Surf Yoga Beer knows how to do a weekend retreat right; just take one look at their lineup of action-packed adventures to exotic locations like Cuba, Nicaragua and Costa Rica! SYB was started in 2014 by Mantas Zvinas, the company’s designated fitness guru and the ultimate party starter. He has a unique way of making even the toughest workouts fun, which inspired the concept for Surf Yoga Beer’s international fitness adventures and local NYC events. With the help of Mantas’ equally amazing partners, SYB has grown into a culture of motivated, wellness-loving individuals who love to have FUN! Check out their website to learn more about their local NYC events and incredible upcoming trips.

I was invited to join their team on their weekend getaway to Hudson River to share my nutrition-savvy tips. I felt like it couldn’t have come at a better time, as wellness and nutrition have recently played a huge role in my life. My close friends know that I follow a pretty strict diet due to food intolerances. Throughout my entire life growing up, I was able to eat whatever I wanted, until suddenly I developed severe allergies that made it painful to eat just about anything. Since then, I’ve done a complete 360 degree flip on my diet, but in doing so, I’ve learned so much about how to cook the right foods to nourish your body and feed it what it needs. I was thrilled to share my love for healthy and simple meals and hopefully encourage the group with my recipes!

*Disclaimer*: I am not a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist; I have been inspired by my personal dietary restrictions to seek a happier and healthier relationship with food. This ongoing journey has made me passionate about sharing the simple things that have helped me improve my health. Figuring out what works for your body is absolutely different for everyone and I always suggest doing your own research. 

The week before the Hudson River trip, I met up with Eddie Larios, SYB Partner and Owner of NYC restaurant Salud, to plan out the weekend’s menu and some “Nutrition Do’s and Don’ts” to share with the group, which you can find at the bottom of this post. Our goal was to develop quick, easy recipes that they would actually use once they’re home. With Eddie’s kitchen expertise, we came up with a fantastic menu that would change the way the group viewed meal prep.

Unsure of what to expect, I (over)packed my bags with lots of fitness gear and my camera (stay tuned for a SYB Hudson River Vlog!). Going on a weekend trip not knowing anyone can be a little scary, but you can’t help but leave with new friends by the end of a Surf Yoga Beer adventure!

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We met up with the leaders for the weekend, Mantas, Eddie, Mike & Marcos, in Union Square and hit the road for Hudson River. It took us about two and a half hours to get there and once we arrived, all 20+ of us took to exploring the scenic property. The house was insane in the best way possible; from the vast amount of rooms, to the ultimate party/game room, and the perfectly manicured yard, this was the ideal getaway spot. One of my favorite parts was that when you stepped outside, it was quiet except for the sounds of nature; something you never hear in New York City!

After settling in, it came time to start prepping the kitchen for Friday night’s dinner. Eddie and I took off to stock up on more groceries, while the group did one of Mantas’ killer Booty Camp workouts, followed by an evening yoga flow and meditation by the water. Lucky for us, the local grocery store, Tops, had everything we needed. Being in a small town, we could have easily been out of luck with an AVG grocery store, so we were ecstatic. I even got to drive the van!!!


The majority of our meals had a heavy focus on vegetables with a meat option. We wanted to show the group that you can create a well balanced meal focused on the wonderful nutrients from vegetables that won’t leave you hungry.

Ricotta & Spinach Stuffed Portobellos: Trader Joe’s sells pre-packaged portobello mushrooms that make meal prep TOO EASY! Simply wash them, take out the center core and roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes on 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Separately, sauté spinach on the stovetop until it wilts and then add in ricotta cheese. Fill the portobellos with the ricotta/spinach mixture and voila!

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic: This was one of the group’s favorite sides. Some even asked how long it took to cook this because it was packed with so much flavor, but there are only four ingredients: olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Be sure to coat each broccoli piece completely with the added ingredients and roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes on 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Kale Salad with Roasted Peppers & Cabbage: I really value the simplicity of meals made with pure, natural ingredients and this salad is the perfect example! We used Trader Joe’s pre-packaged kale, cabbage, and cherry tomatoes, along with oven roasted red peppers. To give this salad a kick, Eddie taught me a simple dressing recipe that I know I’ll be using all the time: In a bowl, combine about 3/4 cup of olive oil with about 2 tbsp of Grey Poupon mustard, salt and pepper. Mix together and either mix the dressing into the salad or keep the side.

Barbecue Chicken: I love to include a source of protein in my meals and Eddie is known for his amazingly fast preparation of flavor-packed food, like this BBQ chicken. He simply coated the chicken in olive oil, salt & pepper, lemon, and BBQ sauce and stuck it in the oven.

Cauliflower Rice & Quinoa: We even found a way to add veggies into our carbsTrader Joe’s sells cauliflower rice that we mixed into our quinoa after it was cooked. Cauliflower is great for improving your digestion and quinoa is an awesome source of protein.

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The group started off their morning with another workout and run with Mantas, while Eddie and I prepped Smoothie Bowls for breakfast. This was our favorite meal to prepare because it took no time and come on, who doesn’t love a smoothie topped with ALL of your favorite fruits?! Plus, it’s a totally Instagrammable moment!

Smoothie Bowl Workshop: We bought just every single fruit in the grocery store for this workshop! We wanted to teach the group how quick and easy it is to make a smoothie with your favorite fruits & toppings. We made two different smoothies for everyone to try out:

Berry Smoothie:

  1. Almond Milk
  2. Bananas
  3. Blueberries
  4. Strawberries

Green Dream Smoothie:

  1. Almond Milk
  2. Bananas
  3. Avocado
  4. Spinach
  5. Pears


  1. Sliced Fresh Fruit: bananas, kiwi, mango, pear, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries
  2. Dried Fruit: Goji berries, dried cranberries, pitted dates
  3. Nuts & Seeds: sunflower seeds, trail mix
  4. KIND Vanilla Blueberry Granola
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Pancitos with Bruschetta and Ricotta & Honey: To make pancitos, aka “Little Bread”, slice and toast a baguette and then add bruschetta (diced tomato and basil) on half of the pieces & ricotta topped with honey on the other half. The ricotta pancitos were my favorite; the perfect mix of savory and sweet! This recipe is great for any occasion, like when it’s your turn to bring an appetizer to a party!

Roasted Potatoes with Herbs: Baby potatoes are a great side for any breakfast and the perfect post-workout carb. Coat them in olive oil, salt & pepper, and spices like rosemary or thyme, and roast them for about 45 minutes.

Boiled Eggs: Last but not least, the protein of the meal! Boiled eggs are a great staple to keep on hand for breakfast or snacking throughout the day.

After breakfast, some went for a 4 mile run with Mantas, while others hung out in the backyard to enjoy the sunshine. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was relaxing on the dock with a specially crafted citrus drink courtesy of Eddie’s cocktail making magic! We all hung out by the water for a few hours to tan, float in the river, and kayak.


This post-tan/ pre-nap lunch was kept light to leave room for the huge dinner that was ahead!

Romaine Lettuce Wraps with Chicken and/or Beef: Lettuce wraps are a great alternative/Gluten Free option for an open faced sandwich. We provided two options for a lettuce wrap: chicken and veggies or ground beef with zucchini noodles.

Gourmet Grilled Cheese: A NOT UR AVG twist on the typical grilled cheese included mushrooms, onions and gourmet cheese.

Cucumber Kale Salad: Mixed with kale and tomatoes, this salad was kept light and refreshing with the perfect summer veggie, cucumber.


You know the meal’s good when the whole dinner table is quiet! The second night’s dinner was definitely the crowd favorite. Eddie and I went all out cooking all of the leftover food we had in the fridge to make this last dinner at Hudson River the best it could be. My favorite comment that someone made was that even though the meal almost entirely consisted of vegetables, it was still super filling and packed with different flavors on top of those amazing nutrients.

Chicken and Veggie Skewers: I was so looking forward to making these when I first heard that the house had a grill! I picked out some of my favorite veggies to grill, peppers and zucchini, chopped them into big pieces, cut boneless chicken into cubes and placed them on the wooden skewers. Tip: Soak the skewers in water before putting them on the grill! This will help them survive the heat of the grill without burning.

Carnitas with Xochitl Asada Verde SalsaCarnitas are “little meats” typically prepared shredded in tacos. We gave the group the option to make their own taco with these organic carnitas coated in spicy verde salsa. The Xochitl brand salsa adds a great punch of flavor and takes all of the work out of preparing a homemade salsa.

Roasted Asparagus, Carrots, Parsnips, & Butternut Squash: Roasted vegetables are my specialty; I shared with the group how easy it is to coat them in olive oil, salt & pepper (and your favorite herbs/spices), throw them in the oven for about 20 minutes, and you’re DONE! This saves me on weeknights when I’m too to get groceries for a meal. I often purchase frozen carrots and squash from Whole Foods so that my freezer is always stocked and I can just pop them in the oven when I get home.

Grilled Corn on the Cob: Because what’s better than corn on the cob in the summertime?!

Chips and Guacamole: When someone asked for chips and guac, Eddie was ON IT. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone whip up guac so fast! Using several avocados, add in squeezed lemon juice cilantro, and salt and pepper for extra flavor. Avocados are packed full of vitamins and minerals and are a great source of healthy fat.

The group finished the night hanging out & dancing in the game room and some even stayed up until the a.m. when it stopped raining to cook s’mores!

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Just look at this view! Our final morning at Hudson River couldn’t have been more scenic. After we all got up for the final SYB wake up call, we all had our coffee on the dock and took in the view one last time. After we all had a little more energy, Mantas led us in an ab workout, which was quick but super effective!


Grilled Veggie Omelette Cups: Omelette cups are an excellent low-calorie alternative to a heavy egg breakfast. Grab a muffin pan and crack 1-2 eggs into each spot and add your favorite veggies to the mix. We added spinach, asparagus and mushrooms to ours!

Warm Cinnamon Oatmeal with Toppings: Warm oatmeal is my go-to breakfast. It’s light on the stomach if you’re planning to go workout and, like smoothie bowls, you can top them with your favorite fruits.

Grilled Chicken Sausage: Another great source of post-workout protein that we simply popped in the oven to cook!


After breakfast, we all packed our stuff up, took a couple group photos and headed back to NYC. To break up the long drive, we stopped in Downtown Beacon, NY, which had a farmer’s market going on and lots of cute cafes and restaurants to grab a snack. I got this pure mango fruit smoothie from the local coffee shop:

Although we didn’t want the weekend to end, we said our goodbyes and exchanged numbers & hugs back in Union Square. I had an unreal experience with Surf Yoga Beer and meeting the incredible individuals who were on the trip. I learned so much about my own abilities to cook for a large group and share my passion for nutrition & well being and I cannot thank the SYB team enough for that!

Eddie and I worked like the perfect duo to cook the meals on time and educate the group in a non-forceful way on the benefits of each meal. My favorite part, besides eating the food, was having one-on-one conversations to share more about how I make healthy cooking easy. As mentioned earlier, I try to live by the following “Nutrition Do’s and Don’ts” to create a balanced lifestyle:

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I hope you enjoyed reading about my trip with Surf Yoga Beer as much as I loved the weekend itself! The SYB community is full of active, fun-loving people that I’m so lucky to have met. It was such a unique experience to be able to cook for a large group of people and to open up about my nutrition story. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about my experience and I highly recommend looking into Surf Yoga Beer’s fitness adventures in NYC and beyond! Check out their Labor Day retreat to Hunter Mountain and upcoming Hudson Valley trip.




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JAMIE WILKINSON - Born and raised in sunny South Florida, Jamie is currently based in New York City pursing a Masters degree and sharing every new experience on her lifestyle blog, NOT UR AVG. Her passion for nutrition and wellness were inspired by food intolerances that developed her love to cook. Don't be AVG and wait until the New Year to make that healthy change in your lifestyle; check out her and her BFF's blog,, to get all the inspo you need to be your best self!

Hunter Retreat Testimonial | Nora Zanella

I have to start by saying that this isn't my first SurfYogaBeer trip and it certainly will not be my last. Continue reading at your own risk, because this will make you want to go on one of their adventures...

It's a regular Sunday afternoon, post SYB BootyCamp and SYB founder, Mantas, starts convincing my friend and I to go on the Hunter mountain weekender adventure; which honestly didn't take much more than him mentioning the word “s'mores." Yes, we went on the trip on the promise of s'mores and bonfires, but this was only because I already knew that I would be having one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. 

Switching from the concrete jungle to what seemed like an enchanted forest was everything I could have asked for, escaping a humid AF New York City summer.  We drove upstate to this beautiful, huge house that had a lake as it's backyard. Throughout the weekend, we all did our fair share of canoeing, paddle boarding, and some even took quick dips in the lake while the rest of us just sat in the dock; simply enjoying the view and the fresh air as we got to know each other. 

Stretchin' with our squad.

Stretchin' with our squad.

SYB is a sweaty crew and we all love a little (or a lot) of fitness and sweat. We did outdoor bootcamps, went running to explore the town, and we hiked to the top of Hunter Mountain. Mantas is the master of leading pretty much everything that will make you drip in sweat; this guy will get you out of your comfort zone and get you doing things you never thought you could do. The second day, Kings was leading the charge and I finally got my ass kicked by her. Trust me, the next morning my body felt so good. She is good at what she does. Good thing we had a hot tub to ease our sore booties and relax for a bit before conquering the Hunter Mountain hike. The hike was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip because of the views (duh) and because even though you are doing all the work by yourself, we worked as a team by cheering and motivating each other to get each other to the top. It was not about how fast you got to the top, it was about the fact that you were doing it and enjoying the whole journey. Whether you are a super-human and went up running (Yes Mantas, I'm talking to you) or just walked up while snapping fingers to make it more fun, like Kings and I did, it was definitely something to be proud of. Breathtaking views, out of breath laughs and connecting with Mother Nature is a combination we don't get that often and let me tell you that once you get to the top and the endorphins start to hit, well, life doesn't get any better than that. It is something that I can't explain through words. It is something that you have to FEEL yourself to understand. 

All the way up. 

All the way up. 

After our hike, we couldn't think about anything else other than food and sleep. So we took a quick power nap and Eddie and Andrea, our master chefs, cooked some delicious meals for us. Eddie and I both have Mexican heritage so I have a special bond with him and because of that, he spoils me and makes me “chilaquiles”, my favorite Mexican breakfast. Come to Eddie if you want some real Mexican food. 

Smoothie bowls by Salud NYC #zayummm

Smoothie bowls by Salud NYC #zayummm

Talking about things you cannot do in New York, when was the last time you saw stars? Like thousands of stars lighting up the night while you eat s'mores (as promised) by the bonfire that our expert firefighter Marcos taught us how to build. On this trip we were constantly reminded of all the little things we miss because of our busy lives in the city. We often forget to take a minute to breathe, to look up and count stars, and we certainly don't get enough opportunities to share delicious meals in a table full of beautiful souls. This trip brought us back to living in the moment instead of thinking about work or emails or cooking dinner. It was such a relief to unplug and reconnect with nature and the present moment.

Morning meditation moments. 

Morning meditation moments. 

The final morning of the trip. It is 6:32 AM and I'm sitting on a dock with two of my best friends. We are in front of a lake which we can barely see because of the heavy fog that is literally running through us. We just sat there. We sat in silence and listened to the frogs croaking, we followed fish with our eyes and we were consciously breathing the freshest air you can think of. In that moment it felt so good to simply just be right where I was. If this doesn't make you feel 100% convinced to go on a trip, I honestly don't know what will. 

Hunter Mountain, New York - July 2017

Nora Zanella is a fashion designer and fitness phanatic based in NYC. Nora loves Mexican beer, chocolate, sunsets, sleeping, and Kingsley.

Nora, Jenn and Marcos riding the chairlift down after hiking to the top!

Nora, Jenn and Marcos riding the chairlift down after hiking to the top!

Sayulita Reflection | Meaghan McCann

The night before I left for Sayulita, I was so anxious. I paced my room, packing and unpacking, not sure what to bring. I had never traveled alone before and kept wondering what these people would be like. Are they going to like me? What if I hate it? I tossed and turned waiting for my alarm to go off that morning, and when it did, I took those first scary steps away from the known and into one of the most rewarding adventures I have ever taken.

I was the last one to arrive at the house in Sayulita, as my flight-booking procrastination landed me on a much later flight. I was nervous, wondering if the group had already bonded and if I had missed a key part of the trip. Walking up, I couldn’t help but notice that the house was pretty cool. It was right on the water with a huge porch that provided tons of space to hang out or do yoga in. I thought to myself, this wasn’t going to be a bad place to spend a week. My jitters about being the last to arrive lasted all of two seconds. Kingsley came running up from the beach to welcome me with a huge hug and introduced me to the rest of the crew. The cast consisted of California girls Susan and Heather, Napalonia from New Mexico, and then the New Yorkers: Christine, Noah, Patrick and Cole. Then there were our expert trainers Mary and Toussaint, and leaders Kingsley and Eddie. Kingsley and Eddie are amazing. Their warm welcome made me feel like we were all old friends, just waiting to catch up on what we had been up to for the last few years (and somehow one of Eddie’s equally amazing cocktails always find its way into your hand). Our first night, we spent dinner getting to know each other as we watched the sun set over the ocean. We shared our first rose and thorn and then fell asleep listening to the waves crashing. [SYB NOTE: “Rose and Thorn” is when we share our favorite (and not-so-favorite) moments of the day!]

Over and out! #SYBSayulita

Over and out! #SYBSayulita

I will never forget my first disco ball wake up. Not every alarm clock has good beats and dance moves that put you in a good mood for the rest of the day. That morning we woke up before sunrise for yoga with Eva. I have never done yoga outside, or that early. It was so cool to be watching the sunrise over the ocean while finding my inner yogi. We played flag football, and our mascot for the week—Buddha the dog —joined us for the first time. After yoga, the team headed into town and off to our first surf lesson. Walking through Sayulita is an experience in itself. It is not a tourist town, but a local surfing town filled with good vibes. The houses are all painted bright colors and the streets are decorated with vibrant decorations and flags. At the surf lesson we met our instructors, Kevin and Adrian “Gato.”  They prepped us on the beach for how to lie on the surfboard, and how to pop up, but nothing prepared me for the excitement I felt when I first got up on a wave. It was pure joy to stand up on the board thinking, “Holy Shit! I’m really surfing!” It was such a rush and feeling of accomplishment. In the water I started to feel a sense of community and support among my fellow travelers. We cheered each other on when one of us got up.  We were from such different backgrounds and places but we all shared in the excitement of each other’s success. My favorite memories of surfing were seeing Toussaint and Christine kill it. They were the first ones in the water and last ones to come out, tenaciously chasing the bigger waves like they had been doing it all their lives.

Meditation on the beach with our friend Buddha the pup!

Meditation on the beach with our friend Buddha the pup!

On the third day of the trip we did a hike to Monkey Mountain. We drove through a local cattle farm, getting checked out by the local cows and goats as we passed. As we were about to start out, Gato briefed us on the hike. He told us it’s a hard hike but the views are worth it, and then casually told us about all of the potential wildlife around us, this is the jungle after all. So out of my comfort zone, I went up the mountain and it was totally worth it. The hike was challenging, but when we reached the top the view was stunning. We saw the beautiful pacific coastline and greenery, and killer yoga poses from Mary, Kingsley and Toussaint that should all be on a postcard.

The day started and ended with group meals, and I can say that staying in was way better than eating out. There is no wonder that Eddie has two successful restaurants in NYC, the man can cook! I am not sure how he did it, but when he disappeared into the kitchen, not long after a feast of delicious creations would appear. Sitting around the table, we all shared our roses and thorns of the day. The thorns were pretty hard to find, but most of us had more than one rose to share. That day before dinner, Toussaint and I had gone for a swim. Coming up from the beach I realized that for the first time in a very long time I had stopped worrying about what was next to come, I was just enjoying the moment I was in. This was one of the biggest roses of my trip—I had allowed the rushing of New York to leave me and to simply be present with the people around me.

Epic Salud NYC meals.

Epic Salud NYC meals.

Our last day may have been my favorite. The crew headed out on a booze cruise to an island off the coast where we spent the day snorkeling, paddle boarding and sipping on some pretty delicious cocktails. I finally got to see a dolphin AND got to play on an epic waterslide. I didn’t think that you could have that much fun on a slide as an adult ever; good thing I was wrong. We took a tour of the island and spend a little time exploring the caves. I watched as Cole lead the charge into a very small dark cave, military crawling into the abyss as the rest of us watched debating whether to follow or not. At first my thoughts went to a newfound phobia of small spaces, and then I realized when else would I have a chance to find out what was on the other side? So I YOLO'd it and followed. This was one of the moments that made coming on this trip worthwhile: being faced with a fear and conquering it. The cave was dark, wet and a super small space, but when we reached the beach on the other side I was happy I did it. We finished our mini tour of the island and caves and chilled on the beach to help Toussaint sort his rock collection.

Off to explore the caves!

Off to explore the caves!

My Surf Yoga Beer experience was something that I will carry with me for a long time. I met 11 new amazing people, all open and excited for new adventures. In the last six months the trajectory of my life has completely shifted and I was thrown unexpected challenges. This trip gave me back a part of me that I had lost along the way. I was forced out of my comfort zone, faced fears in more ways than I knew, but most importantly it taught me that I may be a little braver than I give myself credit for and I might be a little stronger than I thought. So thank you Kingsley, Eddie, Mary, Toussaint, Patrick, Cole, Noah, Christine, Heather, Susan and Napalonia for showing me this. As I peel away the last layers of my Sayulitan sunburn, I find myself scrolling the SYB website for the next adventure and wondering where it will take me.


Meaghan McCann is a 30-year-old native New Englander who has lived in NYC for the last six years. After realizing that her Hogwarts acceptance letter must have gotten lost in the mail, she decided to give the school of SYB a try. 

Meaghan and Christine sailing the high seas.

Meaghan and Christine sailing the high seas.

Roatan Retreat Poem | Atwood Schubauer

We came down to Roatan

And now we are through

So if you've missed anything

Here's a quick review


There is actually no surfing

Just boot camps galore

Out on the beach

With sand as a floor


A swimming race early

Was complete in a flash

Sit-ups on the beach

Complete with a rash


A six hour boat ride

In swells and high seas

With Mantas the captain

Sailing with ease


Some have praised animals

And are grateful for pandas

We're all following the lead

Of the mighty man mantas


JP swallows hot dogs

Without an ounce of fear

And faces off to drink

Against a fearless Samir


Mark has us working hard

To shape, lean and tone

And after dark we help Kylie

Track down her phone


Eddie's food is amazing

We're full and we're fed

Some of us tanned

And some of us just red


There have been dancers with fire

And love from monkeys and sloths

Discussions of ninja warriors

Mediations with coughs


Dinner on the boat

Was complete with kebab

After an extensive session

On the papalampa blob


Sunset cruises

With the man we called "Chip"

Made all the better

By his top deck flip


This has gone on too long

That's surely clear

So here's to a week


Callie, Atwood and Ally enjoying a beer while watching people get 'blobbed' into the water...

Callie, Atwood and Ally enjoying a beer while watching people get 'blobbed' into the water...

Atwood Schubauer works in Finance in NYC. She resides in the West Village and is originally from Cold Spring Harbor, NY. She was a member of the women's soccer team at Georgetown, her lucku number is 18, and her favorite food in the whole world is popcorn. She wrote this poem while laying out on a float on Little French Key while in Honduras! 

Cuba Retreat Testimonial | Paulina Grochala

Cuba has been on the top top top of my list for travels for as long as I can remember. There's so many drawing factors - the time travel-y feel as the country is basically frozen in the 1960s, the stunning landscapes, the kind hearted, wonderful locals... and the mojitos, obvs. ;)

me fountain posin' with Sunday Somewhere sunnies (part of our goodie bags)

me fountain posin' with Sunday Somewhere sunnies (part of our goodie bags)

There's an amazing company called Surf Yoga Beer based out of New York, created by Mantas Zvintas, that specializes in fitness retreats around the world - but they're not your usual kind of detox/yoga/massage/juice cleanse kind of retreat (which are great in their own way). SYB focuses on adventuring and truly living to the absolute fullest on these retreats, combining daily fitness with massive amounts of daytime exploring and incredible nights out drinking and dancing. I mean, damn, our days were jam packed and we all slept probably only 4 hours a night but it was the best long weekend in Cuba I could imagine! I've been on the email list for a long time, but my schedule hadn't allowed me to take any retreats with SYB... until I got the email about Cuba for end of March. I booked it the moment I saw it. #noragrets

Traveling to Cuba for us Americans only became possible on direct flights very recently, and I had been considering just going on my own because I had been dying to go for so long. It was such a relief at the time to get the email about the SYB trip to Cuba, because I wasn't completely sold on doing it alone. I love solo travel but sometimes I prefer being with a group/guide - not on a slow, guided tour that drives me a little crazy, but a group adventure and/or a learning experience.

kingsley! our cutest ever mama bear/trip co-leader

kingsley! our cutest ever mama bear/trip co-leader

Going forward though, now that I've been, I would totally go back to Cuba on my own. Seriously the people are some of the loveliest locals ever, and even though there's hardly any wifi capability, it is totally do-able on your own! But going for the first time with such an awesome group of people - and now all new NYC friends - was an unforgettable experience :) So! Lets get to it...

Day 1

I flew with some of the crew on Jetblue out of New York, and we met up with the other half of the group who had flown United once we got to Havana. Some of the people knew each other already, and all of them are regulars in Mantas' soulcycle classes (CAN'T WAIT to take my first class!), but even not knowing anyone and having only met Mantas once before in a yoga class, I felt warm and welcome right away. We all hopped on our bus for the weekend, (so much to say about this bus later) and headed to where we were staying - La Pradera, a 'health center' resort. I called it the wellness compound though, haha. It was just across the road from Castro's compound, so that just made sense. We all quickly got into workout gear to do a quick workout post flight and pre adventuring, jumped in the pool, and then got ready to head into Old Havana.

Havana Club rum as soon as we all get on the bus ;)

Havana Club rum as soon as we all get on the bus ;)

We had the best guide ever with us on this trip, Carl. He and I are both originally from the Tampa/St. Pete area of Florida, which has tons of Cuban influence. He ushered us around all the beautiful, winding streets of Old Havana, where we stopped into La Bodeguita del Medio for OG mojitos (birthplace of the mojito) before heading to dinner. NOW! For food - I mentioned on instagram that I'd heard a lot about there not being good food in Cuba, but I genuinely enjoyed every single meal. This restaurant was absolutely adorable and quaint and lovely and one of the best in Havana, very hard to get into (thank goodness for our reservation for 18 people).

immediate workout upon arriving

immediate workout upon arriving

After finishing up dinner and another few rounds of mojitos, we headed to Fabrica de Arte, another very hard place to get into. The line was winding around the block and I heard people saying they were waiting for over two hours. Again, we had reservations (that we were late for but ya know, Cuban time is different) but if you're heading here as part of your Cuba trip, I absolutely recommend a res or getting there super early to not have to wait quite so long. And Fabrica del Arte is a total must-do in Havana. Its this huge warehouse turned art museum/dance party/live music/everything you could want in a fabulous night out.

ready for our first Havana night with all our new Sunday Somewhere sunnies

ready for our first Havana night with all our new Sunday Somewhere sunnies

Of course, we were all pretty lit when it was time to go home - ie I don't remember this part at all. But you know that bus we had to take us around all weekend? There's a microphone on it for guides to use, and some of the group got ahold of it to sing karaoke of songs from Moulin Rouge. I died when I heard this story the next day, so freaking funny - and the fact that most of us didn't actually remember that, ha, INCLUDING Carl, our guide. The best part - Carl got a phone call from the CUBAN GOVERNMENT (scary phone call to get) to say that there was a "grave problem" (double scary). They told him about the singing on the bus and he literally had no idea what they were talking about, and only pieced it together later the next day when someone brought up the singing and we were all dying over the fact that almost no one remembered. Apparently our bus driver was very straight edge and reported us for singing the whole twenty minute ride home to our compound, hahaha.

A few of us ended the night in the pool, drinking Chardonnay from the snack bar and talking about everything. Immediate connections, immediate friendships made that night. <3  I lost my room key card, of course, and my new friend Casey tried using his key to open my room for me - it freaking worked. Oh, Cuba. So secure.

Day 2

This is my favorite day of the trip. Oh man, what a day and what a night!

tree pose-ing with Mantas Baños de San Juan

tree pose-ing with Mantas Baños de San Juan

We headed out into the countryside for a full day of adventures, my favorite kind - involving lots of swimming! I'm such a water baby, I loooove being in/near/around water. First stop of the day was this gorgeous lake where we got to play for a while, absolutely loved it. Next stop was Las Terrazas, an eco-village and UNESCO site. We visited an artists home, had another splendid meal at the first ever vegetarian restaurant (yay!) in Cuba called El Romero, and had coffee at a lovely little outdoor cafe.

Up next was tons of playtime at Baños del San Juan, a series of little natural pools and waterfalls. So beautiful. The water was pretty cold but it didn't stop me from spending all my time in it.

After our full day of water adventures we headed to a mountaintop for sunset yoga and meditation. God, what a view. What a practice. I don't have many words for this besides being so overwhelmed with gratitude for it that I cried my only little tear of the trip on the ride home, but with a smile. To be surrounded by such natural beauty and such incredible souls, to take those moments to just breathe it in and feel it fully, oh man... I hope everyone in the world can experience such serenity.

living to the fullest out here

living to the fullest out here

pure bliss with my silly friends (and a local)

pure bliss with my silly friends (and a local)

Once we got home and showered and changed into our fanciest outfits of the trip, it was time for the evening events - dinner and drinks and dancing. We had a beautiful dinner at El Litoral, keeping the mojitos flowing. Afterwards Carl took us out to an awesome outdoor club called 1830 on the waterfront with live music, dancing, and a view of an illuminated castle/fort-ish thing across the water. SO FUN, favorite dancing spot of the trip for sure! We even got our curfew extended because we were all having too good of a time to leave, haha.

we took some epic pics thanks to Ken

we took some epic pics thanks to Ken

Day 3

I was successfully dragged out of bed by the boys for morning bootcamp workout (on only a few hours of sleep), which was a great foundation for the rest of the day. After grabbing breakfast with the crew in our compound, we headed out for another full day of beautiful moments and places to discover. First up was exploring the studio and home of muralist Jose Fuster. He's been called the Picasso of Cuba and his work is absolutely beautiful, highly worth a visit if you're going to Cuba.

enjoying the view of the art from above

enjoying the view of the art from above

looking through Hemingway's home

looking through Hemingway's home

Afterwards we got in our (non party but still party) bus and headed out to Ernest Hemingway's home. For me this was an absolutely do not miss spot, and it did not disappoint. His Cuban home is all my home dreams come true; airy, spacious, elegant, simple, with books EVERYwhere. His grounds include his home, a writing tower (fave), his pool area where he and his wife hosted skinny dipping parties, and his big boat is chilling by the pool. Oh, and a little bar area off to the side where we started drinking some cocktails again. The bartender let me bartend with him which was so fun, and there was a great local band playing and singing. We started the dance party, per usual, and the energy and joy was so off the charts even our straight laced bus driver was having a blast.

Last daytime stop was the beach - can't miss the beach on an island! The wind and waves were a little crazy but the water was beautiful. After romping around for a while we all ordered a beach lunch and more drinks - the pina coladas on this beach were actually the very best I've ever tried - and ended up meeting a magician, who performed for us.

We headed home to shower and get ready for our last beautiful Cuban night out. We had taken vintage cars home from 1830 the other night, but now it was time for a sunset cruise in vintage droptops. My car had a bottle of rum that we were sipping on during the drive, and I said "Are you even in Cuba if you're not taking a ride in a vintage car at sunset with a glass of Havana Club in your hand?" We took a quick stop at Hotel Nacional just to see, but I wish we could have had more time there - definitely next time! Next stop was El Floridita for daquiris, a total necessity, before heading to our last dinner. More mojitos and another delicious salad for me, and then to one last (more modern) club for dancing. I was pretty tired at this point so I didn't even drink anymore, but still had fun getting down one last time in Cuba! We ended the night with most of us hanging out at the snack bar as we weren't allowed to get into the pool following the previous night's pool rambunctiousness, ha.

pizza and vintage cars is a heavenly mix

pizza and vintage cars is a heavenly mix

The next day we were all heading back to New York, 18 new incredible friends and innumerable insane memories made. I couldn't be more pleased that I chose to go on this trip with Surf Yoga Beer and that I have all my new friends to workout AND party with at home now! If you're thinking about embarking on an adventure with SYB, don't hesitate. And if you're thinking of taking a trip to Cuba, I hope my anecdotes help with the planning and executing of a trip to such a special country!


Photos: Ken Francis + my iphone and canon


Ski Yoga Beer Experience | Craig Jarvis



Alarm goes off in the AM, the time has come to begin our journey. The smell of coffee fills the air as travel mugs are filled and breakfast is prepared. The gear is all accounted for. As we move the contents to the car for a long drive through the Rocky Mountains, we can’t help shouting out a loud “YEEEEEEEWW”. The Stoke is strong with us today. We are ready for our first SYB.

Boards, Bindings, Bags, Boots, Goggles, Helmets, Gloves, and various other trinkets populate the bags and the back of the XTERRA as we make the 4 -hour drive from Denver to Crested Butte. Clay’s phone gives off a loud chime as we roll into the valley. SYB crew is already posting pictures of the trip so far. We are beyond stoked to have joined in this retreat of epic proportions.

For many of us, the daily grind will eventually take its toll on the mind and body. Sending emails, making phone calls, and too many endless meetings can give anyone a case of cabin fever. That’s how I ended up in the heart of the Rocky Mountains with all these amazing humans. I think back on the moments of the past few months when I felt like if I had to put together one more design presentation or sales forecast my head would explode. Now, the only things on my mind are shredding some pow and immersing myself in this new culture and experience they’re all calling, S.Y.B. Obviously in this case we are talking about a variation of the original. SKI, Yoga, Beer in place of the original Surf. Yoga. Beer.

Anyway, In travelling to Crested Butte, I discovered that the SYB mindset and community is a contagious whirling tornado of positivity and magic. You will discover, You will connect, You will learn. It’s amazing how quickly an experience like this can take complete strangers, and magically turn them into family in only a matter of days. If you are having any bashfulness about a SYB trip, throw that out the window and dive headfirst into the bliss.


One of my first discoveries of the SYB community, was that it seemed almost every person attending was from a different part of the country. There were people from New York, Baltimore, Fort Collins, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. It was amazing how the leaders were so committed to the SYB vibes. No amount of space or land could keep these people away from each other or prevent the experiences they were about to have, from coming to fruition. It was the discovery of their commitment to each other that inspired me to embrace the SYB culture to the fullest. Eddie’s meals were amazing and cocktails, legendary! Family style with more than enough to go around, everyone was guaranteed to get their fill of the deliciousness. Erin’s Yoga teachings were something I really enjoyed. I would consider myself in the beginner category in yoga practice, but her knowledge and guidance made me feel right at home. Nothing too strenuous, but the sequences definitely activated the full body. From morning-meditation, to 108 sun salutations, to post snowboarding yoga session Erin had our backs!


Whether you grew up in the mountains or on the beaches. It is healthy to take the time to appreciate the beauty of the nature around us. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of a city can get us wound up so tight that we forget how much beauty is around us. In this case, the Rocky Mountains. A favorite moment appreciating nature was during my final evening on the trip. Enjoying a tasty cocktail, compliments of Eddie, I was chatting in the jacuzzi with Kingsley when a fox creeped up from underneath the deck and stopped on a snow bank, not even 10 feet away. We both noticed, then the Fox and I played what felt like a 5-minute staring contest. Realistically it was probably about 30 seconds, but even in that short timeframe we felt a connection with the creature. It was refreshing to reconnect with nature in a way that a city could never provide.


Going on an adventure with complete strangers will coax someone to step outside of their comfort zone. Whether trying skiing for the first time since childhood or throwing backflips and 360’s off a jump Carl and Connor built with nothing but their hands, gear, and wits. There was always a sense of comradery amongst all of the group. You truly learn something new from everyone in attendance. Everyone connects and the whole crew is on the same page. As the days came and went I felt myself becoming closer and closer to these people and learning so much about everyone’s perspectives. The real magic of S.Y.B. is when the “down time” turns into BONDING TIME. S’mores with cave man dances by the fire pit and playing in the freshly fallen snow in the early hours of the morning were some of the most joyful moments of the trip. The final night I was there, we celebrated Erin’s birthday with a surprise post-dinner song and cake. Afterward, then commenced an awards ceremony where everyone was recognized for their various “Stoke Levels” and shared some fun experiences about the trip from each person’s vantage point. One final cherry to top off the entire trip. There’s no vibes, like the S.Y.B. vibes.


Deep in the heart of the Rocky Mountains I reconnected with some old friends, made several new ones, had a bonding moment with some of the local wildlife, and temporarily quenched my thirst for adventure. Mission accomplished. After having this experience, I have a new appreciation for taking the time to play in between the tough bouts of work. Work Hard. Play Hard. S.Y.B. for life. Until next time…


5 Things Honduras Offers That Will Make Your Travel Friends Mad-Jealous


ROATAN, HONDURAS (The Explorer’s Playground)


If you’re like me, a mention of Roatan conjures mental images of a fictional long-lost Byzantine Empire city, more than an actual modern paradise.


Luckily for us all however, this small exotic island is as real as can be, located in the Caribbean about 40 miles off the coast of Honduras, and is surrounded by the second largest coral reef in the world. Most activities on the island are based around their turquoise blue waters and expansive sea life, so while getting full-blown Nat Geo, what else is there to the Roatan Lifestyle? Well, a lot actually, and all guaranteed to make you an Instagram star both rn and on #FBF!


At Daniel Johnson’s Monkey & Sloth Hangout, all of your deepest sloth hugging dreams will come true. This animal sanctuary is located in French Cay and has several animals to interact with, including sloths, capuchin monkeys, scarlet macaws, and parrots!

Yep SYB Roatan will visit this sanctuary...

Yep SYB Roatan will visit this sanctuary...


We’ve all seen the swim-up bars that many resort pools provide, but this is the swim-up bar to end them all. Located at Little French Key, a private island resort, you’ll have the ability to swim in the pristine Caribbean waters, and then paddle up to refresh your cocktail when thirsty. The resort also features white sand beaches, restaurants, and an air of “blissful calmness” that can only be described as 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎

Yep SYB Roatan is going here... 

Yep SYB Roatan is going here... 


Roatan is known for their reefs, so you pretty much must simply go and explore! West Bay is the best location on the island for snorkeling, and some of the features include the infamous coral reefs, turtles, exotic fish, and rays. Last one in the water is a rotten egg!

Yep SYB Roatan will try this off our own private dock...

Yep SYB Roatan will try this off our own private dock...


Everyone loves a nice peck on the cheek from a loved one or friend, but you know what’s even better than that? A peck with a friggin’ porpoise, that’s what (you see what we did there)! The island offers several locations where you can snorkel and swim with these friendly creatures, so brush your teeth and pucker up!

SYB Roatan kissing booth...

SYB Roatan kissing booth...

5. SYB Sunset Catamaran Cruise

This one is more about the people that you are with that make it special, but of course it also helps that you're in paradise. Warm weather, healing sun rays, goofy good vibes, heart warming feelings, and memories to last for the rest of your life. 

SYB always makes Catamaran cruises epic...

SYB always makes Catamaran cruises epic...

25 Powerful Quotes On Failure That Will Inspire You to Succeed

Real talk: nobody’s perfect. We stumble. We fall. We make mistakes. It’s easy to beat ourselves up when we fail, but the biggest mistake of all is to not get back up—or worse, let our fear of failure keep us from trying something to begin with.

Oftentimes, life’s greatest successes happen just a few steps beyond our perceived defeats. (I mean, where would we be today if Thomas Edison hadn’t attempted to create a light bulb 10,000 times before figuring it out?) The key is in recognizing that challenges offer the best opportunities for growth, and that failure isn’t fatal—it’s feedback. Learn from it. Embrace it. Use it as motivation to guide you to your best self.

Here are 25 of our favorite quotes on failure—that will inspire you to succeed.


  1. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” — Robert F. Kennedy

  2. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan

  3. “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” — Samuel Beckett

  4. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” — Maya Angelou

  5. “If you're not failing 50% of the time, you're not setting big enough goals. So fall down. Fall down hard. Then stand right back up and show yourself exactly what you’re capable of.” — Kingsley Delacato

  6. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill

  7. “Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” — Coco Chanel

  8. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas Edison

  9. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” — Paulo Coelho

  10. “Get comfortable with failure. We should all fail. I look forward to the adrenaline rush of failing. Failure is where growth begins.” — Mantas Zvinas

  11. “I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” — Herbert Bayard Swoope

  12. “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” — Truman Capote

  13. “Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it.” — Salvador Dali

  14. “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” — Johnny Cash

  15. “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill

  16. “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

  17. “If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” — H.G. Wells

  18. “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” — Henry Ford

  19. “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” — Napoelon Hill

  20. “What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” — John Green

  21. “It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” — Bill Gates

  22. “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure.” — Abraham Lincoln

  23. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” — J.K. Rowling

  24. “Failure is enriching. It’s also important to accept that you’ll make mistakes—it’s how you build your expertise. The trick is to learn a positive lesson from all of life’s negative moments.” — Alain Ducasse

  25. “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” — Dale Carnegie

She's the beauty in the middle.

She's the beauty in the middle.

A beach bum at heart, Kirsten is a writer and editor living, working and playing in NYC. You can find her on Instagram @kirstenjoan.

Cuba is Calling


Going on vacation…in Cuba?!?!

While this notion once was seemingly impossible to consider—because that was the case until a short while ago—it’s now easier than ever to plan a tropical retreat to this mystical island just miles south of Key West. Made possible by the Obama administration in 2016, the trade embargo between Cuba and the U.S. was “eased up” allowing Americans to procure goods and to visit, now making it a highly sought after travel destination for Americans. But is the attraction simply because we weren’t allowed to step on the soil before? Or, perhaps, it’s because it offers an experience so unique, we didn’t even know what we were missing!

Either way it’s perceived, adventure awaits us all. 

So while trade is becoming more normalized to get some goods more easily in the states, one of the most unique aspects of personally setting foot in the country is that the nearly 50 years of isolation has made Cuba feel more like a time machine than a tropical island. In fact, it’s the largest and least commercialized island in the Caribbean. This has only added to Cuba’s charm, described by many that it feels like a living museum with time seeming to stop the moment you touch the ground. Nearly all of the buildings were built prior to 1958 and most of the cars on the streets are models from the 1950s, which CNN captured the essence beautifully as part of a Chanel fashion show a few seasons back (2016). This is because Fidel Castro banned car imports, leaving the locals with the task of coming up with different ways to preserve the vehicles they had at the time. When you walk around, you are consumed by an era most of us never experienced—and suddenly can’t get enough.

Unlike America, there is a shockingly refreshing lack of consumerism throughout the island. There are no chain businesses at all—except those for the military personnel located at Guantanamo Bay—so all of the shops and restaurants one may encounter are eclectic and family owned. So instead of the streets being lined with posters and billboards advertising the latest item on the McDonald’s dollar menu, they’re filled with beautiful murals and eclectic tile designs. And music. Tons and tons of vibrant music fills the air!

To that degree, there is no one type of Cuban music, as the sound has been influenced by a myriad of different regions across the globe. From Africa to Europe, and you can walk into almost any bar across the island and hear salsa, rumba, jazz, merengue—or a mixture of them all. One of the most famous and original acts to capture the essence of the Cuban sound is The Buena Vista Social Club, which for generations spread its intoxicatingly groovy sounds internationally, and thus has influenced bands across all genres, including Major Lazer who most recently became one of the first contemporary artists to perform a free concert in 2016 for more than 400,000 Cubans in Havana’s infamous Tribuna Antiimperialista – something never before possible. 

And the music isn’t just a nighttime passion either, as the locals like to sit outside along the streets and play instruments, sing and dance pretty much daily. From a young age, the importance of music is engrained in their culture; Cuban students receive a large amount of musical education, approximately 3,600 hours of lessons throughout their 12 years of schooling. I mean, how can you not get your cha-cha on with that kind of training?!

All things considered, it’s easy to see how Cuba might have seemed like a world of its own, an unattainable destination. Yet now, Americans can finally go and appreciate this culture that was once oh-so-strictly off limits, never before a possibility, so now is the time to visit and experience everything this mysterious place has preserved for centuries. Oh, did I mention that there are no lethal animals or plants on the entire island? Consider it an added bonus, but nonetheless…adventure awaits!

JOIN US TO CUBA MARCH 23-26, 2017.

Knockout Pick-Up Lines

Don’t have a Valentine yet? Don’t sweat it! We pulled together our top one-liners to use on that babe you’ve been eyeing across the gym. While the flowers and chocolates aren’t guaranteed, the fun is. Go get ’em, tiger. You’re welcome.



  1. Hey baby, HIIT me up after class.

  2. Do you need a Band-Aid? Because you’re cut.

  3. Have you been to Shadowbox? Because you’re one hell of a knockout.

  4. Want to share a sweat towel?

  5. Boyfriend bike?! #rideordie

  6. Let us go on the treadmill for a long romantic walk.

  7. Let’s race. Loser plans our first date.

  8. I’d do tread 12.5 to get to you. #Barrys

  9. Let's do lunge. 

  10. Mantas' SoulCycle class isn't the only thing getting my heart rate up. 

  11. Are you looking for a thirst trap because I’ve got a six-pack right here.

  12. Have you been to MNDFL? Because you've been on my mind all day.

  13. Nice arms. Are you biceptual?

  14. There's nothing humble about my warrior. 

  15. Should we try Fhitting together? 

  16. I know a fun activity that burns 500 calories in 45min...  

  17. I’m gonna have my whey with you tonight!

  18. Hey I just met you and this is crazy. But tomorrow's chest day. So spot me maybe.

  19. I'm gonna get you like Akin's class at noon on Monday. 

  20. Am I too flexy for my shirt?

  21. Do you believe in love at 1st squat?

  22. Mile High [whisper: Run] Club?

  23. You should probably leave. You’re making the other guys look bad.

  24. Me without you is like Y7 without hip-hop. 

  25. My trainer said I have to come over and talk to you for five minutes as part of my routine.

  26. Is that a Fitbit in your pocket or are you just excited to walk over to me?

Dominical Retreat Testimonial | Kirsten Robinson

It’s a Friday in January at 5:30pm—and instead of sitting at my desk in Manhattan, wrapping up work—I’m on a boat. A pretty big sailboat, off the Western coast of Costa Rica, surrounded by 18 laughing people I didn’t know five days earlier, but who are now like family. We’re watching dolphins jumping out of the water against the backdrop of one of the most epic sunsets I’ve ever seen—pinks and oranges that painters can only dream of. I’m also pink—the sun here’s no joke. And I can’t remember the last time I brushed my hair—nor do I care. Biting into a giant shrimp, I overhear:

Is this real life? I just can’t believe that I’m here right now, doing all of this. It’s surreal!”

Yes, this is real life—and life is good. It’s an amazing start to 2017.


In 2016, parts of life weren’t so good, and that’s how I ended up on this boat. Have you ever had days where you wake up thinking, “How did I get here? This was not how things were supposed to turn out.” Or, moments where you look in the mirror and really don’t like what you see? Felt totally lost? Whether you know why you’re unhappy, or just feel stagnant, you recognize that you need change.   


In traveling to Dominical, I discovered there’s no better way to get started than by diving headfirst into an unknown adventure. You not only learn a lot about yourself—you learn a lot about the people jumping in next to you. In my case, they were my fellow Surf Yoga Beer adventurers. While I can’t tell you how to spend your PTO days, I can tell you that if it’s by going on a trip with SYB, it’ll be the best decision you’ve made in a long time.


Here’s why, featuring a magical place called Dominical, Costa Rica:


You Will Face a Fear (and Tell It to Buzz Off)

Once upon a time, 4-year-old me jumped into a pool with swimmies on her ankles and not on her arms. Cue water inversion, and a lifelong fear of drowning. The idea of learning to surf was terrifying, but in the spirit of testing myself, I had to try. And I’m still here. To my surprise, I even enjoyed myself. It helped to have a very legit local surfer named Eben on board (literally—he was pushing us). To be surrounded by the most beautiful, remote beaches. And with a group of fellow shark-bait cheering me on.

You Will Never Again Underestimate the Power of Teamwork

“Isolation” is a term that should be kept to exercise moves. It’s incredible what you can accomplish with the right support, partnerships and motivation—including catching that wave, or getting smashed by it and paddling out again; finishing that last set of reps when your arms are shaking; crawling through a barbed wire fence on your hike to a waterfall. Teammates provide the mental net you need when taking a leap. 

You Will Appreciate Your Body (for the Right Reasons)

Going on a “fitness adventure” led by someone with an 8-pack may seem counterintuitive to embracing strength over aesthetics, but Mantas is the best—seek mentorship from those who already embody where and what you want to be. Morning Bootcamp sessions that you’d cop out of on your own become invigorating and impossible to quit when you have the power of positivity jumping around you, encouraging you to push, push (what does he put in his coffee, anyway?). Scale a mountain? Do sprints up and down a driveway so steep, it should be illegal? Okay! With muscles screaming, I had more admiration for what my body could do for me than what I thought it was supposed to look like. Which leads me to…

You Will Realize No One Cares (in the Best Way)

What’s makeup? What’s a hairbrush? What’s soap? Oh, you have two left feet and are really bad at this salsa dancing lesson? No worries. The best part about bonding with complete strangers is the lack of preconceived notions. You don’t have to be what you’re expected to be. You can be who you are. No judgements. All kindness. It’s refreshing.

You Will Rediscover the Beauty Around You

Enormous, tropical trees stretching a canopy of green over your head. Verdant, rolling mountainsides. Hummingbirds flitting from flower to flower. Sand in your sheets, stuck to your toes. Sunshine turning ocean water to salt on your skin. Cold rain in a warm pool. The sound of cicadas lulling you to sleep at night. The taste of locally sourced, exquisitely cooked food. The easy smile of someone so relaxed, they can’t keep it from spreading across their face. A hug from a person you just met, but who already feels at home in your heart.

You Will Laugh (and Laugh, and Laugh)

Whoever said laughter isn’t contagious never tried multiplying 19 different personalities x 1 house x 6 days. Now add in a sprinkling of Eddie’s kickass cocktails, embarrassing stories, girls on deflating pool ducks, geographically-challenged boys, non-English speaking dancing teachers, 6am disco ball wakeups…I could go on. In a situation of unknowns, laughter was the constant sound—all day, every day.

(P.s. If you enjoy a kickass cocktail and healthy food, go to Salud. Vamos!)     

You Will Also Cry

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of Manhattan, suppressing feelings for another time. I.e., an evening in Costa Rica when you end up bawling after Ali, your resident yoga goddess, guides you through a meditation that would knock you flat with feels if you weren’t already laying on the ground. I was embarrassed by my uncontrollable tears until my roommate, Molly, walked around the corner also sniffling—and then we sat in silence with our arms hooked, soaking in each other’s company.

You Will Let Go

After the 2016 breakup that started me down this path, I asked a lot of people, “Let go? But how do you do it? How do you know?” No response was satisfactory. When I didn’t feel different, I felt defeated. I didn’t know I had let go until I sat down to write this post. I no longer felt the anger and sadness that had enveloped me for months. I still worry about the future—who doesn’t?—but there is more excitement where fear used to be. How? Maybe because there isn’t room. Open yourself up—to new adventures, new people, new opportunities. Open your heart up past what feels reasonable or comfortable, and you will be amazed by what comes rushing in to fill it: joy, hope, positive energy, laughter, growth, love. The things that have the power to transform you for the better are ultimately what drives the bad things out. Let them in, so you can let go.

You Will Fall in Love

In Dominical, I tested my limits, and surpassed them. I laughed and cried and judged myself for neither. I tried new things. I filled my camera roll with photos that will never compare to the real thing. I fell in love with 18 other people, and with a place. And, I fell back in love with myself.

A beach bum at heart, Kirsten is a writer and editor living and working in NYC. Check out her Instagram




3 Reasons You Might Not Do A Fitness Retreat - And Why You Should Anyway | Catrina Reeder

1. Travel is expensive

The scariest things about travel are all of the details that you have to think about: accommodations, sight-seeing, excursions, food & drink, and all of the planning involved before you get there. All of these things always seem to involve one major thing: money, dinero, pesos, whatever you want to call it. A fitness adventure and yoga retreat is the perfect way to take the worrying out and get the biggest bang for your buck! First of all, going on a group retreat gives you the benefit of a luxury vacation with the benefit of a group rate. This whole retreat is priced just a little higher than a week hotel stay in Vegas (and that’s just the room by the way), but even better because we’re in paradise and have the whole place to ourselves! Secondly, all of the planning is done for you AND with room to change it up as you go. Wanna relax? You can do that. Wanna workout & sweat? Check, check. Lastly, we take some of the brain work out of food planning with breakfast and smoothies every morning, plus 3 nights of dinner and cocktails, care of owner and restauranteur, Eddie from Salud. All you have to do is plan snacks along the way.  


2. I have to take time off work or away from family

We’re planning this trip MONTHS in advance, giving you plenty of time to plan out your work and/or family schedule. Plus, we’re gone for just 5 days and traveling back on a weekend, so you have extra time to regroup (and detox?!) right before your work week. When you take time to unplug, reset, and enjoy some well-deserved time off, you’re able to come back with an even better mindset when you return and definitely with more energy!


3. I’ve never traveled outside of the US or with strangers before

Consider this one of the best things you’re checking off your bucket list. We’re traveling with one of the pros in fitness adventures, Mantas! Sayulita is one of the best locations for a first-time traveler because your plane ride is only a few hours to Puerto Vallarta, so no jet lag! Our accommodation is about a 5 minute walk from the town center in North Sayulita, so we’ll have the best of both worlds: a tranquil beach with town close by to explore the local sights. We have planned yoga classes that will be both energizing and relaxing, bootcamps if you want to burn off the extra margaritas, and surf lessons if you want to try it out – we’re beginners, too! The best part: the first few hours we start as strangers, then it turns into a trip to remember for a lifetime with some of the best people you will ever meet!

Catrina Reeder is a mega yoga teacher in Dallas. She's lived it, learned it, and is ready to teach it on the SYB Adventure to Sayulita, Mexico May 1- 6, 2017.