Sky Ting Yoga

As promised guys, I have been trying lots of new studios so I can give you guys the inside scoop and I can begin to catch up on all the workout action in New York City. As you know, while I was living in Switzerland there were only two studios I visited, one was a seasonal spin studio and the other was my favorite yoga studio.

It’s so fun to be back in New York City and taking advantage of the boutique fitness scene. While it can be very expensive, I’m trying many of these studios through ClassPass or leveraging their new student specials!

It seems like every few weeks a new yoga studio opens in New York City.  Often it’s hard to understand what sets each apart from the other. On Yelp there are over 1,000 studios in the area and on ClassPass and FitReserve alone, there are over 100 studios in New York City!

But, when Well+Good, one of my favorite outlet’s for all things health and wellness, raved about Sky Ting Yoga, I knew I had to check it out!IMG_2357

Located on the edge of Chinatown, Sky Ting isn’t exactly easy to reach for most people. But, as soon as you walk through the studio, you are transported to a peaceful world filled with light, mellow music, friendly staff and an incredible yoga space. The staff was friendlier than most studios, making me feel at home and welcome even when I arrived sweaty and out of breath. Unlike many studios, Sky Ting includes mats and towels, so students don’t have to worry about lugging theirs or shelling out extra cash to rent.

Apart from the space and the friendly space, the primary thing that sets Sky Ting apart from the rest is the yoga space. After checking in you head back outside and ascend an outdoor staircase to the fifth floor studio.

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Skylights and large windows allow light to flow through and illuminate the bright white walls and wood floor. The only thing that fills the space other than light is a tall giraffe, which provides levity to any yoga class.

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The owners Krissy Jones and Chloe Kernaghan who both previously taught at Yoga Vida, teach a unique yoga style known as Katonah yoga. The method brings together traditional hatha yoga, pranayama breathing techniques and strong vinyasa sequences. This mix allowed me to go from sweating and breathless to calm within just moments when I took Chloe’s class last week. Her yoga style and epic playlist quickly helped me realize why after only two weeks, the yoga studio is filling the Monday night class to capacity.

Jones

(Image source)

The only thing I must point out, is that even though I enjoyed the class and left feeling less stressed and standing a bit taller, is that I didn’t feel that I fit in. This sounds silly as New York City is filled with all types of yogis. But, in this Monday evening class, I felt as if I was at a modeling or actress audition. The majority of women in the class were taller, slimmer and tanner than me while having a California cool persona. Don’t get me wrong, that won’t keep me from going back to Sky Ting but it’s something I do feel I should point out in case that isn’t your crowd or style.

Their schedule includes both 60 and 90 minute classes at just about any hour you could want! They have six classes Monday through Friday and three classes on Saturday and Sunday. If you’re in town on a weekend, I’ve heard that their Saturday and Sunday duo instructor classes with the founders, Krissy and Chloe, are wonderful!

Each class costs $20 though there are packages which reduce it down to $16. Make sure to take advantage of their new student special –  two weeks of unlimited classes for just $20!

Want to read more? Check out what Elle, Well + Good and Vogue had to say about Sky Ting!

Cost: $20 though packages can reduce prices to $16  Address: 55 Chrystie Street (at Canal Street) 4th Floor, New York City  What to wear: Your favorite yoga gear and a bottle of water will do just fine but don’t worry about lugging mats as they provide them!

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Y7 Yoga Studio

After a long flight I often try to book time at a local yoga studio to unwind the knots that 15 hours of traveling imposes on my neck and shoulders. While I have a few favorite New York City studios, I knew that this time I wanted to try Y7 Yoga.

Since their Flatiron location opened in April, I’ve read countless positive, rave reviews on the studio and it’s unique vibe. Friday morning Theodora and I flowed through the 60 minutes of poses, loosening the stress of our weeks.

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As I climbed the stairs of their Flatiron location, I knew I was in for a refreshing experiences.

Y7 Yoga Stairs

Their stairs greet each participant with inspirational Drake lyrics reminding them that they’ve made progress just by choosing to walk up the stairs towards an hour long yoga practice.    IMG_0815

Once inside I was greeted by a fresh, bright space including a check-in desk, storage cubicles, yoga mats, towels, a seating area as well as two bathrooms. The bathrooms feature an adorable “I woke up like this” area which allows yogis to go from sweaty to office-ready with dry shampoo, deodorant, blow dryers and large mirrors. While I always hope for a shower, this is a great backup option.

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There are four key things that separate Y7 from other yoga studios I’ve frequented in NYC – heat, light and music.

  • HeatEach class is practiced in a studio which is warmed by infrared heat. Infrared heat is different from space heaters or radiators because it heats objects versus just heating the air. According to Y7 co-founder, the benefits include increased calorie burn, improved skin tone, lower cortisol levels and more. Now while there isn’t much to support these claims, I will say that the heat was warm and calming versus the stifling and stinky heat experienced in many hot yoga classes.  Evidently Y7 is also the first studio in New York to offer full-spectrum infrared heating. I recommend bringing an extra towel, or two, to make sure you don’t slip in your sweat. The studio also rents YogiToes towels for $2.
  • Light, or lack of light – Class is practiced in a dark studio, only lit with small candles. Initially I was worried that this would negatively affect my practice; now allowing me to watch the instructor. I quickly realized that this had the completely opposite affect. Instead of spending class being intimidated by other yogis or trying to push beyond my limits, I found myself focusing inward and calmed by the candle light. For this reason and do to the intensity of the class, I would not recommend it for beginners who may get lost with only verbal cues.
  • Music – This studio bucks the norm by blasting hip hop music throughout the class versus the traditional yoga chants. Who knew that one could get so relaxed while listening to JayZ, Sam Smith, Notorious B.I.G but our 60 minute flowed perfectly in time to the beat of each song.
  • Free Flow – After going through each flow sequence three to four times as a group, the instructor gave us a few minutes or one song of free flow. During two of the free flows I did the yoga sequence on my own, but the third one I took my warm muscles through inversion practice. I loved that the instructor was on hand to help anyone who was working on inversions, holding legs or spotting us into position.

Would I go again? Heck yes! In fact, I wish I could go to this week’s WeFlowHard Hip Hop Vinyasa – Nicki Minaj vs Lil Wayne!

Cost: You can book individual sessions at $22 per single class or buy a package which can reduce rates down to $16. You can also book a spot at any of their locations using ClassPass.

Address: I went to the Flatiron location, located at 25 West 23rd Street, 4th floor. However, there are 3 locations, Williamsburg, SoHo & Flatiron.

What to wear: Be prepared to sweat! Most people wore tank tops, sports bras and shorts or light crop pants.

Have you practiced yoga in the dark before?

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NYC: Favorite Manhattan Eats

For people visiting and even living in New York City the restaurant scene can be intimidating as hell. There are restaurants around every single corner boasting different ratings and rankings some of which one has never heard of before, especially if you’re visiting from another country. Even though Bo and I called New York City home for five years, we weren’t even able to conquer NY Magazine’s annual best of restaurant list each year.

However, during our five years in the city we did fall in love with a few restaurants which became our go-to spots when friends or family were in town. So now, when we’re back in the city, we can be found enjoying one of these spots. This list is for anyone in the city looking to take in some of the awesome food culture NYC has to offer – enjoy the burgers, cupcakes, and brunches!

In no particular order, here are a few of our favorite spots which are perfect for just about any occasion, unless otherwise noted. Depending on the time of year, always ask if you can enjoy outdoor seating to enjoy more people watching and scenery.

The Meatball Shop –  My favorite dish is their Everything in the Kitchen Sink with the family jewels added on the side!

Agave – Delicious margaritas, killer veggie fajitas, and some of our favorite guacamole.

Big Gay Ice Cream -  American Globs for the win. 

La Esquina – Drool worthy Mexican street corn and fish tacos.

New Wonjo – Delicious Korean BBQ

Prune – Chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s James Beard award winning casual, delicious restaurant in the West Village.

Gramercy Tavern – One of the best dining experiences in the city with casual, beautiful environment and amazing service.

Shake Shack – Head to the Madison Square Park location for a Shack Burger, fries and shake! 

Aqua Grill – I can’t go their without ordering their seafood plateau.

Pure Food and Wine – Their Hen of the Woods tacos, tamales, Philly rolls, and classic sundae are no miss menu items!

15 East – Incredible but expensive sushi.

Bubby’s – They offer something for every person’s brunch taste but their Bloody Mary helped put them on the map.

Maialino – Danny Meyer’s trattoria located in Gramercy Park Hotel has creative house, made pastas on their dinner menu but the brunch menu is actually our favorite.

Murray’s Bagels – Everyone in NYC has their favorite bagel place but this is ours. After a long run there is nothing better than a toasted everything bagel with chive cream cheese!

Two Little Red Hens – An off the beaten path bakery located in Yorkville (86th Street) their cupcakes and whoopie pies answered all my cravings.

Luke’s Lobster – A lobster shack in the heart of Manhattan, it’s worth paying $20 for the lobster roll, chips, beer and a pickle.

Minetta Tavern – The burger.

Momofuku – If you can’t get into the original,  Ssam Bar and Milk Bar are both experiences of their own. How can you beat the Milk Bar compost cookies, crack pie, birthday cake truffles and cereal milk ice cream?

ABC Kitchen – Located in the gorgeous and lust worthy ABC Carpet, their roasted kabocha squash toast and fried organic chicken are two of my favorite menu items.

The Spotted Pig – Once again, this restaurant is known to have one of NYC’s best burgers but it is a great place to spot celebs or enjoy a drink after work.

Casa Mono – Spanish tapas restaurant located in Gramercy whose menu reminds me of my study abroad days in Cadiz, Spain.

Your Turn: Tell me, what did I miss?

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Run, Work, Greens & Repeat

Happy Tuesday!

I hope you all had a good day. Instead of taking this week as vacation, I am working from my old office until Friday when we head up to Saratoga Springs for Melissa and Frank’s wedding weekend.

Before heading to the office I headed out to the streets for my first run since the marathon. I headed up Third Avenue and ran 3 miles at a relaxed pace while zoning out. I definitely don’t miss the smell of city garbage piled up on the sidewalks or crowded sidewalks as even at 6am I was dodging in and out of people and trash piles. My legs were a little tight, especially my right hamstring, but otherwise the run felt easy.

IMG_3252_thumb.jpgIt felt so surreal taking the 6 train and my old commute to work this morning. I’m so thankful for this experience to live abroad but I do miss New York City.

I left the office for a quick lunch around 1pm, eager to try Organic Avenue’s new fall menu items. I follow them on social media and immediately added their roasted squash and beet salad to my list of things to try this week. It exceeded my expectations! Per the suggestion of the staff, I drizzled the dressing on my salad as soon as I returned to the office but let it marinate for 10-15 minutes before eating. While the salad is definitely an expensive lunch option, it was a nutritious and filling treat.

IMG_3258Roasted Squash & Beet Salad

Golden beets, roasted shallots, and aromatic fennel come together to create a perfect flavor combination. Hearty kabocha squash, thought to be a good source of beta-carotene, rounds out this salad that captures the essence of the cooler months.

Calories 260    Sat Fat 2.5g    Sugars 10g

After work I met Jen for another run. Our schedules are a bit different this week and the only time we could manage to meet up was this evening. Since she is a busy mom who fits running and training in between her busy family and work life, I thought that running her plan’s easy 4 miles with her was a perfect way to catch up. It also gave us a chance to enjoy some evening views along the Hudson River and perfect 55 degree weather.

IMG_3263IMG_3261We talked non-stop which made the miles fly! We had so much to catch up on including her marathon training, Staten Island Half Marathon and upcoming travel. I can’t believe that it’s almost been a year since we met! While a great deal has changed over the past year, she is still just as strong and inspiring as ever before. Whether she realized it or not, she gave me some great words of advice today during our run and I’m so thankful for this one on one time we had together.

After the run I spent the next 90 minutes on the massage table at 21st Street Equinox. I hadn’t booked any type of post marathon massage and after today’s 7 miles I knew that my legs would appreciate it and it would help with recovery. Luckily Carlos Blain had a last minute opening. This man worked magic on my legs and back by using a combination of massage therapy, physical therapy stretches and professional strength icy hot. He is a certified physical therapist by training but as his certification from Argentina didn’t transfer when he moved, he is practicing massage therapy in NYC.

IMG_3270Last but not least, I finally tried Juice Press! After hearing about their delicious juices and smoothies from Gia and Theodora this was another item on my list this week. A Turmeric Sports Tonic and The Love of Kale Salad was the perfect dinner tonight while catching up on this week’s Homeland. The turmeric has healing effects while also being a natural immune booster, perfect for my body post marathon. The manager suggested that this would help with my muscle repair and hydration after the deep tissue massage as well. The salad consisted of kale, arugula, tomatoes, raisins, carrots, and quinoa along with a garlic and tahini dressing which also included a hint of mint. Delicious! Why did this open just 3 blocks from our old apartment AFTER we moved?

Overall, today was a pretty perfect day. I hope I continue to have opportunities that bring me back to New York City a few times a year as it’s nice to reconnect with good friends and colleagues while also trying some new restaurants and workouts.

Are you a kale fan? If so, how do you prepare it at home? I need some recipe suggestions so I can keep the love alive in Geneva!

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