Surf & Yoga at Rockaway Beach

IMG_3317Happy Monday guys!

Even though I’m already in need of a second cup of coffee, I can’t stop smiling when I think about Saturday’s Surf & Yoga workshop at Rockaway Beach.  The four-hour workshop was an opportunity for me to try surfing, something that has always been far out of my comfort zone while enjoying time at the beach. As you guys know,  the beach and spending time on the water brings be a level of peace I can’t find anywhere else.

When we heard about Tangerine Hot Power Yoga’s Surf & Yoga workshop at Rockaway Beach, Katie, Elizabeth and I immediately signed up together, knowing we’d feel more comfortable and enjoy the day more with friends. We met at 8 AM to drive from Brooklyn, giving us plenty of time to find parking and relax on the boardwalk before the event started. The overcast and cool weather was a big change from the heat and humidity we experienced earlier last week but we still enjoyed being at the beach. In fact, the overcast weather made practicing yoga and surfing far easier as we weren’t looking into the sun nor fighting the crowds. Also, regardless the weather, any opportunity to spend a day at the beach is a gift.


We started the day with a 75-minute yoga class on the boardwalk. Gretchen, who led the class, did a wonderful job of ensuring we could hear her over the sound of the wind and crashing waves. Due to the smaller class size, she was able to provide adjustments throughout class as she woke up our bodies with a series of standing and seated poses which engaged our cores and legs. These are the body parts she wanted to ensure were limber and warm before our surfing lesson.


Following yoga, our 11-person group sipped Rawpothecary juices and spent a few minutes talking and writing about the way we work through change in our lives.  I loved this Lemon Oasis juice so much that I bought a few more this weekend at the grocery store. They have no added sugars and are the perfect size! They are different than other juices as Rawpothecary focuses on cold-pressed mixology, fiber-rich blends and backed by science!

Juice during Yoga+Surf workshop

We walked down the beach towards the Locals Surf School tents to sign-in and get equipped with wet suits.



Since the water was 75 degrees they recommended half suits for most of us versus full wetsuits. A few minutes later our group found ourselves standing behind our surf board and starting the land portion of the class. The 3-1 instructor to student ratio allowed the instructors to work with us on proper technique and form before we headed into the water.  They took us through the parts of the surfboard, safety tips, paddling efficiency and finally popping up. After about 20 minutes of land practice, we headed into the ocean.  I went into this experience very open-minded, acknowledging the fact that since this was my first time surfing, I may not actually catch a wave or be able to stand. Instead I set my intention on enjoying the experience and being proud of myself for stepping outside my comfort zone.

Surfing on Rockaway Beach

We spent the next 90-minutes in the water in groups of 3 working with our instructors. We were able to take turns paddling to the instructor, beyond the break,  and practicing our technique as we paddled into the wave and tried our best to pop-up at the right time and ride the wave into shore. T he first time I tried I found myself laughing and popping into ski position – fully parallel and facing the shore. While I found my balance, I finally fell face forward, into the water as I hit the shore. The second ride, just minutes later, was totally different. I popped up, a little too high, but felt that high of riding the wave. From that moment, I was addicted. I found myself racing back into the water after each ride, pushing through the waves and current to get back to the instructor and try again. During the hour and a half lesson I attempted to ride more than 40 waves and actually rode more than 20 of them. Katie and Elizabeth laughed in awe, as they took breaks on the shore to breathe and take pictures. Our instructor deemed me part Energizer Bunny and part masochist as I refused to stop, even when I was breathless from the waves.


Finally, at 1:15 it was time to call it a day and head into shore to give back my surf board and wet suit. I wore my Lululemon shorts during the surf lesson as my Athleta bathing suit bottoms are a bit loose. The last thing I wanted was to have my bikini bottom taken by a wave during the lesson.

Rockaway Surf Lesson

We immediately headed to Rockaway Beach Surf Club to enjoy their fish tacos, made famous by the chef during his time at the now closed Rockaway Taco. This lunch definitely lived up to the hype – especially the tacos and plantain chips. The cucumbers, jicama and papaya were a refreshing way to end the meal before we headed back home.

Rockaway Beach Surf Club
If you are a local, Tangerine is offering this surf & yoga workshop again on August 9th. The price for the entire day is $95 which is a $20 discount versus the face value of the activities.  Perfect for all abilities, I highly recommend signing up ASAP as the events fill quickly.




Art of Yoga with Faith Hunter

Over the past three years I have focused on making yoga a regular part of my health and wellness routine. This focus has helped evolve my routine from something I dread, but include because I know it’s important, to something I crave each week.  I carve out at least 60-minutes in my schedule each week to spend time on my yoga mat either in a formal class or at home. While I most often practice yoga in studios, I’ve also had the opportunity to practice in unique spaces such as New York City rooftops and from the tallest building in London, the Shard.

Brooklyn Museum

Always excited to practice yoga in new ways, I joined my friends Melissa and Katie for yesterday’s Art of Yoga event at the Brooklyn Museum. The event, hosted by Flavorpill and Groupmuse, provided 300 yogis with the opportunity to spend 90 minutes flowing into the weekend surrounded by beautiful art, classical music and vibrant yoga mats.

Art of Yoga sign

Line for Art of Yoga

Manduka helped set the stage with a rainbow of color by providing colorful yoga mats while the gorgeous chandelier in the center of the Beaux-Arts Court and skylights provided a feeling of warmth, light and openness.

Yoga atrium

The instructor, Faith Hunter, is an inspirational and well-known yoga instructor who combines her warm personality and Southern roots with a relaxed and welcome yoga style. She did a great job making every single student feel welcome yesterday, regardless of their shape, size or ability. In order to make sure everyone gained the most from the practice, there were four of her friends walking around the room making adjustments during the class in addition to Faith who never stayed in one place for more than a minute.

Assisted Warrior 3

She led the group through a 75-minute yoga class including both heart warming and restorative poses before leading us through a 15-minute meditation and savasana. The most unique part of the event wasn’t the space, but the beautiful, classical music we flowed to during the class. Groupmuse provided a string trio for the event, which played an array of classical pieces which paired perfectly with the flow Faith led.

Flavorpill picture
Photo source

Katie, Melissa and I left the event feeling relaxed and restored, wishing a similar event took place on a monthly basis as it was a wonderful way to kick off a Spring Saturday and relax after a busy week.



Friday Favorites – February 12, 2016



Happy Friday gang! Anyone else already looking towards the clock, hoping it says quitting time? I’m ready for the weekend! Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? Celebrating Valentine’s Day? We have quite a few plans today and tomorrow but Sunday and Monday are all about relaxing, staying warm and spending time together. I’m dreaming of a bubble bath, glass of wine and some couch time as well. Too bad my bubble bath won’t include a view like the one above. One can dream, right?

As promised, in regular Friday fashion, here is this week’s version of Friday Favorites. So, as you count down the hours until the weekend begins, let’s dive into this week’s edition of Friday Favorites, including recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught my eye this week.

This article changed my smoothies immediately! I had no idea there was a right order for smoothie ingredients! For weeks, I’ve been making smoothies but finding that they aren’t blending well. Turns out, there is an art to putting the ingredients in your blender. This morning’s smoothie blended easily, was frothy and smooth even with the protein powder, chia seeds and frozen banana!

Need motivation before this weekend’s long run? This woman ran 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days! I guess this makes this afternoon’s treadmill long run seem much more manageable!

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are so stinking cute! Did you know they fell in love on a double date?

Looking for a few tips to make your lunch even healthier? Check out this post which includes tips and tricks from some of the healthiest people, including my girl Anne!

The winter weather has me layering on moisturizer ALL day and night. I’ve gone through two tubs of this night time facial moisturizer which leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated when I wake up. Each morning and before any outdoor run, I apply a heavy layer of this moisturizer since it has SPF and evens skin tone, hydrates and smoothes the pesky wrinkles I have near my eyes.

Even though it feels like 12 degrees outside, Jenna has me craving Mexican and margaritas for dinner! Who wants to join for grapefruit margarita happy hour tonight?

These lip balms are traveling everywhere with me this winter as my lips are CONSTANTLY dry. I love that they add a natural hint of color while

This week’s workouts left my hamstrings so tight that last night before bed I spent ten minutes doing this yoga sequence for tight hamstrings. I think I’ll do it again this afternoon before this evening’s long run.

Speaking of workouts, I’m challenging myself to take four classes at Brooklyn Body Burn via ClassPass (affiliate link save $25 on your first month) this month. The class, which is often called the hardest workout in NYC, leaves my humbled every time but I know that it is a great way to get stronger. The megaformer is basically a Pilates machine on steroids and every move is a combined movement so you’re working multiple body parts. During Tuesday’s class Christine and I grimaced at each other no less than five times during class yet we both found ourselves signing up for another immediately!

Your turn – Are you doing anything special for Valentine’s Day?

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!