Tag Archives: Fitness

Belize in Yourself!

One of my goals for my first year of opening Empower Yoga was to lead a Fitness Retreat. There is nothing that makes me feel more alive than working out & traveling. My husband and I travel often and one of our favorite things to do is to explore different CrossFit boxes and yoga studios while we are away. As a result, we decided to plan a Fitness Retreat and invited some like minded and adventure seeking people along for the ride. We always wanted to go to San Pedro, Belize and we felt this would be a perfect spot to host our first retreat!!

We stayed at Sun Breeze right near the heart of the town. What a perfect spot. It was close to town and all of the restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. However, once inside the walls of the hotel it was like a hidden oasis, it was very peaceful and quiet. It was  the perfect vibe for our trip. I would definitely recommend this hotel if you’re looking to visit San Pedro. We actually learned about this spot from our friend Tauni of Lean Power Yoga. She had visited Belize and was incredibly helpful with the planning and organizing of the trip since she knew about the country and all it’s hot spots!

Being home for almost a week now, I am still on a high. I am still processing the magic of those days and it’s been hard to put it into words. The trip really surpassed my expectations. It was an incredible week filled with lots of fitness, friendships, food and fun!!

The yoga was incredible. I got to teach in a beautiful outdoor setting overlooking the ocean. The ambiance was just perfect. It was so lovely and every class offered something different from the previous one giving the yoga aspect excitement and diversity.

The CrossFit was a challenge. CrossFit Wolf hosted us for the week. It was an awesome facility with expert coaches and workouts that were lots of fun and pushed your limits!

The food was fresh and down-right tasty too. We didn’t have a single bad meal- from salads to fish tacos to the tamali street food. Oh and the coffee… nothing better than early morning coffee talk before we started our day or our after workout iced coffee that was so delicious and refreshing!

The folks that joined were so perfect too. Everyone got along well and became fast friends by the time the week was over. The rich conversation, laughter and authenticity made being around each other refreshing and energizing. I’m so honored that my circle of friends grew from this.

Honestly, thinking back, I couldn’t think of a more perfect getaway. I feel so incredibly thankful for all the people who attended. I am confident our experience in Belize just would not have been the same without each of them! Traveling can be hard, but stepping outside your comfort zone and joining other folks you don’t know on an international adventure, even more so. However, this group jumped right in from the moment they arrived and held nothing back. Everyone worked hard, supported each other & challenged their limits. Looking back over the pictures and reliving these moments makes me smile and feel so happy. I cannot wait to do it again!

Check out our itinerary from the trip:
Honestly, there was a great deal of fear involved with planning and hosting my first retreat, because the thought looming in the back of my mind was: What if no one signs up or what if they don’t have a good time?

It’s scary to put yourself out there, but believing in yourself or “Belizing in Yourself”( which was the theme of our trip) is important  we decided to go for it. The Universe definitely had my back because not only did people start signing up, they were a fun, easy going, and incredibly kind group of individuals. I knew that no matter what, we would have a good time, and we did!!

Monday-
My husband, Dan and I flew down a day early to get our bearings and prepare for our guests. To get there we took three planes, I know it sounds like a lot but it really wasn’t bad. We left from Newark, flew to Fort Lauderdale and then Belize City. From Belize City we opted to fly Mayan Air to San Pedro instead of the water taxi. Now, at first I was a little scared about being on the small plane where you actually had to crawl to your seat, but once we were in the air, I really loved it. The views were breathtaking. I was so happy I had the opportunity to see Belize form the air. Once we landed, we headed to the hotel to check-in.  After, we walked around searching for hot spots and sampling some local cuisine, we rented a golf cart so that could be our mode of transportation around the island for the week. We also visited crossfit and our yoga spot. We tried to make sure we were well prepared to show our guests around and answer any questions they had upon their arrival.

Tuesday-
Our guests arrived that afternoon between 1:30-3:30pm. This gave them an opportunity to check-in, recieve their welcome bag, go to their room to unpack and lounge a little before yoga and our welcome dinner that evening. Yoga took place from 4:30-6:00pm , which included a nice 30 min. meditation and our Welcome Dinner was at 7:30pm at the Blue Water Grill!

That first night, we made it clear to everyone that it was their vacation. Yes, we had a schedule, but absolutely everything on that schedule was optional and they were free to do what they wanted.

Wednesday-
We were a group of early risers. Each morning we met outside around 6-6:15am for coffee. We got to chat, see the sun rise, and look out on the beautiful ocean. Around 7am we left for Crossfit. After CrossFit we found a delicious coffee spot (which we visited each day following) called The Baker. It was the best iced coffee I have ever had. The ice cubes were even made of coffee which was an awesome touch. Afterward, we returned to the hotel for breakfast before spending the day relaxing by the pool and walking around the city. We ended the day with a yoga class and meditation before dinner at El Fogon.

Thursday-
Thursday was similar to Wednesday, coffee at 6am, CrossFit at 7:30, coffee from The Baker, and breakfast at the hotel. In the afternoon we visited Science and Soul Wellness Center for SUP yoga. This was a beautiful facility with a beautiful beach. They just opened this past December and I am super excited for them. It is worth checking out!! That night we ate at Romand’s restaurant, Pineapple on the Beach. It was delicious. A must try especially if you love pineapple as much as I do.

Friday-
Friday was a lot of fun. We started the day with yoga on the beach, to stretch out and warm-up before our Crossfit beach workout. It sure was sandy, but a lot of fun. Afterwards we went for coffee of course and had breakfast. If having breakfast in Belize, I highly recommend the fry jacks, they are incredibly tasty!! After breakfast we lounged before heading to the reef and shark alley to snorkel. For dinner that evening we went to Rain and watched the sunset. This by far had the best view and ambience.

Saturday-
Coffee, yoga, and CrossFit to start this day before heading to Secret Beach for the afternoon. Secret Beach was on the other side of San Pedro, so it was a little bit of a hike to get to. The beach was beautiful but the scene was not really for us. There were lots of bars and loud music. We hung out for a little bit and had a taco snack but then left to head back to resort to lounge and relax before our farewell dinner at Blue Water Grill that evening.

Sunday-
On sunday, because everyone was leaving early, we didn’t work out. We gave people the opportunity to sleep in or pack before our coffee talk and breakfast. Then everyone departed. I am glad that everyone arrived back to the states safely and in high spirits, having loved the trip and talking about the next one.

Hosting this retreat was one of the best experiences of my life. I feel full, energized, rested and ready to plan the next one so I can connect with more individuals who are looking for adventure. Thinking about Mexico or Nicaragua for our next trip 😉 Stay tuned!!

For more pics from our retreat, please visit Empower Yoga’s FB page

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Feeling Fabulous at 35!

35As most of you know, especially if you read my blog last week, I am 35. I am happy to say that at 35, I am in the best shape of my life.  Growing up I played sports, but after high school I pretty much stopped working out. In college, I only used the gym as a way to meet people, particularly guys.  It wasn’t until my late 20’s that I started working out again and once I hit 31, I became an avid workout and health enthusiast. Because of my hard work and dedication to fitness and health these last several years, I have to say that I believe that I look and feel my best and am in the best shape I have ever been in. While I still have goals for myself and I continue to push my limits in order to see what I am truly capable of, I know that I am in good shape and it feels great! Continue reading Feeling Fabulous at 35!

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The Early Bird Catches the Worm

Despite all of my best efforts, I always end up falling asleep by 9:00pm, even if I am out with friends… you can find me dozing on their couch or dozing while resting my head on my hand at dinner. I just can’t stay up late and to be honest I don’t really want to.  I am an early bird and find so much joy and satisfaction getting up early, even before the sun rises. My day starts around 4:00am and is pretty much nonstop until I fall asleep. Before most people wake up, I’ve had my coffee, done chores, walked my dogs, and gone for a run, yoga, and/or taken a CrossFit class.  I love kick starting my day with a workout. Nothing like getting the blood pumping and endorphins flowing to get your day started right.  I feel accomplished, productive, and ready to take on the world. Continue reading The Early Bird Catches the Worm

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Balance is the Key to Life!

People are often surprised by the various forms of exercise I do. I guess most yogis and runners don’t do CrossFit or vise versa, yet I like to do all three.  For me, each activity helps and supports me in different ways.  My workouts provide me with great physical and emotional balance; all feeding into the various aspects of my life and personality. Why do one when you can do all three?

Continue reading Balance is the Key to Life!

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Why CrossFit??

Jump!

Recently I have read and heard a lot of negative things about CrossFit. People are talking about why it’s bad for you, how it can cause injury, how it’s a cult, you have to be paleo, as well as that it’s intimidating and too competitive.  Well in this weeks blog I’d like to share some reasons why CrossFit isn’t those things, how it’s helped me to become a better athlete, and how it’s helped to change my life.

Continue reading Why CrossFit??

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Get in a Workout Even When on Vacation!!

IMG_6621This week I am preparing and packing for vacation.  My husband and I are going to be taking a two week cruise in the Mediterranean. We will be visiting Italy, Turkey, and Greece.  In order to prepare for travel, one of the most important things I do is to plan and write down my schedule and workouts ahead of time.  It is important for me, that while I am away, I still find time to workout. Working out is an important part of my everyday life and I want to make sure I can continue to maintain some sort of balance and routine even while I travel. Plus, since I have started my training for the NYC marathon I need to run 6 days a week.  So it’s even more critical for me to have a workout plan in place. I want to be sure I get my workouts in and still have plenty of time to enjoy this once in a lifetime vacation.

Continue reading Get in a Workout Even When on Vacation!!

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Stretches for Runners

luluStretching is an important component to any fitness routine.  I love to actively stretch and encourage all my friends and students to practice yoga on a regular basis.  However, if you can’t get to class here are a few static stretches you can do AFTER your run (when your muscles are warm and joints lubricated) to help with recovery. Stretching helps improve performance and prevent aches and pains. Continue reading Stretches for Runners

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Let’s Plank!

Plank

A strong healthy practice, starts with a strong healthy core.

Those of you who know me or have taken one of my classes know that I LOVE planks!! I am sure to incorporate tons of planks into my flows.  When coming to class, you can expect planks, side planks, plank holds, and plank push-ups 🙂

The plank is one of the best exercises you can do for your core because it works your transverse abdominals or your “six pack” abdominal muscles. It also helps to  engage your back, arms, shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings.  Just a few of the reasons why I love planks so much! Continue reading Let’s Plank!

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