Thursday, October 20, 2011

Inner Warrior Class with Nadia Zaki + Zobha - Juice Generation Event at Equinox

As I am sitting here writing this I am sipping on the "Essential Green" juice from Cooler Cleanse, a concoction of cucumber, celery, spinach, parsley, and kale, among other healthy greens. It was one of the many goodies I amassed at a fabulous event at Equinox this morning. The event was primarily to preview trendy athletic-wear company Zobha's new Performance Tech line, and to celebrate the opening of the new Juice Generation bar at the 63rd street Equinox (which officially opens this Saturday). But first there was going to a private Inner Warrior class taught by Nadia Zaki.


Inner Warrior is a blend of yoga and martial arts. Before class Nadia explained that this class contained elements taken from both hapkido, the Korean martial art form, and capoeira, the Brazilian martial art form. The first half of the class was a traditional vinyasa sequence with a good number of  balance poses. The latter half of the class was when things became more dynamic. Nadia taught us a short martial art sequence, by progressively adding on martial art moves once we had semi-mastered the previous moves. A lot of athleticism was required in this part of the class which Nadia demonstrated with such dancer-like grace. The sequence involved a mixture of punching moves, high kicks, squats and gliding movements with our feet. We ended the class by repeating the complete sequence ten times. It was a lot of fun but most of the class was done without any music. Nadia did play music for parts of the class and the energy level would shift significantly at those moments so I do wish more music had been played.

After class I chatted with some bloggers as we picked up our Zobha gift bags packed with beauty products, gift cards and of course an item of Performance tech Zobha clothing.

The Performance tech line is designed for high impact and strenuous activities and provides a compressive fit. I tried on my Performance tech compression capri pants as soon as I got home and immediately fell in love with them. They are extremely comfortable and very flattering.


As we headed out we were handed an insulated cooler bag which we could fill with an assortment of Cooler Cleanse juices. I chose the Essential Green, Watermelon and Lime and the Almond nut milk.  There was also a delicious raw/vegan yogurt parfait made from coconut meat topped with hemp granola.

I am glad Juice Generation is opening up so close to where I live. I anticipate many coconut meat-hemp granola parfaits in my future!

Dislaimer: I was not compensated for this post. I received a gift bag from Zobha and samples from Cooler Cleanse but was not obligated to provide a review

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Things I Could Do Without on the Subway

With my new (rather long) commute I have come to spend a good amount of time on the subway and it has been quite interesting. Often, I see scenes like the one depicted below which bring a smile to my face. At other times it's a different story.

Here are some things I could do without on my morning commute:

1. Watching a Lady Trimming her Cuticles:
Two weeks ago I was thrilled to nab the last seat on a subway car. My delight was short-lived when I realized that the lady sitting next to me was trimming her cuticles, complete with manicure scissors and some sort of tweezer. Talk about unhygienic. Completely disgusted, I had to swerve over to the opposite side to avoid flakes of dead skin landing on my shoe.

2. Flossing:
I don't know what it is about me getting stuck in cars with people that love to groom themselves but this really happened also. Last week, a man sitting in front of me started to floss. Did I mention that we were on the subway? He did this for a good five minutes. Five minutes. Really. Wait, it gets better. He then pulled out a mini toothbrush (slight digression: I should really get one of these for my baby) and started brushing his teeth. I wish I were making this up. I stared at him for a while and then joined the other straphangers in their nonchalance.

3. Early morning Mariachi bands:
A lot of the subway performers are really talented but a loud mariachi band first thing in the morning can be quite jarring.

4. Listening to Sermons:
The express trains are a haven for preachers. Nothing like proclaiming your message to a subway car full of unwilling people who have no means of escape until the next station.

Aah, I love New York.

Yup, could do without seeing these two also

Question: What is the strangest thing you have ever seen on the subway?

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Heartwarming Scene at the Apple Store

As I was walking along the Upper West side this morning, I saw this heart-warming display outside the Apple store....

A sea of post-it notes amidst flowers and, my favorite, the signed and bitten-out apples. I stood there for a moment and then joined everyone around me by pulling out my IPhone and snapping a photo. How apt!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hot Power Yoga at Pure Yoga and Detox Retox Yoga Beach Retreat

I am not usually a fan of working out in a heated room but when I was invited to take one of Kay Kay Clivio's classes, the hot power yoga class was the only one that fit with my schedule.


Kay Kay is one of the senior instructors at Pure Yoga, and for good reason. She counts Bikram, John Friend, Baron Baptiste and Ana Forrest, all big names in the yoga community, among her teachers. Her classes are known to be highly popular, which I evidenced at the Hot Power Yoga Hour class I attended on Friday afternoon.  As I opened the door of the hot studio I was met with a blast of hot air.

People began lining up their mats. I decided to wait outside until it was time for class, and enjoy this gorgeous view instead!

Within the next few minutes the room became full. Kay Kay introduced herself to everyone taking her class for the first time (always a nice touch when teachers do this), and we began.

The 60 minute class was full of power yoga sequences, plenty of balance poses and a good measure of shoulder and hand stands. Kay Kay gave the most eloquent instructions. I could not see her all the time (as she was walking around the class)  but I knew exactly what to do. It was the first time I heard a teacher tell the class that in the baby cobra pose you should be touching the ground with only eight points of your body. Apparently I had been doing baby cobra incorrectly all these years! She also gave me some great postural adjustments, especially with "the bridge" where she told me to lift my back higher and pull my shoulder blades closer together, opening my chest much more fully. So this is what a bridge should feel like!

I really enjoyed the class and to my surprise, the heat did not bother me at all.

The Good:
1. The instructor: Kay Kay gave great direction. The instructions were clear enough even for somebody taking yoga for the first time.

2. The class: I loved the flow of the class and how variations were provided to allow all fitness levels to participate. I am still not entirely convinced of the link between a heated room and increased muscle flexibility, but I will say that there was something detoxifying about it.

The Not-so-good:
1. Mats too close to one another: This is not a criticism specifically of this class but of yoga classes in general. Classes try to pack in as many people as possible and as a result you are brushing elbows with your neighbor who is sweating bucket-loads in a hot yoga class.

This is a fast-paced and very fun class set to great music. Pure Yoga really has some incredible instructors, and Kay Kay was no exception. I have a taken class with three Pure instructors so far and after each class I always promise myself that I shall incorporate more yoga into my life.

Detox Retox Yoga Beach Retreat:
For those yogis in need of a rejuvenating and detoxifying weekend you can experience Kay Kay's technique in a much more immersive setting as she, along with acclaimed yogi Tanya B, is holding a Detox Retox Yoga beach retreat at Eau Spa at the Ritz Carlton in Palm Beach, FL from Nov 4-6. Participants will be able to take six classes over the three days, ranging from the more vigorous Core Flow yoga to the more restorative Yin yoga. Price is $1100 per individual per room. Check out the schedule below. For reservations call: (561) 540-4811.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I was invited to take a complimentary class with Kay Kay Clivio at Pure Yoga and was under no obligation to provide a review and was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed herein are my own.