Tagged yoga

Ritual Hot Yoga in SOMA: For lovers of sweaty yoga and sick beats


Written by Nadia Ibanez, photos courtesy of Ritual Hot Yoga

I think I’m closing in on my eight or nine year anniversary of practicing yoga. I go to yoga to clear my head; to stretch and get a work out in; to get grounded; and to give myself an hour everyday to find balance and breathe. But my workouts, and my life, completely changed once I started practicing hot yoga. I first discovered it in Encinitas maybe four or five years ago and I’m so grateful to have found it.

There’s something so gratifying about seeing your body literally pour out sweat while you’re moving to the beats with your breath. It’s hard to explain but if you’re a yogi like me, you just get it. I found my yoga home at Corepower Yoga in Encinitas. Everyday that I went truly felt like I was going home. My teachers supported me in and out of class, with physical adjustments and words that resonated with me and where I was at in life that very exact moment.

Life has taken me on a crazy journey these last few years and the only constant was my yoga practice.

I’ve since found my yoga home in the City at Corepower SF and I love all of my instructors. This studio is blocks from my office and it’s where I run to when I need some peace. This month I decided to mix things up a bit and check out this hot yoga studio that I’ve had my eye on for several months.

I first found out at Ritual Hot Yoga on Instagram; somehow we found each other on the social media wave. I was reminded of them again when one of my favorite Instagram-famous yogis mentioned her practice at the studio. It was destiny. I had to check these guys out.


Ritual Hot Yoga is located in SOMA around the corner from the headquarters of tech powerhouses like Airbnb and Pinterest. The studio looks modest from the outside but once you step inside, everything you could possibly need or want is at your fingertips.

This is the first time I’ve been a member at one of those fancy, all-inclusive studios. All you have to do is bring yourself. A mat, a yogitoes towel, hand towel, block and mat clips are all provided and set up in the studio when you arrive. Sip on some tea, check your Instagram with their free wifi, or play with the studio dogs if they’re hanging out. Bottled water is available, as well as showers and every bathroom amenity is available for use before or after class.

Classes at Ritual aren’t like your average yoga practice. Step inside the huge, heated room and you’ll never have to worry about accidentally bumping into your neighbor as mats are perfectly spaced from each other. Classes are held in dark, candlelit rooms so you’ll really have to force yourself to be present, without staring at others or yourself in the mirror. The faint smell of Nag Champa wafts through the air.

Instructors are hooked up to mics and each class begins with a guided meditation about the week’s theme and purpose. Then the party starts. Music booms through the speakers so if you’re into mellow classes, this place not be right for you. The music selection is so on point. Feel like moving your booty to some old school jams or hip hop? This place might just top all of the clubs in the area.

Sometimes you’ll try out a yoga class and you’ll feel like your teacher is just going through the motions and reading from a script while teaching. But all of the instructors I’ve had at Ritual add their own personality to class, whether they’re bouncing around and dancing during class, or sharing intimate stories about their struggles and their life. All of the instructors at Ritual Hot Yoga are amazing.

Classes are 50 minutes so it’s perfect if you need a lunch time break from the office. There’s one to two adjusters in every class so you’ll definitely get some hands-on love if you want it. Oh, and the adjusters come by and offer neck and shoulder massages during meditation and savasana. Swoon! A cold towel is placed on your forehead during your final rest and believe me when I say this will be one of the best parts of class after getting your booty whooped during this fast-paced class.

As crazy, busy and transient as city life can be, I somehow always find a way to find my yoga home. Ritual Hot Yoga is definitely a place I could see myself spending a lot of time at this year. If you live in the City and are looking to spice up your workout regimen, check these guys out. And tell them I sent you. For more information, visit http://www.studioritual.com/.



Eat.Drink.Yoga spices up the average yoga practice with culture, food, wine and dance

Written by Nadia Ibanez, photos courtesy of Eat.Drink.Yoga

I’ve been practicing yoga since 2007 and while I love going to yoga festivals or sweating in a 108-degree room at my local yoga studio, sometimes a yogini just needs to spice it up a little bit. The same vinyasa flow – along with the same scenery – can become less challenging and interesting if your body already knows the sequence. I’ve been scouting out new studios and yoga-friendly events as a way to challenge my mind, breath and spirit.

Brandi Daniels of Eat.Drink.Yoga
Brandi Daniels of Eat.Drink.Yoga

I met Brandi Daniels at the V Elements Festival last year and we chatted about our mutual love for yoga, whether it be outdoors at the beach or a park, or taught by one of our favorite instructors. We instantly clicked before I found out about her passion for yoga intermixed with food, wine, retreats and culture. She is the woman at the helm behind Eat.Drink.Yoga where she hosts lunches, evening events and retreats anchored by like-minded yogis, food, wine and destinations you would have never known otherwise.

The Yoga Wall at yoga80
The Yoga Wall at yoga80. Photo courtesy of yoga80.

Last night I attended Brandi’s Cuban Nights – Yoga + Food Party. We started the night with a 75 minute gentle vinyasa flow at yoga80, followed by a session on the yoga wall for some inversions and stretching. I’ve tried aerial yoga in the past and it just wasn’t my cup of tea. The yoga wall was actually a great way to realign my spine and energize before the party started.

Eat.Drink.Yoga food
A look at the spread from previous Eat.Drink.Yoga parties.

Brandi’s mother, Sandra, is a photographer and chef and she whipped up some delicious Cuban sandwiches, rice and beans, salad and tres leche cake. This dynamic duo really knows how to have an event! After a glass of wine in the courtyard, we watched a couple salsa dance before teaching the group a few moves of our own.

Eat.Drink.YogaEat.Drink.Yoga takes after my own heart by combining the love of food, a passion for yoga and a growing interest in cultures and exotic destinations from around the world. Brandi’s next event will be a weekend yoga excursion in Ojai, complete with meditation, health-conscious food and some serious soul-opening experiences. For more information, visit www.eatdrinkyoga.com.

Savoring the Serenity of a Bike Ride while Exploring the World with Sacred Rides

by Andrea Verdin, Chief Wordsmith

Now that it’s the peak of summer, people are looking for a last minute trip to plan before the holiday mayhem. For some, this means a shopping excursion to a fashion Mecca, while for others, a family friendly option is a better alternative. However, for a growing amount of young folk, an adventure that couples a new locale and high intensity activity is the way to go.


Young professionals who are driven by extreme sports or endurance training are looking for ways to enjoy the most out of their vacations. This means enjoying two weeks out of the office mountain climbing, hiking and camping, or mountain biking on outrageously intense terrain. They get the drive and push they’ve been looking for from their vacation, and they’re pumped and charged, ready for their next year in the office.

However, professionals are busy folk, and can’t plan out their vacations the way they want to. So that’s where niche travel companies like Sacred Rides have come in to save the day.

Biking down Soca Valley is the perfect vacation for some.
Biking down Soca Valley is the perfect vacation for athletic young professionals.

Sacred Rides, a company based out of Toronto, has crafted unique, intense and sensational trips for their clients. Founder Mike Brcic and his team work hard to research each of their trips out into the wilderness, planning for ultimate thrills, enjoyment and adventure.

Traditionally, Sacred Rides appeals to the ultimate mountain biker looking for the next challenge ride. These are the types of people who enjoy taking in Mother Nature’s breathtaking beauty from the seat of a bike for six to seven hours at a time. However, Brcic realized that not all adventurers want to view the world entirely from a bicycle seat, so Sacred Ride has opted to add excursions that combine mountain biking with activities like yoga, hiking and rafting.

White water rafting on top of biking across the world? Why not?
White water rafting on top of biking across the world? Why not?

Brcic stated that there are activities for individuals of almost all activity levels, and the guides will try to meet your abilities in the activities.

“For example, if you’ve never been white water rafting, you can ride on the river boat, or you can go out and raft on your own,” said Brcic. “That’s the same with our yoga excursion in Mexico. We had our instructor develop a routine that is suitable for beginners, yet she can also offer poses for advanced yogis.”

A bonus with using Sacred Rides is the fact that each trip includes regional-specific activities, lodging, daily lunch and breakfast, most dinners, daily luggage and airport transfers, and the expertise and companionship of a local guide.

For example, consider the Alps and Adriatic Multisport trip. Included are seven days of guided mountain biking with experienced local guides, eight nights accommodation in locally owned lodges, daily breakfast and lunch plus four dinners, all transportation including airport transfers in an air-conditioned van, a boat trip on the LIm Fjord, underground mountain biking in Slovenia, entrance to parks and caves and ice-cold local brews and beverages at the end of each day’s ride.

Biking through Slovenia will leave you breathless for many reasons
Biking through Slovenia will leave you breathless for many reasons

In addition to easy mountain biking on scenic dirt roads in Slovenia and Croatia, guests sea kayak in the Adriatic, visit the Skocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage and Cultural site, and the medieval seaside town of Rovinj on the Adriatic, and mountain bike underground in a 400-year-old mine. You know you’re on an amazing trip when the least-exciting part of your trip is hanging out in a medieval town.

One other element that truly separates Sacred Rides from other travel companies is the sense of improving the communities they visit and providing eye-opening experiences for their travelers.

25611_10150155739530277_543590276_11999844_5729490_n“I never had a vision of having a company that has almost 40 trips all over the world,” said Brcic. “I knew that trails in the area were relatively hard to find, so we would take people out to remote and wild places with extreme beauty, like Flathead River Valley.”

Brcic also took it upon himself to educate people about what was happening in the valley, which was threatened by development.

“There’s an incredibly wild area between Banff, Canada and Yellowstone that’s a corridor for wildlife that’s being threatened by oil, mining and development. It puts severe strain on the wildlife’s ability to survive. People would fall in love with how beautiful and incredible, so I get them educated, then get them engaged in the struggle to save some of these places.”

Brcic takes the opportunity to engage his customers to preserve the beautiful one-of-a-kind places they visit.

“We also support the communities we visit,” he said. “In Peru and Guatemala, we support them because we have an obligation. We can’t just show up and take our money, show customers around and then leave. We have a duty to give to these places that give so much to us.”

Staying in Mexico's beautiful area doesn't mean just leaving without creating an impact
Staying in Mexico’s beautiful area doesn’t mean just leaving without creating an impact

After a trip with Sacred Rides, you’re nearly guaranteed to have a new view on life.

“I get emails thanking me for an amazing trip and incredible experience from people who have a  changed perspective on who they are,” said Brcic. “They have deep, significant moments on our trips.”

“One guy went on our Rocky Mountain single mountain trip. We would climb a grueling hike to a ridge, and tell people to sit and have a quiet time for ten minutes after a week of biking through these beautiful places,” said Brcic. “We could see 100 miles of prairies. Often [our clients] don’t have time for silence in their lives, and they got to look at the beauty in life. The guy said, ‘I want to thank for an amazing trip. Sitting on top of the ridge got me thinking about my life, and a week later, I am rethinking priorities.’ This is fairly common – we have moving experiences that let people see different ways of seeing the world in more meaningful ways.

For Information and Reservations Contact Sacred Rides at:

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