Winter 2015 Retreats Near & Far

It’s about that time we start to feel that winter itch, right? Some sunshine is looking pretty darn good right now! As does wellness, self-care, and trying new things! If you’re craving the sand, sun, surf, and all of that good stuff, here are a few retreats you should definitely know about!

soulsurfWomen’s Soul Surfing Retreat: Join Evelyn O’Doherty and Alyson Follenius, two fabulous Hamptons locals, on their second annual Women’s Soul Surfing Retreat in Rincon, Puerto Rico February 4th-9th, 2015. Kick off the New Year catching waves and bonding over new possibilities! Retreat includes daily surf lessons, yoga, meditation, healthy breakfasts and lunches, wellness coaching, and lots of fun. Space is limited. For more information, click here or contact

Yoga, Surf, and SUP Retreat: Relocate with KamaDeva Yoga’s Jessica Bellofatto and Paddle Diva’s Gina Bradley January 22nd-26th, 2015. Experience daily yoga on the deck, SUP lessons and tours, running, surf lessons, horseback riding, snorkeling, waterfall tours, and healthy eats. For more information, click here.

MP900227552Annual Tulum Yoga Retreat: Twice-daily yoga with Jessica Bellofatto along with lots of exploration, water, sunshine, and self-care. Restore on the shore from February 1st-7th, 2015. For more information, click here.

Half-way to Summer Shape Up: Hosted by Core Fusion co-founder Elisabeth Halfpapp, attendees can enjoy a variety of exhale’s signature classes, healthy meals, a juicing workshop, and more at Gurney’s Inn in Montauk, February 6th-8th. Enjoy ocean-view accommodations, breakfast and dinner daily, all exhale classes, exhale nightly turndown item, exhale Gift Bag, activities, and access to the resort’s famed Seawater Spa. Click here for more info.

Yoga For Bad People Brazil Retreats: Two weeks in Brazil in March, 2015 can make it the best time of the year. Enjoy morning meditation, two yoga classes daily, surfing, hiking, horseback riding, hang-gliding, cycling, partying, and so much more. For more information, click here.

collageWellness Staycation: If you’re not able to jet-set away this January, just buy a Hamptons Wellness Week wristband and soak up the wellness right at home ALL month long! This is the best way to try new things, get out in the community, commit to a habit of self-care, and indulge in some serious deals! Hamptons Wellness Week allows YOU to experience an array of health and wellness experiences (fitness class, spa treatments, nutrition programs, salon styling, personal training, restaurant specials, and SO much more) for the affordable price of just $45 for the entire month of January! See participating businesses and offers here and take advantage of it ALL with your wristband!

One Healthy Breakdown: wherever and however you decide, give yourself a break this winter!

Core Fusioning with Rachel

Core FusionI recently got the chance to take Rachel Feldman’s Core Fusion Barre & Core Fusion Yoga Classes at Exhale, Bridgehampton. Despite Rachel’s nonchalant introduction to Core Fusion, (“it’s more about the alignment than the movements, the small movements come second”) this class is no joke. Seriously.

Exhale’s signature Core Fusion technique was developed by Elisabeth Halfpapp and her husband, Fred DeVito. Based on the philosophies of Joseph Pilates and Latte Berk, Core Fusion combines precision, rhythm, strength, flexibility, and muscle endurance.

The Core Fusion method focuses first and foremost on the spine. “A healthy spine creates a youthful body,” Rachel explained. The workout will lengthen and improve flexibility, as the method incorporates stretching after each exercise. Since the core is the powerhouse of the body, Core Fusion works from the inside out, first focusing on position and then moving in that place to strengthen a particular muscle group.

Isolating the small muscles throughout the abs, arms, and butt, this ballet-inspired class works to change the body fast. Rachel emphasizes the importance of really getting to know each client and their individual body, strengths, and weaknesses. She explains that witnessing the change in people is an amazing perk of the job (in addition to getting paid to workout, of course!) She’s seen younger clients who have actually gotten a bit taller and older women who developed strong muscles, negated back pain, and literally turned back time.

Yes, I definitely felt the muscles twitching, over and over (and over) during Core Fusion Barre. Expect lots of tiny inner and outer thigh movements, tons of reps with lighter weights to exhaust the arms, and constant use of the core. That’s the name of the game after all. Core Fusion Yoga also incorporates similar movements, but focuses on repetitive sun salutations and strengthening through yoga. While it’s not your typical yoga class, it’s a great alternative if you want to like yoga but crave more intensity and constant stimulation.

Inhale, Exhale, and LIFT the belly button in and up, I can see Rachel demonstrate the lift now. That’s what makes her so great, she explains every little movement, and exactly where you should be feeling it (in case it’s not painfully obvious.) She moves around the room with fluidity, ensuring that the moves are executed correctly and giving constant positive reinforcement. Rachel’s body exudes the grace of a dancer, while her personality serves as a motivational coach.  Though my abs and thighs were on fire, Rachel’s constant smile and encouragement got me through.

Catch Rachel at Exhale in Bridgehampton daily or Lululemon in East Hampton for weekly Core Fusion Yoga.

One Healthy Breakdown: Work it out, stretch it out. And don’t forget to exhale!