A Weekend of Waves, Warmth, and Warriors

So, the past few weeks have been pretty tough. Bitter without the sweet. Long, cold frozen, windy, sniffly, snowy, slippery, and overall, pretty darn miz. Mother Nature just won’t budge. Don’t get me wrong, I really do love the Hamptons year round, but it’s about that time when I can totally understand how others migrate south for some sun, warmth, and beauty. Luckily, I totally got my fix of all of the above this weekend, right in our own backyard thanks to lululemon athletica East Hampton, three of the best lululemon ambassador yogis on Long Island, and Gurney’s Montauk.

IMG_0274The drive out to Montauk (sans traffic!) was decompressing in itself, but knowing that a weekend of yoga bliss lay ahead was even better. As we unrolled our mats in the Great Room, with the sun shining through the windows and waves crashing down at the beach, I quickly began to defrost and fill with warmth and gratitude.

The first of three classes on Saturday morning was taught by Lana Russo, lululemon ambassador at the Manhasset store. The class was pretty much exactly what I personally seek when signing up for a yoga class: a combination of feel-good stretching, challenging poses to push outside of the comfort zone, and a relaxing meditation. Lana does it all with a seamless flow, a warm heart, and some non-traditional yoga music. We’re talking a yoga-remix of Katy Perry’s “Roar” and such – what’s more fun than that?! Lana makes yoga more accessible to all levels as she breaks down advanced poses into manageable steps. Here’s Lana below, being the yogi rockstar that she is:

FullSizeRender(16)The second class, rounding out Saturday morning’s practice, was taught by Evelyn O’Doherty, local yoga teacher, SUP racer/instructor, lululemon EH ambassador, and friendly face we all know and love (if you don’t know Evelyn, you should.) It’s impossible not to get stronger during Evelyn’s class; her light-hearted style benefits all walks of life and all types of athletes. She has this amazing ability to make anyone smile, even when instructing challenging poses, burning abdominal exercises, and “hanging out” in plank. Evelyn’s smile always reminds us, that no matter what, it’s all going to be A ok. Here’s Evelyn practicing a playful, yet perfect, inversion:

FullSizeRender(17)After two and a half hours of Vinyasa Flow, Saturday afternoon was free for our choosing. I followed the crowd to the Seawater Spa and fell even deeper into ‘vacation mode as I sat by the Seawater Pool in my bikini, robe, and flip-flops. While it took some imagination, Montauk in February quickly became my own personal island retreat. I soaked up the goodness and sailed away into Shavasana…for the third time that day.

Saturday evening wrapped up with a Yin Yoga class taught by Angela Williams-Jones, owner of Flower Power Yoga and lululemon Ambassador at the Walt Whitman store. Lucky for me, Angela’s mat was next to mine during the morning classes, so I knew that whatever came next, there would be laughter and love. Yin is a restorative practice full of therapeutic poses to cleanse, balance, and regulate the body. Poses are held for at least a few minutes to increase circulation, enhance immunity, improve flexibility, maintain focus, and deconstruct emotion. Typically, Vinyasa produces discomfort the longer we’re in the pose; however, I found that Yin was just the opposite. At first, the poses were awkward and uncomfortable, but the longer we settled in, the better it got, especially knowing we were cleansing all of our major organs and systems of the body. Although I was exhausted, mentally and physically, after Saturday’s three classes, I couldn’t wait to get back to the mat the next day for more adventure with these amazing people.

Sunday morning’s class confirmed that Angela is so not your typical yoga teacher and this class was definitely not your typical yoga class. The Yoga Fusion Flow class took us through a series of songs, poses, emotions, stages, transitions, and experiences, some recognizably familiar and others new and different. That’s life, right? Just when we think we’ve mastered it, just when we become accustomed to the journey, just when we’ve settled in or fallen head over heels, we’re reminded that life is an ever-changing journey. Good or bad, things shift, we react, we sway, we readjust, shake it off, and keep going, hopefully with a big smile, a full heart, and possibly our yoga mat. Click here to see a quick clip of Angela’s heart-warming class!

580301_485743748146028_1073937593_nThis weekend was just that for me – a reminder that life is ever-changing, growing, supporting, experiencing, and full of love and opportunity. Not only did Gurney’s provide a rejuvenating escape, but I found that my personal yoga practice grew more in these two days than ever before. Stepping outside of my comfort zone on the mat came easily thanks to the three amazing ambassador yogis supporting us, teaching us, and making it all fun and playful. Thanks to lululemon athletica East Hampton, yogis Evelyn, Lana, and Angela, and Gurney’s Montauk for providing exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. Namaste!

picstitch(26)One Healthy Breakdown: When I drove into Montauk on Saturday, it was winter. When I left on Sunday, spring was in the air. Now that’s magic.

December Holiday Kick-Off!

Tis’ the season! We’re kicking off the holidays like a rockette this month; December’s fitness challenge is high kicks! That’s right, we’re spreading cheer in the air while we work our quads, hips, hamstrings, and heart! To kick, stand in a split stance with one leg slightly forward. Kick straight ahead with your back leg, keeping your upper body tall, centered, or leaning slightly back (not forward.) Repeat on the other side. Start LOW with just four kicks (two on each side) to prevent injury and work your way higher and higher as the month progresses. Just print or pin the calendar and get your kick on all December long! Enjoy this very merry month!

December Kick ChallengeOne Healthy Breakdown: nothin’ like a holiday high-kick to feel the burn!

Let’s Have a Heart-to-Heart

February is American Heart Month and we’re celebrating with awareness, join us won’t you?! Heart disease is scary stuff. We hear about cancer on a daily basis, but do you know what causes heart disease, a leading cause of death, and how to best prevent it? Let’s have a little heart-to-heart…

heart1. DON’T SMOKE! Tobacco, nicotine, and carbon monoxide in cigarettes are a triple threat for heart disease. The good news is that upon quitting, risk decreases immediately.

2. Eat healthy. Less red meat, more vegetables and lean protein. Less sugar, more fruit. Less white flour, more whole grains. Less salt, more herbs and spices. Although maintaining a healthy weight is optimal, weight does not necessarily correlate with health. Click here for some helpful nutrition tips.

3. Exercise. Daily. What strengthens the heart? Getting the heart pumping! Schedule regular workouts you enjoy and move more throughout the day by walking, taking the stairs, etc. Exercise and healthy eating are often far more effective than medication in promoting heart health.

4. Go to the doctor. Be sure to get your blood, blood pressure, and cholesterol checked regularly to stay on top of any risk factors.

One Healthy Breakdown: unlike other diseases, heart disease is very preventable. Yet another reason to make some healthy changes TODAY.

What’s Really on My Mind for 2014 and Why YOU Should Care

The saying “this is the first day of the rest of your life” never really resonated with me because there’s always tomorrow (well, hopefully…) But, today? TODAY is the FIRST DAY OF 2014. That feels more real to me, more concrete, more attainable. I can’t really picture the rest of my life, I can’t picture 20, 30, 40 years down the road, but I can picture the next 365 days and I can grasp what, how, and why they’re going to be absolutely amazing.

sabatino-060Rewind back to the fall. I was having a conversation with a friend about what really drove me to start One Healthy Hamptons and what I dreamt it to be. The goal of OHH is to provide a resource and a community to celebrate and grow health and wellness here in this amazing place we call home. I wanted to rejoice the uniqueness of this beautiful place full of incredible people and outstanding resources. But why? Why me? Why here? Why now?

Why not just let people do what they want to do? Health is already a huge part of this community; we love our fitness classes, our kale salad, and our fun nights out, embracing the Hamptons scene, all while penciling in the next day’s workout…right? But, is it a positive thing? Are we just going through the motions and working out to make space for the fun? Are we indulging with thoughts of cardio and detox? If this is you, don’t worry, this was me too.

I started OHH because I am so DONE living like that. We only have one life, only 364.5 more days to enjoy and embrace 2014. So, unless we’re enjoying the process, it’s really just a big, huge waste of valuable time. I started One Healthy Hamptons because I was DONE with this deranged mindset. DONE with society’s pressures to ‘get skinny.’ DONE with the cycle of overindulging followed by detox, diet, and cardio binges. Ugh, what a miserable, unbalanced way to NOT enjoy all of the valuable time we have on this earth. I was DONE with the negativity that’s been so closely wound into such positive concepts of health and wellness. DONE hearing, seeing, judging others, done being jealous, done overdoing it for all of the wrong reasons. I know if I was DONE, that lots of others must be just as fed up, just as ready to turn things around. Once I hit this realization, things began to shift, especially as my eyes opened to the unique world of wellness throughout the Hamptons. Health and wellness became a positive passion, not a negative obsession. One Healthy Hamptons resulted from my growing passion to turn negativity to positivity and to spread that positivity throughout the place I love to call home as much as possible. To connect people over the common theme of embracing health and wellness.

I started One Healthy Hamptons to get the message across, not just to other young girls with deranged mindsets from society’s impact, but to an entire community of diverse people, that being healthy and fit, making wellness a priority, doesn’t have to be a sacrifice at all. It can actually be a balanced, ENJOYABLE process with huge positive outcomes. Eating healthy is fun. Working out is fun. Trying new things, challenging our selves, pushing the limits, attaining goals – it’s all fun. The things that make us feel our best, our strongest, our healthiest, are GOOD for us and they deserve to be embraced.

For me, 2013 was a huge year of personal, professional, physical growth. I gave up time at the gym and put that energy into enjoying moments with family, friends, and growing professionally. (Yes, LESS time working out is what I’m preaching here.) Less dreaded time on the treadmill or elliptical, fewer hours, and less sweat. Why? Because I was DONE working out just to get it over with. DONE eating bland food just to wear certain clothes. DONE detoxing on Mondays to make up for a fun weekend. I do it now for enjoyment. I workout because I ENJOY it and I eat what I ENJOY. One Healthy Hamptons is built on the premise of balance in life, not extreme exercise, not cutting calories, or cutting fun in any way. That’s so last year.

And, ya know what? I’m healthier and fitter than I was last New Years. I’m not perfect, I’m not balanced, but I’m closer and I’m happier. And I’m here to share the health and happiness with YOU. Living a healthy lifestyle and embracing it can be a balanced, ENJOYABLE process. That’s really what a resolution should be about. A goal that you aspire to reach with a process of getting there that is ENJOYABLE. Or else what’s the point?!

My drive to start this community, One Healthy Hamptons, came from the desire to fully embrace the positivity of health and wellness and to make it that much more accessible for all of us. In a few short weeks, once we’ve settled into 2014, gotten used to our routines, and hopefully taken the holiday decorations down, health and wellness in the Hamptons is going to be the MOST accessible it’s ever been. We’re throwing a party and it’s called Hamptons Wellness Week. For one week only, all things healthy and well Montauk to Westhampton will be RIGHT at your fingertips.

If you want 2014 to be THE year, YOUR year, then join me. If you’re ready to set yourself up for success, if you’re DONE with the negatives and ready to CELEBRATE, or you’re ready to make this your healthiest year yet, you’re invited to Hamptons Wellness Week. If you want to learn, try, and grow, you’ve got to be there! Where?

Sign up for Hamptons Wellness Week on January 12th at Hampton Coffee’s Experience Store in Southampton, meet me there between 8 and 11am or 4 and 6pm to commit to getting fit, reinvest in your health, learn a ton, and have some fun. Participants in Hamptons Wellness Week will get: SEVEN premium fitness classes of your choice that work with YOUR schedule, SIX lectures to learn the skills to make 2014 knock your socks off, nutrition consultations, natural facials, a party and tasting at Fresh, the Hamptons top restaurant for healthy, local eats. PLUS, the first 50 to sign up will get awesome gift bags to kick off the week/year/healthier YOU!

One Healthy Breakdown: I resolve to write more concisely in 2014 😉

Hot Damn. Hot Yoga.

photo 2Looks like your typical yoga studio? Well, it’s not. It’s HOT in there…at Hamptons Hot Yoga (Bridgehampton.) No, like really hot. I guess that’s the typical response of a hot yoga first-timer? Shock? Shock initially, gratitude to follow. It’s not instant gratification, but it is gratification. I’ve been wanting to try hot yoga for a long time now and I’m so glad I did. I find that there is nothing quite like the benefits of yoga, especially for a body tired from spin, TRX, running, body combat, etc. Hot yoga combines each of the benefits of these other exercises (cardio, endurance, strength, agility, warming the body) plus stretching, lengthening, and challenging on a whole new level. While I love a good group fitness class, I despise feeling tight and compact afterwards. I love the post-yoga high that brings that sensation of long, lean, stretched muscles as well as a good sweat. Hot yoga brings the term ‘good sweat’ to a whole new level.

As unsafe, unnatural, and unpleasant as exercise in extreme heat seems, the class is conducted in a very specific manner, making safety the top priority. The precise rules, sequence, structure, suggested routine before, during, and after class, (LOTS of water, no food, no caffeine) all make the practice safe and beneficial for all. So, what are the benefits?

photo 1Benefits are countless. While the high heat allows the body to move and open more fluidly, excess sweat quickly removes toxins from deep within. Hot yoga is the perfect cleansing activity, it will leave you feeling renewed, rejuvinated, and pure. The postures and the heat works every part of the body; muscles, bones, organs, and even skin (our largest elimination organ.) Hot yoga claims to actually work 100% of the body. That makes 90 minutes pretty worthwhile doesn’t it?

Other benefits include; enhanced body processes (like metabolism, detoxification, mobility, circulation, oxygenation, and endocrine function.) Hot yoga also decreases stress, regulates blood pressure, improves immune system, and provides an overall ‘feel good’ vitality.

de467a032bb8ed4734e57c550e4e11aa_bigIt was great to see that the class was mixed, age, gender, ability, etc. It really speaks to the fact that anyone can do hot yoga, although I don’t think it’s for everyone. Anyone can experience this class, anyone can rest whenever they want, and anyone will feel the benefits for hours and hours after class. I was truly amazed at how I felt after class, with a new appreciation for the crisp fall air, my body, and even my simple daily routine outside of that oven.

You’re going to sweat. A LOT. You’re going to feel dizzy (at first, I’m told this sensation goes away after a few classes.) You’re going to want to guzzle water. You’re going to want to run out of the room. You’re going to daydream about ice cubes and stillness. But, you’re going to feel immense gratitude as well.

Hamptons Hot Yoga offers two variations; Bikram Hot Yoga and Hot Vinyasa, both open-level and all-inclusive. I gave the 90 minute Bikram class a try and plan to go back for more soon. There is not one downward dog and the class is the same every single time, a calculated sequence with exact purpose. This gives participants a chance to constantly improve their practice. Each of the 26 postures are performed twice with a few seconds rest in between. The first round sets the correct form and alignment, so your body knows where to go. The repetition allows you to push, go further, improve flexibility, and get the full benefits of the pose. The key, as with yoga in general, is to get the foundation down before pushing the body. Some of the poses are to be held for 30-60 seconds. This was a challenge. In the heat, it was a HUGE challenge. With sweat dripping down on the mat, focusing on the breath (and the rewards) is really all that keeps you going.

Vinyasa, meaning flow, is more of a fast-paced practice packed into a shorter (still 75 minutes) class. Vinyasa focuses on strength, balance, flexibility, and most of all: breath. Lienette, the studio director at Hamptons Hot Yoga, is very welcoming and informative. She clearly knows her stuff, as she walks the class through each and every posture with her words, not just telling you what to do, but how and why as well. And, even better, Hamptons Hot Yoga offers local a free week of classes so you can try it out!

One Healthy Breakdown: Hot yoga is like nothing else. I imagine the only thing it has in common with other workouts is the love/hate relationship. The benefits outweigh the burdens, if you can take the heat.

BODYVIVE: The Fun Functional Workout

Are you searching for a fun, effective, all-over heart-pounding workout? Look no further than BODYVIVE: the functional workout that trains the entire body! LES MILLS’ BODYVIVE is a low-impact class that incorporates cardio, balance, resistance, and core. It is perfect for all ages and all fitness levels.

Vive

I first tried BODYVIVE back in March when Sag Harbor Gym added it to the schedule and I haven’t missed a class since! The instructor, Jacqui Perrine, is incredibly fun; she keeps us on our toes and always delivers a fantastic class. Knowing that I am a BODYPUMP-aholic, Jacqui convinced me to try BODYVIVE in order to change up my routine and get faster results. I’m so glad I did. BODYVIVE is a class for anyone and everyone. Whether you’re looking to change up your routine, get more fit, or lose those last few pounds, this is the class for you!

BODYVIVE starts with a warm-up that previews many of the moves you will see later in the class. Jacqui then leads us through 25 minutes of low-impact cardio…but don’t be fooled, low-impact does not mean low intensity! These moves really get the heart pounding while working speed and agility. Sometimes, Jacqui has us working with the VIVE ball, a small exercise ball, to further activate the muscles. The cardio moves are easily modified for all levels and customizable for injuries. Following the cardio warm-up is active recovery; a sequence of moves inspired by Tai-Chi and yoga to slowly bring the heart rate down and prepare us for what is coming. So, what’s coming?!

After bringing the heart rate down, it is time to pump it back up during the functional strength-training portion of the class. We use the VIVE tubes to train the upper and lower body. Working with the tubes greatly increases muscular strength and endurance, improving posture at the same time. We then move on to core work, where we strengthen the abs and back. Finally, we end the class with a series of relaxing stretches that cool down the body and protect us from injuries. This class definitely takes you there, and then brings you back.

My other favorite thing about this class is the music: an eclectic mix of everything from top 40 hits to 80s rock. How can you not have fun when you are working out to AC/DC or The Rolling Stones?! I can personally say that BODYVIVE has improved my posture incredibly and helped me make great fitness advances. I consider myself a pretty active person and I have benefited so much from this program. It is a great compound-workout that fits cardio, strength, and core in to one hour, and is fun and accessible for everyone. BODYVIVE is enjoyed by all generations, I even take the class with my mom!

You can try BODYVIVE with Jacqui at the Sag Harbor Gym on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:30am. If you are not a member of the gym and would like to try the class, email Jacqui at jacquiperrine@yahoo.com for more information.

One Healthy Breakdown: For a fun, functional, efficient class that works the whole body, try BODYVIVE!