Dear SoulCycle…

by Kristine on May 14, 2015

Lately I’ve just been feeling really GOOD. But in a really good place. At peace. At ease. Content. Fufilled.

Quite frankly, a lot of it has to do with SoulCycle.

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We know my feelings on SoulCycle. I’ve gone on and on and on (and on) about them. They’re made up of positive, motivating, inspiring, amazing feelings. And every time I step into that studio I feel like I have the support of an entire community of riders with me. It’s pretty extraordinary.

It wasn’t always that way.

Let’s go back a year or so ago. I was knee-deep into doing all the workouts. How many could I fit into a day? More cardio. More miles. Faster paces. SoulCycle? More endorphins. Let’s do this. I was moving at about a billion miles an hour at all times.

And it was exhausting.

Last fall I made a change – I started doing more yoga and Pilates and Bar Method classes. I started immersing myself in this incredible fitness community in SF. Chatting with people before and after classes. Learning names. Getting to know these wonderful (pun intended) souls. Taking it all in.

And I started going to SoulCycle more and also for entirely different reasons.

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I can pinpoint exactly when it happened. It was one of Lauren McHale’s 7:30pm classes at the Union Street studio. That class is affectionately referred to as the #730freaks. I had no idea what I was walking into. A friend of mine and I decided to take the class together on a whim.

It changed everything.

The energy, the encouragement, the feeling that these people and instructors have your back. Through all my years of team sports and even running, I’ve never felt something so incredible. And I changed. My perspective changed. Right then and there.

I began to crave the community as much as I crave the physical ride. I went to SoulCycle for the mental, emotional and spiritual benefits as well as the physical ones. I wanted to grow the relationships I’ve built within the 4 walls of the studio. I wanted to ride with the pack, to work as one, to start and finish together and to get to know the amazing people that make up the SoulCycle community in San Francisco. It’s crazy to think about, but so much can be accomplished inside the 4 walls of that studio. Being in there has changed my outlook and mindset. It’s encouraged me to fight for my passion and my goals and to make things happen. It’s taught me to understand the ebbs and flows we go through and to have the faith that we’ll end up exactly where we deserve to be. (Thanks Ian.)

To some of you, SoulCycle is a boutique fitness class. A trendy, expensive way to spend 45 minutes or an hour before a brunch or juice or coffee date. I get that. Also they have cute branded apparel from Lululemon and Nike. A lot of it. The candles also smell really, really good.

But it’s become so much more to me. It’s both a place of solace after a stressful day at work and also a place of endless motivation. I both feed off the energy in the room and also contribute to it. It’s a place to spend time with friends. To gather inspiration. To meet new people. To be present. To be involved – when people surpass their limits, reach new goals or achieve something new. You feel a part of it. You want to be there.

On a Monday in February, I took Ian McAndrew’s Soul Survivor class in Marin. (Sidebar: If you haven’t taken it, TAKE IT NOW.) I rarely make it over to Marin but every time I do, I feel so inspired by the people in that room. Ian mentioned people in class for having honorable qualities or attributes – generous, giving, kind, determined, courageous. All of the things I look for in people I surround myself with. I felt a sense of calm and pride being a part of it. I wanted to work harder during that 60 minutes and in my life because of and for those people. They say that how you ride your bike is the way you live your life. Cute little diatribe yes, but when you actually think about it there are people who are living every day the way they live that 45 minutes on the bike. Pushing, fighting, encouraging, refusing to quit. I started taking that to heart.

I want to continue to motivate and inspire through this corner of the internet, on social platforms, and in every minute of every day – sharing ways to feel your best, eat your best and be your best. Being the best girlfriend, sister, friend, daughter, colleague, person I can be. Life is all about the perspective you take, the relationships you build and the energy you exude. I choose to make that positive. Not perfection, positive. On all fronts.

Ian frequently says, “Be, 100%, unapologetically you”. It stuck with me and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. There hasn’t been a day since where that thought doesn’t enter my mind.

So as we enter the second-half of 2015, it’s on. No holding back. It’s time to pursue some big goals. To finally make that big change I’ve been wanting to make for a while now (#suspense, more to come I PROMISE). To leave it all out there.

Can’t wait to see you on a bike.

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That Time I Did Yoga to the People in NYC.

by Kristine on May 8, 2015

So it’s been kind of a while yes?

2 weeks to be exact. (Don’t fret, to catch up on the last 14 days of my life follow me on Instagram.)

So I’ve been up to a lot.

I was in NYC for a full 7 days for a work event. The days were long, the sleep was not nearly enough, the walls in the hotel were paper thin, and yet NYC steals my heart every, single, time.

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I made time to sweat – at Yoga to the People, a megaformer class, Bar Method and SoulCycle (full recaps coming for the first two, I think we all know my feeling on the latter – the words addicted and obsessed come to mind) – and of course, time to visit my favorite eats and to discover some new ones. Which I’ll be providing a FULL recap of because there was a lot of healthy goodness happening. This is where I’d normally say there was a lot of unhealthy goodness (wine, treats) happening too but with barely any sleep and incredibly long days – I try to really keep it in check to avoid getting sick. No one has time for that. (Dark Chocolate is categorized as a necessity rather than a treat just FYI).

I met up with friends whenever I was able. I walked through Central Park, strolled every morning, almost got hit by a taxi multiple times, and started talking with a New York accent. Basically I WAS LIVING. (Joking about the accent, I’m incapable of impressions.)

I also got some good news. Like fall out of your chair, shrieking, don’t even remember the conversation good news. Only I um… didn’t do that I swear. Because I’m an adult. And mature.

And because this is a blog, I’ll reveal that news next week. #suspense

But today I wanted to talk about something that’s rarely mentioned on this corner of the internet – YOGA.

I love Bar Method. I adore it actually. I go 4-5x a week and I love every single second of every single class. Even chair. Seriously. I feel my body getting stronger and I love that. I love Soul Cycle and I was fortunate enough to take a class with one of the original instructors in NYC yesterday and the presence that woman had up on that podium was inspiring, motivating and empowering. When she told us to stand up for our dreams, I felt it.

But back to yoga. I was on a bit of a yoga kick last fall/winter at Equinox, but unfortuantely multiple memberships at multiple studios on top of living in San Francisco gets real pricey, real fast. So yoga had to go. (Unless I’m really in need in which case… I forfeit an Uber on a weekend and I take the class.)

After a long day of work, my co-worker suggested we try a Yoga to the People class. I suggested we go to Lyon’s Den, my go-to. But, there’s a first time for everything. I’d never been to YTTP, but I’d heard of it from my hard-core yogi friends. Had no idea what to expect.

For reference, I frequent yoga studios like CorePower or Yoga Flow SF – they have more of a spa like feel with Spiritual Gangster and Lululemon apparel sold in the lobbies and high-quality yoga mats and sweat wicking towels available for rent.

This was nothing like either.

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(For reference we went to the 38th street location.)

We walked up a few flights up stairs, threw our things into cubby holes, rented older yoga mats and cotton towels and walked into the (very) hot room. I laid down to stretch and instantly felt at ease. The rest of the class made their way in and the vibe was… just there. No one looked at anyone as they walked in. No critiquing of outfits. Or bodies. Everyone was there for them. And their practice.

I was there for the mental and spiritual benefits. The instructor, in training herself, led us through a vigorous flow but at our own pace. Pick it up if you want, slow it down if you need to. Hang in child’s pose the entire time. Do you.

I did me.

I wanted to sweat, I wanted to stretch, I wanted to move, and I wanted to completely zone out.

At the end, I felt at ease. I felt like I had just taken the biggest breath and let it all out. It was such a wonderful feeling – and one that I don’t get to experience nearly enough.

Fear not though, I’m not totally unrecognizable. I did refuel with a raw coconut water and an Acai Blueberry Chia Pudding.

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The moral of this story is – I’m a planner. In every sense of the word. I get high-strung and stressed. But sometimes you just do things without planning it out, without signing up in advance, without knowing what it’s going to be like, and without thinking about it and concentrating on how you’re going to do it.

And it ends up being exactly what you need it to be.

So next time you’re feeling a bit like things are spinning a little too fast for your liking – just stop. Breathe. Maybe go to yoga. Maybe don’t go for that run that could stress you out further. The first thing that comes to mind? Do it. (Unless that thing is illegal, in which case, opt out.)

TGIF.

The Details:

Locations: SF, NY, Seattle, Berkeley, Tempe

About: Yoga to the People is a unique yoga studio with the goal of recapturing what we consider to be the essence of yoga… simply put, yoga made available to everyone.

Cost: Donation based. A donation is the sacred act of giving. There is a suggested donation of $10 a class. Suggested donation means that if you can put $10 in the box, please do. If you are not in a position to do so, contribute what you can. Nobody will be keeping track of individual donations. The $10 dollar donation is not meant as a bottom or a top limit… if you are in a position to donate more, it will be greatly appreciated. (Mat Rental: $2)

Schedule: Varies, check out your studio of choice.

 

 

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Tahoe Eats + Coconut Mango Stuffed Salmon Recipe

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{Daily Eats} Featuring Go Methodology!

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