Equinox Darmouth Street, Boston: Outdoor Vinyasa Flow

This write up is about the Saturday 4:30-5:45pm Outdoor Vinyasa Flow Yoga class with Sara Grossi

Studio: This class is held at Equinox on Dartmouth St. in Back Bay. You need to be a member to take classes (or if you have friends who are members they can get you in with a guest pass to try a class). Membership is around $160 per month. Ok, first off, Equinox is BEAUTIFUL.   It’s super spacious inside, the locker room (with amenities like a sauna and steam room) is more like a luxury spa than a gym, and the yoga studio feels very Zen-like, plenty of room for you to sprawl out in delightful savasanas, with dimmed lighting and plenty of props. This particular class was held on Equinox’s outdoor patio (uh hello, what city gym has an amazing outdoor space to use for classes weather-permitting?!)

As for other amenities, mats are available. There is also a juice/smoothie bar, “Squeeze” right outside of the gym for you to “juice up” on the way out.

 

Class: (This write up is about the 4:30pm Outdoor Vinyasa Flow class with Sara)

Since this class was outdoors (and fully in the shade due to the time of day and positioning of the building), it was not very hot temperature-wise. It was probably in the low 70’s if we were to guestimate. We definitely still sweated a bit but not to the point where we needed to change our clothing post-workout before heading to dinner. Sara kicked off the class in a very calming way, we set intentions and she expressed to us her manta of “Live Free”. Words that resonated with us throughout the class while breathing and moving on our mats together. She instructed us through some poses we had never done before and that was refreshing and fun to try some new “asanas”. A Saturday evening in Boston and we began to smell aromas of burgers and/or Chinese food (we debated back and forth) being cooked at a nearby restaurant, wafting through the air. The Starving Yogi’s appetite was getting revved up for our dinner at Red Lantern!

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Is this class for me?

This class is a vigorous, more athletic approach to yoga techniques characterized by flowing poses and sequences that are linked to the breath. The class was a mixture of beginners to more advanced yogis and Sara provided modifications/options for various levels. A wonderful harmony of relaxation mixed with some definite challenging physical work made for a beautiful vinyasa flow in this amazing outdoor urban sanctuary. Sara is moving to Miami in a couple of weeks so sadly you will not be able to take her class here BUT if visiting Miami you can check her out at the Equinox gyms there and check her out on Facebook to stay tuned for upcoming yoga retreats to attend! And get to see her do more crazy cool yogi master poses like this one 😉 facebook.com/SaraGrossiYoga

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Studio Information:

Equinox Dartmouth

131 Dartmouth Street

Boston, MA 02116

(617) 578-8918

www.equinox.com

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Steel and Rye – Milton

Like Milton Yoga, Steel and Rye in the Lower Mills area of Milton – which is a short 5 minute drive from the studio – is on the Starving Yogi’s list of favorites. The restaurant is located in an old ambulance garage (according to the website) that has been remodeled into a trendy, wide open space with two large dining areas, a bar, an outdoor patio and some private function rooms. The décor is simple and tasteful and manages to convey the upmost care of the space without being overwhelming. These yogis especially like the creativity in the lighting scheme. The staff is always friendly and attentive – even to a couple of grubby yogis, although we like to think we’re an early evening staple at this point – and very knowledgeable.

On to the good stuff (and it’s all good stuff)… the Starving Yogis have yet to have anything but a fantastic meal here. One thing to note, the menu does change so don’t get hooked on just one dish (otherwise you may find yourself asking over and over why the homemade orecchietti pasta with spicy sausage, broccoli rabe and ricotta cheese that you dream about isn’t on the menu in the dead of August… this is a bad place to be, trust me, we’re there right now).   The menu is filled with unique ingredients and pairings that the staff is always ready and willing to explain. Some of starving yogi’s favorite dishes on the current menu are the Tuna Ceviche (which was an excellent staff recommendation of something we wouldn’t typically order), and the burrata for two, (which is really for two, as clearly pictured in the photo below… do not worry if there will be enough to share!)

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 Some of our other faves include (but are not limited to) the local scallops, and any of the pastas (because… carbs).  We also love the adorable plates and bowls that remind of us something you’d find in your grandma’s kitchen cabinets!

Entrees range from roughly $23-33 and won’t leave you hungry.

The cocktail menu probably deserves a write up of its own but it would probably sound just like the regular menu: unique, constantly changing, and delicious. The bartenders know their stuff and while we’ve had some amazing drinks off the menu, this is a great place to ask a bartender for a mystery mix. Finally, save room for dessert! Starving Yogis always try something new and have yet to be disappointed. The fruit based desserts in the summer are out of this world… even if you’re stuffed, get one to share because you won’t find these desserts at another restaurant.  One of our fave desserts of all time is the cheesecake mousse, a delectable and aesthetically pleasing arrangement of fresh fig ice cream, graham, and rose gelee atop creamy cheesecake mousse heaven.

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 Tips:

-Starving yogis don’t usually make a reservation as we end up there at off-times, but a reservation would be smart during peak times towards the end of the week.

-Parking lot and street parking make parking a breeze, and valet service is available during peak hours.

-We’ve never been to a restaurant that so wonderfully accommodates sharing… Starving yogis love trying as much food as possible and this is something we really appreciate!

-Great brunch – check out the Bloody Mary varieties.

-Beautiful outdoor patio to dine on is available (just be sure to pack some bug spray for once the sun sets)!

-It’s not on the menu now, but check back for the chicken pot pie. If you’ve never had a stranger ask to take a picture of your meal, you may be able to cross that off your list…

 

Steel and Rye

95 Eliot St.

Milton, MA 02186

(617) 690-2787

http://steelandrye.com/

*Before dining at Steel and Rye, Starving Yogis sweated it out at Milton Yoga: https://starvingyogis.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/milton-yoga-he…-power-vinyasa/

Milton Yoga – Heated Power Vinyasa with Kaileen

This write up is about the 4:15 Heated Power Vinyasa class with Kaileen

Studio: This is one of Starving Yogi’s favorite studios. The studio itself is very simple – small welcome area and a standing desk flanked by two studios and two bathrooms (key for changing into dry clothes, splashing some body spray and making an acceptable sweat bun with your hair before heading out to dinner).

The classrooms themselves are just as simple. The heated vinyasa class takes place in a room with nice wood floors, muted red walls, and minimal decoration that is truly relaxing. There are also windows in the front and back of the room (don’t fret over being window art – you cannot see into the studio from the street!). While seemingly not all that common in a lot of heated studios, having some natural sunlight can really brighten up your practice (pun intended).

As for other amenities, there is bottled water on hand for $1 if you forget to pack your own and a mat rental option for $3. They do not have an in-store boutique, so make sure you pack dry clothes for dinner afterwards.

Class:  (This write up is about the 4:15 Heated Power Vinyasa class with Kaileen)

Class: Heated Power Vinyasa (90-95 degrees, 60% humidity – 1 hour). We aren’t always the best judge of temperature, but the class generally seems to be little cooler than 90. It is, however, very humid so expect to sweat it out no matter what. Class size has varied between 7 people on a nice day to 27 people on a rainy day. The room is a bit small for that many people, but in my experience, everyone does their best to make sure everyone has enough space.

Class typically begins with Kaileen asking each person if they have anything they’d like to work on. Expect some good natured grief if you’re the first person to say abs (and expect me to beat you up after class if you’re the second or third person to say it). Class generally follows a typical flow progression – warming up through chaturanga , warriors and twists, and then to the floor for bridges and abs, and then ending in savasana. However, no class is ever the same, which is awesome. Not only does the flow itself change each time, but some classes include partner modifications (it sounds sweaty, but they’re actually great), 5 minutes to freestyle it up with whatever, headstand work, and depending on class size, individual help with skills/modifications at all levels.

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Is this class for me?

In general, if you’re new to yoga it’s smart to check out classes that are geared towards beginners, if only to learn the vocabulary. This is a fast moving and challenging class that may be a little quick for vinyasa newbies. That said, the atmosphere of class is fun, light-hearted and inviting. It’s also worth noting that Kaileen has an incredible talent for making you feel good about yourself even if you fall on your face, so if you’re looking for the “judgment free zone” of heated vinyasa, this just might be your class.

Tips:

Lot and street parking is a breeze.

Price Point: $18 per class

 

Studio Information:

Milton Yoga

12 Brush Hill Rd.

Milton, MA 02186

(781) 534-9642

http://www.miltonyoga.com/MiltonYoga.php 

*Starving Yogis headed to dine at Steel and Rye post-Milton Yoga class: https://starvingyogis.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/steel-and-rye-milton/

La Casa de Pedro – Watertown

La Casa de Pedro is one of the handful of Venezuelan restaurants in the area. If you haven’t experienced Venezuelan cuisine then you are missing out. It is a lively array of color, spice and flavor. La Casa de Pedro is lively and energetic from the moment to walk through the door. The space is open and colorful, with palm trees and live music on Friday and Saturday nights. The Starving Yogis visited La Casa de Pedro after working up a very rigorous sweat at CorePower’s Saturday night 4:30pm Yoga Sculpt class, and it did not disappoint in meeting our ferocious appetites. We made a reservation through Open Table earlier that day (as it gets super packed on the weekends). We strolled into the restaurant in our standard post-yoga attire, dry workout clothes that we throw on after class after peeling off our sweat-soaked outfits and applying fresh layers of deodorant, body spray and face wipes). We are usually the most under-dressed patrons and such was the case here at La Casa de Pedro as well. It’s all good, we have come to terms with our scrubby status and have embraced it 😉

We started with sampling a taste of the red and white sangria. Both were delicious, the white was a bit sweet for our taste buds that evening, and the red was just right. We opted for a pitcher of the red sangria and it was delightfully refreshing.

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 For appetizers we went with two arepas (Venezuela’s everyday bread, grilled corn cakes filled with your choice of deliciousness). We went with one “Carne Mechada con Queso”-Shredded Beef and Cheese and one “Reina Pepiada”- Chicken and Avocado. We shared each one and loved them both; a heavenly way to kick off our Venezuelan feast.  Onto the entrees, Jen went with the Pabellon Criollo, the most traditional Venezuelan dish! Shredded beef slowly simmered in very fine chopped vegetables. Served with white rice, black beans, and fried sweet plantains. Reasonably priced at 18.99. You also can add fried eggs to it for an additional $1.50, WOAH. Maybe next time!  Andrea went with the El Gaucho skirt steak, a distinctive 100% natural (no antibiotic or growth hormones) steak with Argentinean chimichurri sauce grilled to perfection on a charcoal grill and served with sides of black beans, plantains and yucca (a root vegetable, these taste similar to French fries and are uber tasty). This meal was $21.99 and more than adequately fed one starving yogi.

What is a meal without dessert to share?! After a quick deliberation we went with the coconut flan (quesillo). Creamy with a melt in your mouth sort of status, we uttered the words “uh this may be the best dessert we’ve had”. You MUST try the flan here. It comes in traditional milk, coconut and also chocolate. They are homemade and drizzled with caramel goodness.

Starving Yogis gives La Casa de Pedro two yogi thumbs up, way up! We will be back.

Tips/other info:

  • Plenty of parking in a lot a bit behind the restaurant
  • They offer a lunch and brunch menu
  • They have a really cute patio for outdoor seating in nice weather

 

La Casa de Pedro

343 Arsenal Street

Watertown, MA 02472

(617) 923-8025

http://www.lacasadepedrolatincuisine.com/

*Before enjoying La Casa de Pedro, Starving Yogis had a great workout at CorePower Yoga: https://starvingyogis.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/core-power-yoga-newton/

CorePower Yoga – Yoga Sculpt – Newton

CorePower Yoga – Newton

This write up is about the Saturday 4:30pm Yoga Sculpt class with Tristan

Studio: This studio is brand spanking new (opened up in April 2014), and is absolutely GORGEOUS, which you would not have guessed from the outside of the building (an ugly concrete building that borders the crazy rotary off of Exit 17 of the Mass Pike). After going around this rotary you’ll be in need of a little Zen time. The lobby is an array of colors and prints of all the beautiful arrangements of yoga apparel that you can peruse and purchase on the way in or the way out from class (or both). Although if you’d like to try on anything before you buy…we recommend doing this on your way into class before you are soaked in sweat head to toe on your way out 😉 Once you pass through the lobby and reception desk you enter the locker room which looks more like a spa, uber luxurious. Showers, overhead non-fluorescent track lighting, plenty of lockers, two bathrooms, lotions and body spray by the sink area. If our power sculpt class was abruptly cancelled we would be A ok with hanging out in the locker room for the hour instead, THAT’S how nice it is!

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Once you tear yourself away from the locker room, you walk down a long hallway (which is lined with more cute yoga clothing for sale, shopaholics beware), that leads you to two studios. One very large studio and one smaller studio. Both studios are lined with mirrors which we are a big fan of, making it easy to check your alignment while in postures and to check out your sweaty bulging muscles and give yourself a lil wink. The studios are lovely and new. A very good sound system pumps music (they play fabulous music) into the airy studio which gets natural like from windows that line the street.

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As for other amenities, mats are available to rent and water and towels are available for purchase. There is also a water bubbler in the hallway that leads from the lobby to two studios.

Class: (This write up is about the 4:30 Yoga Sculpt class with Tristan)

Heated Power Yoga with weights (92-95 degrees, with a little added humidity – 1 hour).

This class is not your typical yoga class… AT ALL. You use light dumbbells for a good portion of the class (which are all nicely stacked against a side wall and you grab before class starts). There is also a cardio segment of the class involving fast paced jumping jacks, high knees, and other calisthenics. There are still a lot of down dogs and chaturungas, planks and vinyasas, your warrior and chair poses you hold light dumbbells and there is a whole squat sequence, triceps and biceps sequence that also use weights. There is an abs portions as well. And you still get your savasana at the end of class (because it wouldn’t be a yoga class without it , right?!) Each sculpt class is similar but never identical and the music is different each time. The playlist Tristan used was amazing and upbeat, featuring some Paula Abdul and other songs us 80’s-born yogis recognized and could sing along in a heartbeat to. Tristan brought an energetic vibe himself to the class and also did just about every movement along with the class while instructing which is pretty darn impressive.

This truly is the definition of a full body workout. Sculpt kicked our butts and we loved every second of it! We were both sore the next couple of days; adding the strengthening component of the free weights really ups the ante. These two starving yogis worked up an appetite in this metabolism-revving calorie-torching class and were ready to make our way to dinner.

 Is this class for me?

This class is not for beginners. CorePower recommends you take at least one CorePower level 1 or 2 (C1 or C2) class before a Yoga Sculpt class. This class is fast-paced and challenging. That being said, you can adjust the intensity by using lighter weights and taking short breaks when needed. It is a very friendly environment and the instructor will not pull a drill sargent and yell at you if you pause to take a breather.

Tips: There is a parking garage (they validate up to 90 minutes) and also a metered parking lot behind the building.

There are A LOT of class offerings and a wide array of class times.

Price point: $20 per class

 

Studio Information:

CorePower Yoga

305 Centre Street

Newton, MA 02458

Phone: (617) 916-9756

CorePower Yoga

*Starving Yogis headed to dine at La Casa de Pedro after sweating it out at CorePower: https://starvingyogis.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/la-casa-de-pedro-watertown/