YogaWorks and Chobani SoHo

In case you missed it, check out my first recap of my BlogHer 2012 weekend in NYC, published yesterday – Physique 57 and girl time with some Fitfluential Ambassadors at Agave NYC!

Another workout-and-food pairing to share with you all today from this past weekend’s trip to NYC for the BlogHer conference! And really, what two things go together better than moving and eating? NYC resident and fellow Fitfluential Ambassador Meredith of Dare You To… (her blog has a great concept, check it out) tweeted me about meeting up while I was in town at literally the EXACT same moment I was going to tweet her about the same. Talk about being on the same blend wavelength! We made plans to spend Sunday morning together before I headed back home to CT.

Photo courtesy of Meredith, because I looked beyond awkward in my pic of us.

I proposed using the free class cards to YogaWorks that we’d received at #fitblognyc. They were recently expired, but the manager of the YogaWorks Westside studio, Laura Henry, was kind enough to let Meredith and I come in to use anyway! I selected Pilates Fusion 1 with instructor Lindsay Ashmun, partially because I enjoy pilates and partially because it was the earliest class offered on a Sunday morning (9am start time) and I am a grandma who likes being up early.

Of course Meredith and I showed up (I was late…I apparently think that 65th Street reads 56th Street) in the same Sweaty Bands headband from our Fitness Magazine Meet & Tweet swag. I wore my Reebok crops for the second day in a row #sorrynotsorry and was totally envious of Meredith’s ADORABLE Zella workout top. After seeing hers and the top Heather got at the Zella Day of Movement at Nordstrom, I think I need to head to my local Nordstrom Rack ASAP so I can get in on the Zella action.

It’s probably just me being a tourist, but I was super in-awe of the digital lockers in the locker room! I just set up a code, put my belongings inside, and used it again to get them out after our class. I felt like I was in some sort of Charlie’s Angels movie, entering a secret passcode to access whatever top-level secure item I might have been in search of. Yes I am a nerd.

I’ve never taken a pilates class that utilized equipment other than a mat, and was intrigued when we used the same blue bands we used in Physique 57, the above pictured foam rollers, a contraption I’m going to call a thigh ring, and a couple of yoga blocks.

Showing off the band and thigh ring…did I mention I’m a nerd?

The class itself was a bit disappointing. I felt bored during some of it because though I have not done a lot of pilates recently, I did do a great deal of it during my senior year at Uconn and I think my accumulated experience kept me from feeling challenged. That being said, there were a couple points during the class that definitely felt like tests of strength (especially the back work on the floor – swimmers NEVER get easier for me). The class may have been a bit too easy for me, but everyone is different. Lindsay’s class was a level one and I definitely think that she kept it there – an instructor who teaches a beginner’s class at a level above beginner is not thinking of her clients, who likely are showing up expecting a basic level workout. YogaWorks offered a level one Pilates Fusion class, and they delivered! Next time, I will make sure to select a class more fitting to my level.

I adore the company’s green and purple color scheme (the Barney lover in me?) and the lamps in this waiting area felt so calming and zen.

I did enjoy using the blue band – such a great way to switch up resistance training, and so easy to modify to fit each class participant’s level. I was not a fan of the foam roller at all though. I felt like it hindered my movements when we were using it during the ab and back work on the floor. Maybe I wasn’t using it correctly?! Since I am not a runner and do not have any injuries that tend to flare up on me (knock on wood), I’ve never found a need for the foam roller and am not experienced with it. I know that many bloggers out there are in love with them and would probably have appreciated using it in the class more than I did!

Despite the fact that I selected the wrong class to try, I have to say that the YogaWorks studio was gorgeous and the instructor, Lindsay, was incredibly skilled and taught an appropriate level of class to her clients. Thank you Laura and YogaWorks for hosting Meredith and I!

I made it! MECCA!!! 😛

Once I heard Chobani was opening a store in SoHo, I vowed to make a stop there while I was in town for BlogHer. Goal accomplished! Meredith and I took the subway downtown and decided to turn our visit into a sampling lunch of four Chobani signature creations. You guys know I’m all about sampler platters and trying as many different varieties of food/drink as possible at all times, so this was the perfect plan for our visit! And you know what made it even more perfect? Coupon Caitlin got to use coupons for both Meredith and I to get two free signature creations – thanks Chobani for handing them out at the Physique 57 event! I have more to use for next time I’m in town too!

Bloggers love Chobani!

I loved the Dark Chocolate + Pistachio creation I’d tried Friday at the WellAndGoodNYC Physique 57 event so much that I opted to get it again. Yup, that’s how you KNOW I love something – if I pass up something new to have it again! It’s pictured at top in the photo below, and the other three creations we tried, in a clockwise direction, are:

  • Fig + Walnut: dried Turkish figs, clover honey, walnuts
  • Plain + Cucumber: cucumber, sea salt, mint, EVOO, served with pita chips
  • Toasted Coconut + Pineapple: pineapple, toasted coconut, Turkish hazelnuts, light agave nectar

HOLY CRAP. They were all SO GOOD. This was an amazing lunch and the best part is that all of these combos can be re-created at home! The Fig + Walnut was just too fabulous, I loooove figs and Meredith has been “obsessed” with them (her words not mine) lately too. I informed her she needs to find a restaurant that serves figs on a pizza ASAP…preferably with gorgonzola cheese involved. My favorite by far was the Plain + Cucumber, not a surprise since I’m such a savory/salty food addict. I’m pretty sure I ate all the pita chips, oops! The mixture reminded me of my beloved Greek specialty, tzatziki sauce. The EVOO really added an extra special richness to the mixture. Finally, the Toasted Coconut + Pineapple was enjoyed by Meredith and I more than we both had anticipated. She and I agreed that the coconut being toasted (and not just shaved in its “snowy” form) enhanced the creation and gave that satisfying crunch that makes any yogurt mess better.

Photo courtesy of Meredith. Each signature creation looks like this when it’s served, and the little glass bowls are either re-used by Chobani in the store or are yours to take home!

Lucky Meredith even got to go to an event the very next day (AKA last night) at Chobani SoHo to sample any of the creations she hadn’t tried yet. Definitely jealous of her status as a New Yorker and her access to a never-ending list of restaurants! I had such a wonderful time hanging out with her – of course we never ran out of topics to chat about. I even found myself having to reel myself in off of tangents (that I’d wandered to 10-15 minutes before) to get back to original points I was (trying) to make. It’s OK, we covered a lot more that way 😉

My workout and lunch with Meredith on Sunday were the perfect way to end my trip to NYC. After I got back to my hotel and grabbed my bags ($14 to hold them downstairs for me, seriously Hilton?), I hightailed it to the train station, where I arrived at the perfect moment to catch the train to New Haven.

But I’m going out of order here. My next post will recap ALL conference-related activities from the entire weekend (Thursday-Saturday). Get ready!!!

Have you ever taken a fitness class that ended up being at a level that was too low for you? How did it turn out? 

Are there any restaurants on your must-visit list that are at a place you’d need to travel far to get to? Have you ever gotten to visit one of those? Another for me was Pure Food & Wine!

Tell me YOUR own Chobani signature creation that you make at home…or any yogurt mess!

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