class review: banana skirt productions
lately, i’ve been making an effort to switch up my workout routine as much as possible. i’ve never been much of a gym rat and need variety in order to stay motivated. one thing that’s great about living in new york is that there is no shortage of gyms and studios offering soooo many different kinds of classes. i’ve been class hopping a lot lately and i thought i would start doing some class review posts so that you guys can get a glimpse of what some of these places are like. hopefully, i’ll be able to do this for other cities i travel to, so that the reviews won’t be strictly for the city i live in, as i know i have readers all over the place!
last week, a friend of mine invited me to check out a cardio dance class with her at banana skirt productions and it was so. much. fun. banana skirt offers a few different types of classes, but most importantly, they are most popular for the artist specific classes where an instructor teaches you the actual dance moves from the videos of some of your favorite songs, which is what we were dying to try. obviously we decided to attend a beyoncé class… because duh.
we went to the 7/11 class because this has kind of been my 2015 theme song. i definitely own the KALE sweatshirt she wears in the video and just felt like this was the class i had to take. if you’re not familiar with this video, get familiar with it asap. it was a full class of people of all different skill levels [oh, i should mention that i’m a terrible dancer and still had a great time] and the instructor really broke down the steps and made it accessible for everyone… and she was also really encouraging and made it a point to make everyone feel comfortable, since clearly we can’t all move like beyoncé [although it’s really fun to try]. they also will post a clip from your class to their instagram [you can check my class out here] which is super fun to see after the fact. so, what’s the verdict?
4/5 bananas for banana skirt productions!
i’m giving banana skirt 4/5 bananas only because i didn’t sweat as much as i would typically like to [it’s not really the nature of a class like this, since you’re stopping and learning the actual dance moves] but the $20 price point [so cheap for new york!], the atmosphere and the overall experience will definitely be bringing me back soon!
what other studios should i check out?!
guest post: quick workouts when you’re pressed for time
happy friday, everyone! i’m super excited to be welcoming missa, blogger over at skinny affair, to bananas + bellinis for today’s post! missa and myself recently connected somewhere in the blogosphere and when i saw how aligned our approaches to health and wellness were, i knew she would be perfect for a guest post. i asked her to share something that she thought fit into the bananas + bellinis lifestyle, but was still true to who she was and what she puts out there on skinny affair. she came up with a little list of her favorite quick workouts for when you’re on-the-go or in a rush, but still want to maintain a certain level of activity. i can’t wait to give these a try!
we all know what it’s like to be super busy [or just plain lazy]. experts recommend adults get at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity. that’s about 10 minutes per day!
so, on those days when you don’t have enough time to go to the gym or your favorite workout class, try doing quick bursts of at-home workouts. i’ve put together a list of my favorite youtube workouts for when I’m pressed for time. all you need is a mat and a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
- your yoga gym | energizing mars yoga routine: when i’m feeling like i need some energy, this is my go-to yoga workout. this sequence goes through vigorous movements in a little less than 10 minutes.
- tone it up | bikini yoga: this yoga sequence is about 15 minutes long. it’s a little less traditional, but it can stretch, elongate and strengthen your entire body. i love that this sequence starts off slow, but quickly picks up the pace.
- livestrong women | lift + tone booty routine with katrina: it’s becoming obvious that i’m a huge tone it up fan. katrina and karena have so many quick workouts that target different areas of the body. this specific routine will teach you a bunch of great booty workouts to target all angles.
- tone it up | bikini abs routine: we all need a good ab routine! this one has movements for your obliques, upper abs and lower abs. karena’s bikini abs routine is one of my favorites because it’s so quick, but still gives me a good sweat.
tip: wake up 15-30 minutes early and do one or two of the workouts above first thing in the morning. it’ll wake up your muscles and give you some energy to start your day strong.
have a go-to workout? i’d love to hear about them! share in the comments below or tweet me @skinnyaffair!
and, if you’re into health/wellness, style, beauty and everything in between, check out my blog!
guest post: morning glory blog’s workout playlists
happy friday, readers! i’m beyond excited to introduce you to my seriously talented, gorgeous, chic friend ashley of morning glory blog today! ashley is a boston-based fashion and music blogger, so i asked her to put together a couple of workout playlists for you guys. i’ve turned both of these into ppotify playlists [which i’ve shared with you below!] and plan on using them for myself starting like, yesterday.
i’m typically blasting hip-hop or electronic music in my ears when I’m at the gym [or taylor swift’s 1989, if i’m being honest], but i’m excited to try out a more rock-based playlist when i hit the gym next week. so, that’s enough from me… everyone, meet ashley… and expect to see more from her in the future here at bananas + bellinis! oh, and be sure to follow ashley on facebook, twitter + instagram!
hello everyone! my name is ashley and i am the founder of morning glory blog, a style and music blog. today, i am guest posting on bananas + bellinis to bring you the perfect workout playlists for your active and healthy lifestyle. music is a major part of my life. seriously, i don’t go a day without it, and i never leave the house without my ipod.
for ten years of my life, i was a competitive swimmer. from the pool, to dry-land training, and weightlifting, there was always music playing somewhere. it was the one thing that kept me sane and got me through a hard workout. music is a great way to bring positivity and excitement into your workout.
- “Rock ‘N’ Roll Star” by Oasis
- “Don’t Sit Down Cuz I’ve Moved Your Chair” by Arctic Monkeys
- “Blind Faith” by Chase & Status
- “Dance Commander” by Electric Six
- “Easy Money” by Johnny Marr
- “Club Foot” by Kasabian
- “Come Closer” by The New Pornographers
- “What A Life” by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
- “Echoes Round The Sun” by Paul Weller
- “Heads Will Roll” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba
- “Purple Yellow Red & Blue” by Portugal, The Man
- “Lost” by Coldplay
- “Run [I’m a Natural Disaster]” by Gnarls Barkley
- “Contact” by Daft Punk
- “Big Jet Plane” by Angus & Julia Stone
- “In Safe Hands” by Badly Drawn Boy
- “Talk is Cheap” by Chet Faker
- “Push Your Head Towards The Air” by Editors
- “Islands” by Hey Ocean!
- “9669” by The Joy Formidable
- “Blood” by The Middle East
- “Welcome Home, Son” by Radical Face
- “Midnight” by Coldplay
- “Islands” by The XX
motivation mondays: week 6
wow, i can’t believe this series is already in its sixth installment… time goes by so fast these days it’s actually scary. i feel like it was just a few weeks ago that i was ringing in 2014, but in reality, the year is almost over already. seriously, where is the time going?
this weekend definitely went by too quickly. i ate at some awesome restaurants [mostly very unhealthy ones, but remember… balance!] and yesterday i ran my first half marathon, which definitely helped me justify all of the indulgent meals i consumed over the weekend! i needed to carb load to prepare for the race… right?
running a half marathon was something i decided i wanted to try to do about four months ago. honestly, if you would have told me at this time last year that i would be completing a half marathon ever in my life, i would have laughed at you. i never thought long distance running was something i could do. when i first started training, i wasn’t sure how i was going to do it, 13.1 miles?! that was crazy to even think about.
at first, my goal for race day was to finish, no matter how long it took, my only goal was to finish. walk it. run it. just finish. i started training and realized i was actually better at running than i thought i was, so i switched my goal to finish without walking at any time during the race. before i knew it, i was surprising myself with my times and setting the goal to complete the race in two hours. it seemed like a stretch, but i was gonna go for it.
i ended up really surprising myself, finishing the race in 1:53:17… almost seven minutes under my goal of two hours! what surprised me even more was that i still was able to do this despite some serious pain in my right knee and hip that started around mile ten. i managed to push through the last three miles without stopping to walk [i think my playlist really helped keep me going towards the end]. my friend, jenna, ran the race with me and also surpassed her goal, so we both felt pretty amazing post-run… and here we are!
we had our post-race meal planned for months to be at queens comfort in astoria. just take one look at that menu and tell me you don’t want to eat there. the menu was slightly different from what is currently listed on their website, but we all shared the atomic fireballs [deep-fried mac + cheese with sriracha and ranch] and capt’n crunch french toast balls for appetizers. i ordered the crispy pumpkin eggs benedict as my main course, which consisted of poached eggs layered on top of deep-fried pumpkin and fresh spinach on top of the most heavenly biscuits, all smothered in chipotle hollandaise sauce [pictured below]. out. of. this. world.
now that i’ve gotten that little half marathon recap out of the way, let’s get to this week’s quote for the motivation mondays series!
like i mentioned before, i surprised myself in so many ways yesterday. not only did i complete a half marathon, i ran the whole thing and beat my personal goal by seven minutes. i’m still in shock over what i was able to accomplish… and it feels great! i put the work in, trained as much and as hard as i possibly could and before the race, i just kinda let go of the anxiety about crossing the finish line in two hours and just did it. if i had been worrying the entire time i don’t think i would have done as well as i did.
we can plan and plan and plan our lives away, but sometimes just allowing things to run their course and releasing control can feel so good. of course, we shouldn’t apply this to every aspect of life, as there are definitely some things that require more attention than others, but if you’re a planner or someone who feels totally uncomfortable in situations where you don’t have control, letting go from time to time is something you should try.
letting go is really good for your mental health, especially if you suffer from constant stress and anxiety. it allows you to step back, take a deep breath and slow down your thoughts. then, you can put all of the energy you were putting towards worrying and stressing towards something more positive, like finishing a project you’ve been working on forever, spending time with friends you don’t get to see very often or just taking the time to take care of yourself. sure, you can do all of these things while worrying about something else, but you won’t get the same results as you would without the added pressure and anxiety.
when your life isn’t consumed with worry, you’ll find that you have so much more time in your day-to-day life to do the things you actually enjoy and want to do. worrying can take so much joy out of life and in the end, all of the worry in the world isn’t going to change the way things end up 99% of the time. in the end, you’re left with a lot of wasted time and energy, the side effects that stress and anxiety have on your body and mind and a situation that was going to end up how it was going to end up with or without you constantly obsessing over it. remember that old song, “don’t worry, be happy“? i think that guy was onto something.
a couple things i’m loving at the moment that i think you will love, too:
malala yousafzai being awarded the nobel peace prize at age 17. if you haven’t read her book, i am malala yet, stop what you are doing immediately and go do it. since reading her story earlier this year, she has been such an inspiration to me and is an amazing role model for people struggling anywhere.
this sundae from pure food + wine, an all raw vegan restaurant in manhattan. i ate here on saturday night and the food was good, but the desserts were out of control. i can say with absolute certainty that this is the best thing i have ever eaten.
thug kitchen’s new cookbook. i’ve read thug kitchen for a couple of years now [and it still gets me] and i’m so excited to buy this cookbook and “eat like I give a f*ck”.
coming up this week, i’ve got another pumpkin recipe in the works and a new edition to the “healthy lifestyle staples” series, so be sure to keep up so you don’t miss out on anything! how are you guys liking the motivation mondays series? is there anything else you would like to start your week off with besides a positive mantra and fun links to check out? maybe a new smoothie recipe or healthy living tip? leave a comment with any suggestions and i’ll see what I can do!
have an amazing week!
image courtesy of La Bonne Vie
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