Equal Yoga Amsterdam means Zen Mode On

Burn, relax and de-stress, that’s the whole body and mind package Equal Yoga Amsterdam has in store for you! We’re always on the run from A to B, nobody can handle that for years. It’s such a must for your brain and physical condition to tune out for a while, without hustle and bustle, without devices, but with ‘me, myself and I.’ Equal Yoga will help you out to get your hour(s) of quality time.


The happy locker rooms at Equal Yoga

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Even though this girl loves to work up a sweat (cardio classes), now and then it’s great to drop by a boutique yoga studio like Equal Yoga. They have two studios: one in West, one in East. So bye bye ‘it’s too far from my house’ excuses (*wink*). There’s always one spot nearby to get your dose of zenness. Both Equal’s look a-ma-zing. Bright, modern entrances with a touch of green welcome you. If you had to hurry for your class (I raise my hand haha), on entry the laid back ambiance will immediately slow you down. From changing rooms till the heated yoga studios, all are extremely clean and well-designed.

Equal Studio

Equal Yoga, all level proof
Let’s zoom in on the classes. They work in a clear, structured way. It’s up to you if you buy for example 10 credits, one month unlimited or for the diehard yogis one year unlimited. Expect graceful flows for flexibility followed by static postures for core strength. The Equal classes in a row: Hot Fusion, Core Flow, Core Power, Strong Flow, Equal Yin and Equal Barre. Ballet barre, not yoga. Depending on which class you take, the studio is heated by infra-red panels between 25 and 36 degrees. First-timers, no idea which one fits you best? Feel free to ask the staff for advice, they can help you out. Really like the fact the fixed sequences challenge both beginners and advanced yogis. So you’ll never get bored. My favourite class? Equal Barre which is inspired by the strength conditioning aspects of yoga, pilates and ballet. Prima ballerina in the making without doing choreographies!

Equal Yoga West

Like I said, I really love to break a sweat with cardio classes. However, I never knew hot yoga can be as though (and energizing) as that. It’s such a great feeling afterwards, just try it yourself!

Namaste,

Sharmaine

Equal Yoga East
Linnaeusstraat 30, Amsterdam

Equal Yoga West
Rozengracht 191, Amsterdam

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Escape the City for Kingsday, with Koningsrust at Zwier

Some people love it, others rather avoid the busy crowds at Kingsday. If you belong to that second group, then keep on reading, because Koningsrust at Zwier is the place for you!

For some people, Kingsday is their least favourite day of the year. Too much noise, hurdles of tourists and the pressure of going somewhere. If they could, they would stay inside all day, or escape the mayhem. Well, at Zwier it’s possible. Especially for the Kingsday-weekend, they are hosting Koningsrust (translated to Kingsday Rest).

Koningsrust at Zwier
No noise, just the birds and the wind

What about a healthy organic KINGS dinner?

What is ZWIER?
Not far from Amsterdam, you can find this wonderful and peaceful location situated at the Vinkeveense Plassen. Nature, surrounded by water, where you wake up from the birds singing and start your day with a yoga session. Accommodations vary from luxury tents, to huts, and there is even an option to stay on a boat. For Koningsrust, they offer a (long) weekend in a luxury tent (which includes a real bed), yoga sessions, breakfast and one organic Kings dinner on Friday evening from just €279,-! You are free to use the canoes and sub materials, and you can also bring your own food to prepare in the community kitchen.

tent Zwier

So if you’re looking for some rest during the Kingsday weekend, drive away from the city and come to Zwier! 

Zwier
Winkeldijk 20a, Vinkeveen
Website

O’Neill launches sustainable active wear

Last week I was invited to take part in a special yoga sup session in the most beautiful swimming pool of the world, The Noorderparkbad. Together with 19 other (fit)girls, I managed to squeeze myself in a short top and leggings that felt surprisingly comfortable. Relaxing music, tropical plants, healthy snacks and drinks.. The new Sustainable Active Wear collection was being celebrated in full O’Neill style.

Oneill sustainable active wear
Sup yoga at the Noorderparkbad

Noorderparkbad
O’Neill picked the special location for the Active Wear launch with good reason. This swimming pool is a real must see! Last year the swimming pool was voted the most beautiful swimming pool in the world. Located in the Northern part of Amsterdam, the swimming pool is also fully sustainable, because the rainwater is collected and then filtered and used in the swimming pool. This was an ideal fit with O’Neill’s sustainable active wear collection, which is made out of recycled ocean plastic.

O'Neill Active Wear
Wearing the new Active Wear collection

The collection was inspired by the American Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe is renowned for its cool waters and beautiful mountain scenery. Hiking and water sports go hand in hand with this magical place. O’Neill has designed the active wear collection in a way that is both suitable for water and on land. When I was wearing it, it felt soft, flexible (believe me, I have tried to do some heavy yoga moves) comfortable, so it’s hard to imagine that the fabric is recycled out of plastic waste!

O'Neill sustainable active wear O'Neill sustainable active wear collection

O’Neill Blue
Last year O’Neill presented O’Neill Blue, a
n initiative that creates surf-related products, all made out of recycled beach plastic. The O’Neill Blue Active Wear collection consists of various surf / yoga leggings and tops that are recognized by the blue Bionic label. The Blue line is simplistic and clean, with eclectic and mountain prints.

By recycling beach and ocean plastic, doesn’t mean the plastic problem in the ocean is being solved but O’Neill hopes that the program will inspire consumers and businesses, operating in the surf industry, to raise awareness when it comes to polluted oceans.
 
Experience the new Sustainable Active Wear from O’Neill and let me know what you think of it! Do you want to try some SUP yoga? You can contact the ladies from M&M Stand Up Paddling Amsterdam
Love,
Elke
*All images were shot by Jan Bijl

Desa Seni, total bliss at this healthy yoga retreat in Bali

Yoga, meditations, massages, healthy food, a beautiful swimming pool, private sleeping cabins, an overwhelming tropical garden and super friendly staff. I haven’t even mentioned the comfortable big beds, the outside bathroom, and this all located close to the beach: Yoga retreat Desa Seni in Canggu is the perfect retreat to recharge.

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After a super busy year and some private circumstances, I needed some time to relax. Bali is the perfect place for that since there are a lot of healthy spots and yoga retreats on the island. I was already in Canggu and I heard that Desa Seni is one of the best yoga retreats of Bali: they have the most experienced teachers, delicious fresh and healthy food, luxurious surroundings and a great service! That’s exactly what I needed.

  I wasn’t a big yoga fan, but ever since I took some classes at Desa Seni I decided to continue to practice yoga in Amsterdam.

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Desa Seni
The retreat is located amid ancient rice terraces.
You get a warm welcome when you arrive by the lovely women at the entrance desk of Desa Seni. Then a guided tour is waiting for you first before drinking a welcomes cocktail at the pool. The first thing you will notice is the relaxed and beautiful vibe of this retreat: The beautiful garden with colorful flowers, the big and comfortable sun bets and the stunning swimming pool was exactly what I was looking for. They seriously have thought about everything: mosquito spray, candles, incense, holiday cards to send out and a lot more.
You get to chill in a zen location for a few days where everything is included and that is what you want when you go to a retreat.
This Village Resort serves an eclectic Asian-Western cuisine with a focus on organic, healthy and fresh food. It has a
 vegetarian menu where delicious fish and veggie dishes from the resort’s own organic gardens are waiting for you. The restaurant is open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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The traditional wooden farmhouse

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The outside bathroom

Yoga
Desa Seni’s daily Yoga program caters to all levels and offers a variety of yoga styles, open to the community and led by a qualified, dedicated, and passionate team of teachers. Apparently Desa Seni has the best yoga teachers on the island. A lot of people come here to take part of the 5 yoga classes they offer each day: From Kundalini Yoga and Hatha (the most reckon one) to Sunset Flow and Fly High Yoga. They might be a but heavier than in your own country, but it has also to do with the weather (you sweat a lot). The classes are super divers and you feel great when your done.

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So what does it cost?
Desa Seni offers a variety of accommodations, all of which are antique wooden houses with beautiful terraces, sitting areas and private modern outside bathrooms. The interior of each unique house has been re-furbished to provide all the modern comforts, while the exteriors have retained the integrity of rural village life. Check the prices hereRoom Rates include: Gourmet Breakfast – Daily Yoga & Meditation Classes – Unlimited Drinking Water – Complimentary Wireless Internet – Daily Ceremonial Offering – DVD & Book Library.

Desa Seni
Jl. Subak Sari No.13, Canggu, Bali
Website

Love,

Sarah

This is why we are in love with the Indonesian island Bali

There’s no place like Bali! Bali is an exotic Indonesian paradise where you will get the experience you will never forget. The first time when I fell in love of this wonderful island was 6 years ago. I completed my communication studies, saved enough money and decided to pack my bags for a 4 month backpacking trip in Southeast Asia. My dear friend Marlieke joined me for the first 3 weeks in Bali.

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Me and Marlieke in Seminyak 7 years ago. Too cute:)

I remember driving the motorbike for the first time, watching the magical sun rise on the Gili islands, the super nice local food corners where I tasted spices I have never had tasted before, my first surfing experience, the wonderful rice fields … and a lot more. Who wouldn’t wanna go back?

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Sunset at the Gili Islands

Those 3 weeks in 2011 were definitely not enough, so it was time to go back together to Bali! The month December is maybe not the best month due to rain season, but we were super lucky. Sunny Days and blue Skies every day! 

I started on my own and Marlieke flew in at New Year’s Eve. We fell in love all over again!
In Love with Bali
Marlieke and me in 2017 in Canggu

Bali is known for it’s healthy foodspots, surfing, yoga, picturesque beaches, friendly locals, party’s and of course cheap and nice massages. Bali has you covered! Apparently Bali sometimes has a bad reputation, especially Kuta where many tourists come to party. But trust me, there are plenty of areas where you can chill and enjoy your holiday big time and avoid the crowd. 

I travelled from Uluwatu, Canggu, Ubud, Seminyak Nusa Lembognon and Nusa Ceningan back to Uluwatu and ended in Seminyak. I forced myself to relax and chill and my goal was to find the best places to do so and share these with you! So in the upcoming weeks you will find the best tips and my favorite hotspots!

Get inspired!

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Le Pirat beachclub in Nusa Ceningan

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We stayed in this instagramable hotel Sal Secret Spot in Uluwatu

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Beautiful view at Rob Peetoom in Seminyak

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Healthy lunch at Milk & Madu in Canggu

Love, 

Sarah

Studio 191 in Amsterdam » Yoga Heaven

I’ve never been a huge yoga fan because I always felt I wasn’t sweating so in my mind I wasn’t really working out. My opinion has changed a lot since I got pregnant. If you didn’t know yet, yes I am expecting my first child in about 2 months! I’ve always been an active girl since I backpacked through Australia at the age of 24. and enjoyed 3 to 4 gym sessions per week. Well let me tell you, when you get pregnant, things change rapidly. I think I didn’t work out for the first 4 months because I was too tired and when I started feeling more energized, I got a little bit lazy. Doing yoga is exactly what I needed. I took a pregnancy yoga class at Studio 191 in “De Pijp” and I haven’t stopped doing yoga since.

STUDIO 191
I have done yoga before but there are so many different variations and classes that you really need to find the one that suits you the most and this might take a while. At studio 191 they offer a variation of different classes plus they offer the very trendy Barre here and Surf Yoga. Eh.. say what??, you may ask. Yes, this yoga studio offers a few new and cool classes that are worthy of a little more introduction.

Studio 191 Amsterdam
Positive messages and class times at Studio 191

Barre
Barre Workout uses a combination of postures inspired by Ballet, Yoga and Pilates. A typical 60 minute Barre Workout includes a warm up sequence of upper-body exercises, which include: weighted balls, resistance bands, push-ups, planks and other moves to target the biceps, triceps, chest, and back muscles. Next, we move to the Barre, utilizing our own body weight for resistance to focus on the thigh and butt muscles. Our core muscles will be engaged for the entire class and we will finish the those abdominal muscles off with a targeted core session towards the end of the class. Finally, we’ll cool down – moving through a series of stretches to increase flexibility and allow our muscles to recover. Book your class here.

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Isabella Machiné enjoying a Barre class Source

Surf Yoga
This is all about balance and coordination. Very good for toning! This class is for those wanting to improve core stability + muscle, train their balance and coordination, increase their awareness and mindfulness since this practice requires focus in the now to stay connected to your board. It’s also a great practice for surfers, skaters and snow boarders. Prepare to sweat, work hard and enjoy a playful, fun and upbeat practice on the board.

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Surf Yoga / Source: Studio 191

Mama’s
Now this one is for me! (well, at the moment). You can choose between prenatal & post prenatal classes or classes with your baby. I enjoyed my first ever prenatal yoga class here. It was so relaxing, yet I felt my muscles got the kick they needed. You learn how to use your inner toning muscles which you need during labor and your balance which may vary during your pregnancy. You get a cushion and blanket for support and you can really decide how far to take the exercise. You will see women of all different shapes and belly sizes, so you will feel really at ease. The Mama with Baby classes are a bit different and focus on getting your strength back after giving birth, plus you don’t need a babysitter! Besides that, you can meet other mums and exchange experiences which always helps. Find more information about these classes here.

Studio 191 is a place where people come together, both men and women in a relax atmosphere that I can really recommend. For prices and all classes please visit the website.

Studio 191 
Lutmastraat 191, Amsterdam
www.studio191.nl

XoXo,

Elke

Now open » YAY health store & more in Amsterdam

I’m very exited about this new place in Amsterdam “de Pijp” called ➳ YAY.
It has 3 concepts flown into one and I love them all. YAY is a health store, a healthy cafe and they offer yoga, mediation classes plus various workshops.

The Store
They sell pure, honest, fairtrade and sustainable products with each a special a story.
All products in the store YAY, contribute to a healthier lifestyle for your body, mind or heart.
They sell products like Woody Skateboards, Two-0, Raw Chocolates, hand crafted Yoga mats and herbal tea’s.

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Woody Skateboards. A product with a story (source: Woody Skateboards)

YAY healthstore

The Cafe
The raw food cafe is a place where the word “healthy” stands central. You can have breakfast, lunch, juices, coffee and hand picked tea.
The name kinda gives it away but they use raw food, which means that they will only use uncooked, fresh and organic food products.
They heat up until 48 degrees so that all the good stuff will stay inside for you to enjoy. Another thing I am personally happy about, is that they don’t use any animal products! Yes, finally a cool vegan cafe. (there are some around, but not many)
The cafe is also very sustainable. They have a no plastic policy (finally!) and they mostly use recycled material. They wasted food is used as compost for their own greenhouse. The cafe is open from 8am to 7pm (MON-SUN)

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Healthy and colorful at YAY Cafe
(Source: YAY Cafe)

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My vegan wrap with homemade pesto sauce

Yoga & More
Besides the cute store and healthy food, they also offer different classes and workshops. You can also reach out and organize a healthy brunch or dinner in combination with the above.
For more information check this page

YAY Health Store & More
Gerard Doustraat 74 (ingang winkel)
Albert Cuypstraat 101-103 (entrance health café & winkel)
1072VV Amsterdam

Love,

Elke

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