For the first installment in our Five Star Spirituality series (brainchild of 7x7 culture editor Brock Keeling), we head to the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco, which is the third tallest building in the city, making it a great place to view not just Fleet Week flybys and America’s Cup races (will we ever see those on our waters again?), but also to scan the windows of neighboring buildings for trysts (a pair of binocs in the room is practically a green light to practice voyeurism).
Everyone knows about the stellar yoga to be had on the west side of Los Angeles—Vinnie Marino, Shiva Rea, and Bryan Kest draw A-list celebrities to the mat within a stone’s throw of the ocean. But the east side has its own quiet vinyasa scene going on. Here are the top spots to get flowing without hopping on the 10.
Dance, fly, and get out of the studio for a fresh take on one of the city's favorite pastimes.
Take it Outside
Practicing yoga en plein air is a huge change of pace from the confines of a pristine studio where cloying incense fills the room and wood floors provide a steady platform. In the urban landscape, you’ve got uneven ground and the weather to contend with, but you also have dramatic views to keep things interesting.
Tahoe is intrinsically relaxing: mountain air, lake views, mellow townies, and countless activities to satiate an athletic appetite. Whether an avid skier or river floater, most people leave Tahoe with an overall feeling of greatness. Tahoe is also an ideal retreat for gaining wellness while lapping in luxury. The 4th annual Lake Tahoe Wellness Weekend at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino offers an all-inclusive two days packed with fitness and healthy living classes and seminars at an alpine oasis.
A mainstay on the chichi stretch of Fillmore in Lower Pac Heights for the past 9 years, International Orange still has the same allure as it did when it first opened. It's an urban oasis in the middle of a bustling neighborhood and offers two types of yoga, massage, acupuncture, facials, peels, and waxing. If you haven't been already, it's about time you go check it out.
San Francisco women are smart, chic and active. For clothing that can handle our on-the-go lifestyles, Athleta just might be the answer.
Athleta is the latest addition to the Gap Inc. conglomerate, and opened its first retail store last Thursday in Pacific Heights. The brand focuses on modern activewear that suits a broad range of women living the modern ubran-outdoorsy lifestyle -- perfect for SF.
The holidays have a way leaving little to be desired of stiff skinny jeans, which you may have already traded in for jeggings that stretch for expanding wastelines. Before you bid your denim adieu to Goodwill, learn how to upcycle old jeans into necklaces while you get a taste of jams and spreads from Stephanie Bushnell of Sweets La Petite at Etsy Lab's Craft Bar, Thursday, January 6, 6-9 p.m. Food and workshops take place at Museum of Craft and Folk, at 51 Yerba Buena Lane. Free with $5 admission to the museum.
The hottest trend in yoga? Not paying if you don't want to. Donation-based yoga's been around for a while (check out this April article in the New York Times on the trend) and has swept many Bay Area studios with its come-one-come-all mentality.
Rusty Wells, local yoga-master (he's got a cultish following) and recent Wanderlust Festival instructor, just released the first of a video series explaining the ethos behind his donation-based Urban Flow Yoga studio.
Don't write this off as a hokey hippie retreat—last year's inaugural Wanderlust Music and Yoga Festival was hands-down the coolest summer music experience in Northern California. Starting today, you can downward dog to your heart's content, learn firsthand what acroyoga is all about and get a grand dose of music in the great outdoors.
Folks, the second Hayes Valley Farm Film Night is going down tomorrow night, these misty July nights be damned. Bring a blanket, a few sweaters, some thick socks and maybe a flask of whiskey to keep yourself warm, because tomorrow night's film is a good one. It's the Botany of Desire, a documentary based on beloved Bay Area foodie-intellectual Michael Pollan's book of the same name about four plants (apples, marijuana, potatoes and tulips) and how they influence mankind.