winter wear

Spiritual Gangster Goods

Spiritual Gangster Yoga Gear! Check it out!

I Whip My Hair Back and Forth!

Fun and easy ways to style your hair during a workout!

Comfy Tops!

Let's be real here, most of us like to be totally comfortable when we work out. I love wearing loose fitting tops over my body hugging sports bras. Since so many fitness companies carry tight fitting spandex tops where do you find cute and comfortable loose ones?! I've got some suggestions for you! A couple weeks ago I popped into a new store on Larchmont (cute shopping area in Hollywood) called Alternative Apparel. Y'all let me break it down for ya, this store was SO super cute and the products are SO super comfortable! I found an awesome shirt that I wore in this weeks circuit (circuit 17 , go work that body and check out the top) from Alternative (alternativeapparel.com) which is part of their new yoga wear. It's light, cozy, and adorable with a surprising open back. Or if you want a Flash Dance throw back top Alternative has one!

Now for a non-fitness apparel company that makes the most delightfully cozy shirts that wash well and last forever, Brandy Melville (brandymelvilleusa.com). They have these signature muscle tee type tops that look absolutely perfect with a colorful sports bra underneath.

You can always cut an old shirt up and create something to your liking as well! Art projects are fun and so is being inspired, feeling good, and feeling comfy while you work out! Happy Tuesday! Spread that BF LOVE!

DC Part 2!

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Can you tell I'm in love with DC?! I believe I left off on Monday evening...

Ian and I went out with some of our coworkers for dinner at a restaurant called Founding Farmer's (love the name-www.wearefoundingfarmers.com). It's made up of 42,000 farmers that provide organic foods for the restaurant. How can one not support a business so fabulous? But ladies and gents the food...oh...my...word...AMAZING. The flavors they created in such healthy dishes were mind blowing! I could have kept eating if my stomach allowed it. I got a white bean cutlet stew and Ian got a vegetarian "meatloaf."

 

After a full and happy dinner we slept in the next morning ready to take on the day. Ian had to leave for work but I ventured into the Georgetown neighborhood and fell in love with it. The uneven cobblestone streets, the quaint Cafe's, and a great yoga class filled my freezing body (20 degrees outside) full of joy!

 

 

I popped into Lululemon in Gerogetown to ask them what fitness or yoga studios are around the area and they provided me with a great suggestion a yoga studio called Down Dog Yoga (www.downdogyoga.com). It was a hot and full vinyasa flow class that warmed me up and pumped up my heart rate. The instructors name was, Meg, and she did a fabulous job leading the class through a beautiful flow.

 

That night Ian and I dined at a local and delicious Indian Restaurant called Mehak (www.mehak.com). To all you vegetarian and vegans out there Indian food is a great option for good, filling, and healthy dishes. We had a romantic dinner and I wanted to cherish my last night in DC so we went out for a walk through the freezing cold yet gorgeous streets of DC...

My last morning in DC could not have been anymore perfect. It all began with a jog from downtown, to the national mall, to the capital, to the Washington monument, to the White House, and back. 5 miles later I could have kept going because I was just in awe of all the history I was stepping on and seeing.

 

Ian and I worked up a serious appetite so we decided to stop and grab some breakfast before I had to leave for Baltimore. There is a breakfast spot called Protein Bar (www.theproteinbar.com) that is only in Chicago and DC that a college friend of mine suggested. Boy was it delicious! Quinoa breakfast bowls with agave syrup, almonds, and fresh berries...a green tea smoothie with almond milk, egg whites, and fresh green tea...incredible! We ended my DC trip with a bang!

 

I'm in Baltimore now, working, and pretending I'm still in our nations capital. I couldn't have asked for a better 2 1/2 days! So thankful for our country and for each day of health I have here!

I hope this inspires you to travel and to know that wherever you go, you are able to find healthy foods, fitness studios or the outdoors, and amazing sites. Maybe instead of cabbing it somewhere in metropolitan cities, walk it or jog it so you get to experience the energy, the people, and actually touch the sites.

 

Syd's Visit To Our Nation's Capital

"BEEP BEEP BEEP," went the alarm! Up and at em at 4:30 am in Los Angeles Sunday morning to take off to DC to visit my boyfriend and to sight-see around one of the most incredible places in our country. As our plane began to land in DC there was a heavy cloud cover and then all of a sudden the Washington Monument was breaking through the sky to my left. I felt a jolt of emotion, because here I am landing in a city where all of our presidents have stepped foot. It's overwhelming even as I write this... I'm going to switch gears for a second here. In California, there is an 8th grade trip to Washington, DC that all students are able to take over Spring Break. When I was in 8th grade, my daddy was very sick with cancer, so instead of taking the trip, I spent time with my family. To be here fourteen years later - for the first time - is deeply emotional for me and I feel like I can appreciate it all the more at this point in my life. As I walked up to the White House tears dropped down my face... I was just overcome with emotion. How amazing to be in front of a home where all of our presents have lived (except George Washington, but he had the place built!) To walk around the National Mall or to stand in front of the Washington Monument, I am walking in history. As my mama said, "you can see it, touch it, believe it...it is not a fable!" It is all real and I am honored to be here...

Yesterday I slept in and slowly woke up to start my day. I looked up various yoga studios around the downtown DC area and found a place called Sculpt DC which is a spin/yoga studio. I popped into a 12:15 pm yoga sculpt class. The studio was super chic and urban. You walk in upstairs and the studios are located downstairs. There are gorgeous bathrooms, showers, and even a lounge area for all the fitness goers to freshen up or relax. I like a booty kicking workout, this particular class was a bit more relaxing but certainly a nice way to start my day.

 

Following my yoga class I popped into Le Pain Quotidien for a fresh lentil salad with a cup of vegan black bean soup, yum!

 

I decided to head to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History which is on Pennsylvania Ave and part of the national mall. Most museums here are free, which is a big plus! I could have spent hours in here but having limited time to get all of my sight seeing in, I tried to get as much in as I could before I walked over to the Washington Monument. They had an award winning animal photography section and below were a couple of my favorites.

 

The Washington Monument shines high above all the downtown DC buildings. It's not a city that is built tall like New York or Chicago, but it's architecture doesn't need height to make it beautiful. Here I am in the FREEZING windy weather in front of the Monument.

 

What I love most about being here, is that this city is so easy to navigate. You walk everywhere because you can and in the midst of all the national landmarks you get a 3 to 5 mile walk in! Total health bonus! No wonder DC is one of the fittest cities in the US.

This is just day one here and I have a day and a half to go! I can't wait to see what I can fit in, in just a few short hours...

Love you America!

 

Skirts and Skorts Galore!

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I was in Seattle about two months ago taking class at a Barre 3 studio and I noticed our instructor wearing a skirt over her leggings, I absolutely adored this look! It brought me back to my dance studio days when I used to wear my chiffon ballet skirts or Lycra skorts (a skirt slash short combo) to my ballet and jazz classes. Wearing a skirt to class always made me feel like a ballerina. I realized I should start wearing my skirts over my leggings when I teach my ballet barre classes. So when I got back to Los Angeles I tried it out and it made me feel like a ballerina once again! Since it has been so cold here in LA (I know it sounds crazy but it got to 29 degrees a few days ago) I haven't worn the skort yet but I'm excited to dig deep in my dresser drawers and find some skorts that I used to wear for the spring and summer months.

Athleta has a great skort available online called the Seamless Raja Skort for 59.00. I love the Cobalt Blue color.

Skorts and skirts aren't just worn on the tennis courts you can wear them in your group fitness classes, on hikes, or even put it over a pair of leggings when you go out. Lorna Jane has this Matchpoint Skort for 79.99.

My favorite out of the new skirt slash skort craze is this Stevie Skirt from mesheeky.com. This is a new site I discovered and I really like their designs! This skirt is on sale for 32.00! I love a great deal!

There are more reasons to wear skirts over your leggings in class too. I know some of my leggings can get a bit see through around the booty area and sometimes we all like to have some coverage. So if you have a comfy pair of leggings that you adore but haven't been able to wear because they show too much put a skirt or a skort on over it and your outfit is complete!

I'm off to put a skirt on so I can feel like a ballerina for the rest of the day! Have a happy day Bennerfitters!

Baby It's Cold Outside... and I Need a Scarf!

Without a warm knit scarf I feel naked!  It's silly but true!   Scaves are a perfect item  to layer over your workout gear when walking into your local gym or even better after a Benner Fit circuit when you have to run your errands.  The best thing about scarves is that there are so many different fabrics, sizes, colors, and ways to be creative with items you might already have in your closest. I love knits. Big, chunky, knit scarves are at the top of my Hanukkah list this year!  Free People is totally up my alley with all of their styles they have out this winter.  They have these knit infinity scarves that look so perfect over any workout outfit!  And fringe is back y'all!  Everything from boots, pants, shirts, and of course SCARVES!  I'm loving the bohemian look.  Below  are three different looks that you can find at Free People.  Be it fringe or Aztec print, Free People has got you covered this holiday season.

For those of you braving the "real" winter weather you need the ultra cushiony, thick, and insulated scarves!  Well, I found just the one for you.  Lululemon is featuring their "What the Fluff Scarf."  There is even a pocket for your cell phone, keys, or wallet!  When you're going in to workout its nice not having to bring a purse along.

My student Dahlia (who is such a gem) came into the studio a few weeks ago looking absolutely fabulous  with a gorgeous white and pink floral scarf tossed around her neck.  I love a pop of color and boy was this exquisite!  I of course asked her where she got her scarf and she answered, "this is just a bathing suit sarong that I use as a scarf in the winter!" I could NOT believe it!  What a clever lady. So look in the back of your bathing suit drawer and pull out those sarongs this winter!  I love multi functional pieces.

Grab your knits (or even a sarong) and warm up that body with a super chic and fun look! Scarf it up!