12/13/16 12:13pm
Yoga-tta try this: 6 yoga studios in BK that offer free classes in exchange for work

Work from Om at places like Sacred Brooklyn. via IG user Lauren Benson

Now is the winter of our discontent. We’re approaching the literal darkest time of year in terms of sunlight and the darkest time for our country in less than one month. This time of year is when we are at our most vulnerable to fatigue, seasonal affective disorder and bad habits. You may be looking for new ways to cope that aren’t self medicating, denial or distraction or walking slowly into the ocean.

Well, yoga can be a fantastic way to check back in with yourself and regulate your mood. But it’s also expensive, and if you’re reading this, it’s probably safe to assume you’re broke. Fortunately, there are a handful of yoga studios right here in Brooklyn, in a variety of styles, that offer work study programs, which means that if you have a little more time than you do money, you can put in a few hours of work a week in exchange for free, yes FREE yoga classes! (more…)

09/29/16 4:20pm
The GGRD All-Stars are flexing to welcome you. via Instagram

The GGRD All-Stars are flexing to welcome you. via Instagram

This ain’t your daddy’s roller rink. The Gotham Girls, New York’s all-lady roller derby league and a founding member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), are holding try-outs this weekend for their 2017 season. They’re calling all bad-asses with double X chromosomes, skates and an appetite for competition to come and get their wheels dirty. I mean, derby.

This Saturday October 1 from 10am-3pm, anyone interested in trying out for the Gotham Girls should skate on over to GGRD’s practice space in East Williamsburg and show the Gotham Girls what they’ve got. Tryouts will include skating basics and demonstration of specific derby skills. If you make the cut, callbacks continue on Sunday, October 2 from 10am-1pm with more skating and a brief interview.

Of course, there’s more to becoming a Gotham Girl than just the skills (though they’re super helpful for staying on your feet)! The group will be looking for enthusiasm, charisma, willingness to work and athletic potential, all of which can separate you from the rest of the pack. (more…)

08/16/16 12:25pm
This could be you next week, plus tennis players. Photo via @christopherjindo on Instagram.

This could be you next week, plus tennis players. Photo via @christopherjindo on Instagram.

Tennis fans who watched Andy Murray and Monica Puig clinch the gold medal in Rio on Saturday are no doubt excited for a chance to see them grunt and slam again at the US Open, which begins on August 29. You’re probably resigned to watch it on TV, as tickets are prohibitively expensive, ranging from $60 to $834—it’s quite a racket!—but if you’re a budget-conscious tennis fan looking for the next best thing, check it out: you can attend the US Open Qualifying Round next week, for free. (more…)

08/15/16 1:00pm
Photo via Shape Up NYC on Facebook.

Shape Up NYC offers 350 free classes across all five boroughs. Photo via Shape Up NYC on Facebook.

The year was 2004, when Facebook launched and Michael Phelps won his first Olympic gold medal, and the City of New York launched Shape Up NYC, a free fitness program that set out to battle childhood obesity and diabetes. The program started at nine locations and has spread across all five boroughs to 250 locations, offering 350 free classes to NYC residents.

Classes span from African dance in the Bronx to yoga in Crown Heights. They’ve got aerobics, Zumba, Latin/Russian dance and belly dancing classes. You can do it in libraries, in parks or at the Coney Island Boardwalk. It’s a welcome Brokester alternative to Classpass, which starts at $75/month and restricts the number of times you can visit a particular studio to three times a month. Shape Up is not only free, but if you fall hard for Caribbean World Dance classes at Fort Greene Park, no one’s going to stop you from showing up to bust a move as often as you want.

I know what you’re thinking: “Where do I sign up?” The answer is, you don’t. That’s right, Brooklynites. Go to any of the 250 locations offering Shape Up NYC classes and you don’t have to sign up or fork over that last bit of cash you were saving for laundry. Just show up in your best Lululemon knock-offs ready for a great workout session. (more…)

05/19/16 3:07pm
Even if you just wave, it makes a difference. Bridle Path Track Club / Flickr

Even if you just wave, it makes a difference. Bridle Path Track Club / Flickr

This Saturday, starting at an ungodly 7am, Brooklyn will be taken over by runners from around the world, runners who I can only imagine must not share my reservations about physical activity or waking up before noon. But with 27,000 participants, the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon is the largest half marathon in the country.

The race starts at the Brooklyn Museum on Eastern Parkway and ends an unconscionable 13.1 miles later in Coney Island. For the participants, New York Road Runners has provided a list of race-day essentials and an overview of the route, including rest stops for bathrooms and water as well as medical aid for any runners having a panic attack after realizing they could have stayed home and slept in. Also, for shin splints.

Now, for those with friends running, there are several ways to show your support both during and after the race. I find that a nice text message is perfectly acceptable amount of congratulations before 8am. However, if you do choose to brave the morning, here’s a handy guide on how and where to support your runner friends — maybe even with a drink in your hand. (more…)

05/06/16 1:00pm
Brooklyn Bridge Park's climbing gym is right under the Manhattan Bridge. Via Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Brooklyn Bridge Park’s climbing gym is right under the Manhattan Bridge. Via Brooklyn Bridge Park.

One of the things your friends who live “elsewhere” in the world will tell you they don’t like about New York is the lack of outdoorsy activities, like we’re all relegated to playing stickball in the streets and running through fire hydrants for fresh air entertainment. They’re wrong of course — camping, beaches and lots of free hikes are just a train ride away. But here’s one outdoorsy activity that you don’t even have to leave Brooklyn for, and it’s got a view even your friends who live in the sticks would be jealous of: The new climbing wall at Brooklyn Bridge Park is now North America’s largest outdoor bouldering facility. It has a soft opening last month but its grand opening this weekend will feature free entries and rentals for all!

It’s tucked under the Manhattan bridge on the banks of the East River, with a view of the glimmering city skyline in the background — a literal million dollar view. And it’s way cheaper than the city’s existing climbing gyms too (a couple even got married there already). (more…)

04/29/16 1:01pm
If the gym fits: reviewing Brooklyn's most popular fitness cults

Do you believe? via PTVLA

Hear that, Brooklyn? It’s the sounds of tulips blooming, birds chirping, ice cream trucks lurching forth from the rat-infested warehouses where they invariably spend their winters. Summer is coming! Oh wait, hear that other thing though? It’s the sound of your jorts’ zipper grinding to a halt at the halfway point. Because if you’re anything like me, this winter has been spent eating cream-based sauces while swaddled in shapeless garments like some kind of dry-skin-plagued ghost of the Barefoot Contessa.

The weather is nice now, and there’s no excuse for continuing to motionlessly haunt our apartments all day. So it’s time to get in shape again! But picking up a new workout regime can be overwhelming, especially in a city where there’s a new dessert-, beverage-, or fitness-related fad every moon cycle. (Speaking of which, have you heard about moon juice? It’s like a green smoothie, but spookier.) Every class or gym seems to come with its own intimidating group of over-zealous followers, which can be a deterrent in its own right. What’s an independent thinker to do?

Here’s our take on exactly how culty some of NYC’s hottest workouts can be, and whether the workout is worth the kool-aid drinking that comes along with it. Pick your poison, and we’ll see you on the other side of that #beachbody.  (more…)

02/26/16 9:52am
Gabrielle Westfield / Brokelyn

Morgan Fitz-Ward eyes the ice at Aviator Sports Center. Gabrielle Westfield/Brokelyn

It amazes me that after everything we’ve managed to accomplish in North America, sports teams are still gendered, and women’s leagues are treated as less-than. I’m grateful to live in Brooklyn, of course, where we recognize women’s sports teams as the bonafide royalty they are. Last year the borough was lucky enough to be graced with another group of queens to cheer for: The New York Riveters, BK’s first professional women’s ice hockey team. As one of just four charter franchises in the newly-formed National Women’s Hockey League, with Rosie the Riveter as their mascot — aka the universal symbol for women who fight the “boys’ club” mentality — these girls are well-positioned to change the way for women’s contact sports.

We spoke to a few of the Riveters at the end of their inaugural season, where they struggled a bit in their first year, finishing fourth in the league with three regulation wins, one overtime win, two overtime losses and 11 regulation losses. They’ve got one final away game Sunday against the Connecticut Whale, but since nobody seems to like the “Brooklynized” Islanders, anyway, we’re formally declaring our allegiance to the Riveters and their home turf at Aviator Sports Center at Floyd Bennet Field. Their presence as a professional women’s team in the borough is important, but it’s also exciting that a generation of young girls are get to grow up with them as role models.

They shared their hockey heroines growing up, their game-day strategies on the ice, and revealed whether they’re planning to try and usurp the throne from the recently-declared Queens of Brooklyn, the Gotham Girls. (more…)

Look at that, even babies are in the club. You gonna be outdone by a baby? via SBRC

Look at that, even babies are in the club. You gonna be outdone by a baby? via SBRC

So you see all these fit people in their tights and shorts running by you every morning and you think to yourself, “Maybe I should try this jogging (pronounced, y-ogging) thing.” The problem is you can’t just take off running down the street like a lunatic. You’ll tire yourself out, for one, and you’ll probably hurt yourself. That’s where the South Brooklyn Running Club and their new Beginners Learn-to-Run class comes in. (more…)