Founded in 2014 by Mantas Zvinas, Surf Yoga Beer is a fitness adventure company like no other. Based in New York, the company not only hosts fitness classes and events there, but focuses on taking groups of amazing like minded people to magical places around the world.
With more than 50 trips under their boards so far and four more to Nicaragua, Miami, Belize and Costa Rica planned before the end of the year, Surf Yoga Beer is redefining the traditional adventure holiday. They’re proof that with a little bit of effort and the right leaders, you really can strike the perfect balance between mind, body and spirit.
Poised to enter it’s fifth year with destinations as diverse as The Philippines, Croatia and Iceland on the schedule, I asked Mantas to tell me all about Surf Yoga Beer.
What’s the Surf Yoga Beer philosophy?
SYB’s main goal is to find balance while building a community through fitness. Surfing, doing yoga, and drinking beer are three things that I personally love to do, but each activity represents a pillar in a balanced life. Surfing is really a metaphor for the physically and mentally challenging things we choose to do in life. Whether it’s an intense workout or pushing yourself at work, this pillar is all about testing your limits and being the best version of yourself. Yoga is literally about finding balance in both the mind and body. We think of yoga as a reminder to slow down and live with intention. Beer is part of our name because, to us, it represents unwinding and having fun, which is a core part of our lifestyle. We don’t want people to focus on revving their engines all of the time, so we include time to chill out, make friends, and reflect.
We also intentionally call our trips “adventures” instead of retreats because we believe the word retreat implies that you are withdrawing yourself from something in life. When you’re on an adventure, you’re branching out, creating connections, and growing into your potential.
Can you describe an average SYB adventure?
Our programming this year has become so diverse that I can’t even say there’s an “average” trip anymore. We’ve branched out from our original beach surfing adventure and now offer specialized fitness experiences like trail running in Iceland and boxing in Mexico and Cuba. Keep in mind that while our locations are always subject to change, our core spirit of building community through fitness remains constant.
If you decide to come on one of our adventures, be fully prepared to sweat daily! Pretty much everyday is packed with activities, so we like to wake up bright and early. Wake up calls are also on us – don’t be surprised if the leaders bust into your room with a boombox and strobe lights to get you hyped up for the morning workout.
We like to start the day with a HIIT bootcamp led by either myself or a top trainer at a boutique fitness studio. After that, everyone grabs breakfast prepared by our in-house chef. All of our meals are locally sourced and conscious of special dietary needs.
In the afternoon we’ll round up the group for an all-day excursion. If you’re in Costa Rica or Nicaragua, you’re probably taking surf lessons with me. If you’re in Morocco, you could be wandering through the souks in Marrakech or sandboarding in the desert. If you’re in Italy, you’re hiking up the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast with the promise of a breathtaking view at the top. We bring along a professional photographer and videographer on every trip to make sure everyone stays present in the moment.
The day will usually wind down with sunset yoga taught by one of the many incredible instructors within our yogi network. After dinner we like to pregame together and head into town for a night out – whether it’s salsa dancing, raving in Ibiza, or dropping it low at a local discoteca, we have all the bases covered.
I’m 34. I surfed once in Newquay in Cornwall when I was 17, I’ve only ever done yoga a handful of times but I have got extensive experience drinking beer. Is SYB for me?
It absolutely is for you. SYB adventures are accessible to all fitness levels. Most people who sign up have never even surfed before! I also know people who don’t drink or know the first thing about yoga and have had an amazing experience with us. Our goal is to encourage everyone to keep and open mind and try something new.
I would say the one thing that sets SYB apart from your typical fitness retreat is the relationships you build with your fellow adventurers. We actively encourage people to come by themselves so they can step outside their comfort zone and meet people outside of their usual circle of friends. It may sound crazy to leave a week long experience with a new group of best friends, but I’ve seen it happen on every trip. If you’re someone who has a positive attitude and is open to new experiences and meeting fun people, SYB is 100% for you.
If you could invite anyone, alive or dead, to attend a SYB retreat who would it be and why?
This is an interesting question! I’d say Spicoli, he’d have the group laughing all day.
What’s been your favourite trip so far?
My personal favorite has been the Amalfi Coast! It is my most beautiful experience I’ve had. We do everything from gelato challenges (having a different flavor of gelato everyday) to swim workouts, run to mountain top making you feel so connected to the environment that you can feel its energy!
What’s next for SYB?
SYB is a place of inclusion, while we are mainly NYC based our communities in San Diego and Miami have shown that there is a huge demand for this type of community. One that workouts and hangs out together, a place where you can come find your balance of namaste and late night parties! We are expanding our local communities with run clubs in different cities, and yes we have our eye on the London fam as well!