YogArt Buddha & Bellinis at The Raleigh’s beachfront courtyard was less wine-and-food and more festival, as New York DJ Hannah Bronfman orchestrated an hourlong yoga session Saturday -- with a party twist -- for dozens and dozens of Lululemon-clad bodies on the most beautiful day of the year.
Our grade: B (Would go back next year, with improvements)
Best thing we ate: The event was decidedly yoga-centered, and food and drinks were just a plus. The gluten-free Ginny snacks, like “karma, love and apricot” fruit and oatmeal coconut chips, served after the yoga session were delicious and light, as promised.
What worked: The atmosphere. The Raleigh couldn’t have been more perfect for a yoga/wellness-inspired event. Its beachfront courtyard, nestled behind the pool area, was the ideal “zen” setting on what happened the be the most sun-soaked day of 2016.
Hannah Bronfman, a DJ and model hailing from NYC, kept the energy going (much needed for a handful of very hungover-looking attendants) with upbeat tunes ranging from a remix of John Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” to a reboot of the Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There.” The music, along with YogArt instructor Dawn B. Feinberg belting out encouragement over the microphone (“It’s OK if you’re hungover!”), made for an upbeat setting.
The custom-made “YogArt warrior” Jugofresh cold-pressed juice after the beachside shvitz was also a nice touch.
What didn’t work: The atmosphere. How, you ask, is it possible for the atmosphere to work and not work?
Well, was hard to complain on such a gorgeous day. However, the constant change-up from soothing yoga-talk (“You are a beautiful Lotus flower” -- I’m paraphasing) to party chants (“This is about to be a whole naked party!” -- not paraphasing) from the front of the room got to be a bit jarring. Either we’re here to find relaxation through a yoga practice, or we’re here to let loose with bellinis and roll around on our mats like uncoordinated children. But both within the same hour? Just commit, please.
Quote of the day: “Take your shirt off. It’s Miami. We love all shapes and sizes here.”
Craziest thing we saw: A yogi scurrying out to the bar mid-practice to snatch not one, not two, but four bellinis -- and get called out by the instructor for it.
BY DEBORA LIMA | dlima@MiamiHerald.com | @dtdlima