One of the great things about living in San Diego is that, compared to New York, I spend time with friends in a much healthier way. It’s less about drinks and brunches (though there’s some of that too), and more about going on a hike or trying a yoga class.
So now I love setting up dates with my nearest and dearest that revolve around something active. And last week, Eaman and I swapped a dinner date for a workout date at Sonima Wellness Center in Encinitas. The part-gym, part-cafe, part-health coaching Mecca stemmed from the Sonima Foundation, a non-profit organization that brings health and wellness education to underserved schools. The founders, Sonia Jones and Salima Ruffin, went on to create Sonima.com to share tips to a broader audience. And now the first center, which opened in January, sits on the 101 in Encinitas.
The Center offers group classes, and while it’s no surprise that yoga and meditation are part of the schedule, the inclusion of circuit-training boot camps and dance is pretty rare in yoga-centric studios. And one of the coolest parts is the piggy-backing possibilities. We tried Michelle Rene Buysse’s Active Alignment class, a restorative blend of yoga and physical therapy that everyone has to try at least once, and followed it with yoga. Or you could try boot camp then reset your body via Active Alignment.
They also offer health coaching and workshops, and most dreamy of all is their organic, vegan, raw cafe, led by Joy Houston, raw food nutrition educator and teaching chef for Whole Foods. I know, organic, raw, and vegan?! How very SoCal of me. But trust me, Joy is doing amazing things with that menu. The spicy Thai kelp noodles was outstanding—my favorite raw/vegan dish I’ve ever tasted.
I know it sounds like I’m fan-girling a bit, but that’s because I am. I love what the Foundation stands for, the mindfulness they’re bringing to staying active, and the spa-like ambiance of the Center. It encourages a new breed of hanging out.
Best of all, your first week is free! Take a look:
My classes were free as part of their first week free policy open to everyone, and my meal at the cafe was complimentary. As always, all opinions are my own. Photos (except of kelp noodles) courtesy of Sonima Wellness Center.