September Long Weekend

In September we had 4 delightful ladies come visit from the UK.  One of our guests was a contributing writer to Queen of Retreats. They had only a weekend so we had plenty to cram in!

With a Friday afternoon arrival the girls headed up to the rooftop of our retreat space to catch a class with Sarah Purcell Co-owner and Co-Founder of Infinite Pilates.  Afterwards they had a lovely bit of downtime to enjoy the rooftop jacuzzi!


The girls had a bit of downtime before popping out for a quick bite and then they were off to enjoy a Flamenco show at the incredibly Palau de la Musica.

From the Palau de la Musica they headed up to Mutis-a jazz bar tucked away in the middle of the Eixample.  The girls listened to a jazz singer croon until the week hours of the night.

Low and behold Saturday morning had arrived and they were up once again for yoga with Kari Zabel, currently based out of Munich, Germany. IMG_3608

After a quick outfit change the ladies were off for a Segway tour of Barcelona.




The girls convened once again for their evening Flamenco lessons with the fabulous Tani, on the outskirts of Barcelona.  Within an hour they were stars!

Another rapid turn around before the girls were tucked into their table at the trendy Boca Grande where they enjoyed into the night.

Soon enough it was Sunday morning-departure day.  After a morning at the beach the ladies soaked in the hammam and massages of the delightful Aire de Barcelona.

In a flash the weekend was over and our girls were off on their way back home to the UK…refreshes, replenished, and ready to take on the mummy and work duties of the week to come.

For more about their weekend you can see the delightful review of our weekend please visit

What is Doga anyway?

In our instagram posts in the past we have referred to “doga,”  which we consider to be doing yoga with your dog.  Many places around the United States offer classes for owner and pet so your furry friend can join in on the fun.

When my dog sees my yoga mat come out, he recognizes that it is at least a bit of time where he can relax next to me….so extended shavasana perhaps?

We take Doga very lightly, however, it can be a much more spirtual pursuit between you and your furry friend if you wish.

Do you Doga?  We would love to see your photos!  Send us a message here, email us, or leave a message on our Leave it to Barcelona facebook page!

“Doga (a portmanteau of “Dog Yoga”) is the practice of yoga with pet dogs.

Through acts of meditation, gentle massage, and stretching, doga practitioners seek to achieve a greater harmony with their dogs. Canine acupuncture and chanting are also known to take place within the occasional doga routine.

In Doga, the submissive dogs and their human masters work as one unit – the masters help their dogs facilitate different poses and, in some cases, the pets are used as props or instruments while the masters perfect their poses. This is seen to be a Zen way of practicing non-traditional yoga and training, while exploring power play dynamics.

Doga has received some criticism from the yoga community.[1] Doga classes have been labeled inappropriate for trivializing the sacred practice by turning it into a “fad”, for their lax policies on teacher certification, and for the dogs’ interference in participants’ concentration and relaxation when they are not properly trained to cooperate.[1]

The UK charity Dogs Trust have also warned that unsupervised Doga may impact the welfare of the dogs, stating: “It is important to remember that dogs can’t tell us when they have had enough. Doga, and any variation of it, should always be carried out under the watchful eye of trained professionals”.[2]

Doga enthusiasts have argued[1] that the practice emphasizes yoga’s focus on union between beings, helps establish a pack mentality, strengthens the bond between owner and pet, and can provide additional weight resistance thereby intensifying one’s yoga ritual. Doga can purportedly also provide a great source of entertainment for dog-friendly class members.”


A little meditation (Not our dog) (A true Dogi)

Ensuring that Sarahs abs are strong enough to teach Pilates. ;) (Ensuring Sarahs abs are strong enough)

Adding a little extra weight to help the stretch.... (Lending a little extra weight to assist)

Watching the progress.... (“Its all about progress”)

Relaxing.... (lounging)

IMG_4213 (Practicing the art of mindfulness)

Downward  Dog (Downward Dog)

What yoga style is best for you?

Taken from The Womens Health BIG BOOK of YOGA; The Essential Guide to Complete Mind/Body Fitness written by Kathryn Budig.  This is a book in which I refer to often, for self practice or simple as a reference point.  This guide in the back is wonderful for determining what yoga style is best for you….left out is Jivamukti, Yin, and a few others which we will chime in on later. If you’re interested in the book you can find it: on

 Style Description Ideal for Om Factor Physical difficulty
Ananda Gentel poses that focus on meditation.  Beginners who want to ease into the practice or slow down and do more meditation.  Chanting at the beginning and end of class.  Low
Anusara Geared towards heart-opening backbends with a focus on posture Those looking for a playful, loving community Invocation chant with harmonium accompaniment at the beginning and end of class with stories woven in.   Medium to High
Ashtanga At athletic “flow” style that combines faced based movement and breathwork.  Type A people who are driven and dedicated, and those who want an intense practice that will have visible results.   Usually a lengthy but very straightforward chant at the beginning and end of class.  High
Bikram Uses the same 26 posture series each time, but its done in a 105F or 42C room.  You will sweat! Sweat junkies who aren’t afraid of intense heat.  No Chanting.  High
Hatha A generic term used to describe any form of yoga that includes asanas.  (Poses) Those who are unsure about which class to take and would like a general introduction.  Depends on the teacher.   Medium to Difficult
Iyengar Poses are held for longer than usual with a focus on alignment.   Teacher trainees, those who want to improve their alignment, and those with injuries.  Depends on the teacher.   Medium to High. 
Kundalini Primarily seated positions combined with breathing and movement techniques.   Those who want to stimulate energy, focus, and deep meditation. Lots of chanting at the beginning and end of class with deep meditation and energy worki.   Medium. 
Power Yoga A vigorous workout that moves quickly though a series of linked poses and generates a lot of sweat and physical release.   Athletes and those who are driven to work out.   Depends on the teacher.   High
Vinyasa A series of athletic poses combining movement with breathwork.   This who want a good workout that often is set to music.  Usually a brief chant or om at the beginning and end of class.   Medium to High.  

Plain Clothes Yoga

After a week of scouting and yoga we came up to the Pyrenees for our weekend recharge.  This weeks find was Bcn Brand sneakers.  I have always had a hard time finding a sneaker that doesn’t make me stand out as a tourist, yet at the same time doesn’t send a full hipster vibe.  (which I love but it isn’t my personal style)

So you will see below, plain clothes yoga, in a headstand, in calzedonia leggings, barbour sweater, my beloved Stella Mccartney whistle necklace and of course…Bcn Brand sneakers.  We seriously can’t get enough of them.

My husband who is half Lebanese, half WASP, never wears sneakers bought a pair and hasn’t taken them off!

Get your own pair today in a huge variety of colors.  They will be coming in to our hotel in March to sell directly to our guests but if you’re unable to make it to Barcelona anytime soon and you just can’t wait visit them right here and order your pair today.