The Meditative Boot Camp Adventure for Millennials / by Mantas Zvinas

By Margaret Abrams • 02/08/18 12:18pm

Zvinas wants people to meet and get to know each other on retreats and even suggests going alone. Courtesy Surf Yoga Beer

Surf Yoga Beer isn’t exactly your typical wellness retreat, with light yoga by the ocean (or inside your hotel room) and even lighter bites. Instead, it’s all about high-energy boot camp workouts. In fact, founder Mantas Zvinas avoids calling them “retreats” at all. Instead, they’re to be referred to only as “adventures.”

“We look to not walk away from our lives in a retreating fashion, but rather walking into them and finding exactly what we need to revitalize our lives with new habits, unthought of accomplishments and making new like-minded friends,” Zvinas explained. “We like to say that the destinations are a small portion of the trip because what really makes it are the people.”

After the SoulCycle instructor moved to New York from Los Angeles, he missed the outdoors and wanted to expose his friends and clients to new opportunities. When Zvinas isn’t exploring Belize, he’s teaching his sweaty, coed boot camp at Bandier’s Studio B or SoulCycle Annex. Expect plenty of burpees, with a few minutes of meditation thrown in at the end, for good measure. For some, the meditation is the most difficult part, especially after an intense workout. But for others (myself included) the real difficulty is the weightlifting.

At first, the locations were determined by their proximity to New York and the waves, but they expanded to include new locales with different activities. “The adventures went beyond surfing and the spirituality went beyond yoga…and you can say the drinks went beyond beer also,” Zvinas shared.

If you want to take your burpees on the road, you can join Zvinas with a group of 12 to 20 fellow fitness enthusiasts. Last year, SYB ventured to Nosara, Costa Rica for surfing and obstacle courses; the trips planned to Belize featured all you can eat lobsters. The Amalfi Coast is one of Zvinas favorite destinations, for mozzarella and carb burning.

Next up, they’re making their way to Iceland, Cuba, Ibiza and Morocco, where they’re sandboarding, going on camel rides and doing nighttime yoga.

If you don’t have a fitness fanatic friend to accompany you, plenty of people adventure alone, just like a Bachelor in Paradise episode. “Coming with a buddy is great, but we do always try to encourage people to come alone. While it can be scarier to take a journey solo, because you don’t have an easy backup, you’re guaranteed to meet some like-minded people and sometimes we should all try to let go of our crutches to really leap bounds. We’ve seen so many incredible, lasting new friendships grow out of the experience,” he promised.