Yoga: the New Year’s Eve Party Alternative

This year I spent New Year’s Eve doing something that wasn’t going to leave me hungover in the morning. Instead of wrapping myself in cleavage-bearing sequins, overpaying for a cover at a nightclub, and throwing elbows through a crowd to get a drink, I rang in the New Year on my yoga mat.

Ok, so I was lying about not showing any cleavage (thanks, Lululemon). But this year, like last year, I counted down to midnight calm and relaxed…at a yoga studio. I attended the New Year’s Eve Yoga Party at South Boston Yoga. The 10pm to midnight party is taught by David Vendetti and Todd Skoglund, the co-owners of South Boston Yoga, and for the past two years, has been my chosen way of celebrating New Year’s Eve.

According to David, the legend of the New Year’s Even Yoga Party started around 10 years ago when he was teaching at Back Bay Yoga. Long before he was named as the Best of Boston yoga instructor, Vendetti pitched the yoga party idea to BBY founder Lynne Begier. As many geniuses often hear, Begier reportedly told Vendetti that he was crazy, but to go for it. And he did. Vendetti hosted the first of his New Year’s Eve Yoga parties that year and the fun hasn’t stopped since.

Why New Year’s Eve Yoga?

Aside from the obvious answer, “Why not?” New Year’s Eve yoga is a great alternative to other parties. New Year’s Eve can be a difficult night. For those seeking to start or continue living a healthy holistic lifestyle, a party of heavy drinking and food isn’t the right fit. For those in recovery, a night of debauchery with drunk friends can be wrought with discomfort and temptation. For those seeking to forget and move on from the previous year, or simply have a low-key night, movies and pizza at home is decidedly anticlimactic.

New Year’s Eve Yoga is the perfect alternative to going out in the typical New Year’s fashion. Since Vendetti’s inception of it in Boston, other local studios have caught onto the idea, including North End Yoga and JP Centre Yoga. But Boston isn’t alone in these parties – from New York to Philadelphia to Denver, yogis around the country are celebrating New Year’s Eve in savasana.

What about South Boston Yoga?

In short, Vendetti’s class is amazing. I’ve taken his class only twice – once last New Year’s Eve (photo at right) and then again this year. I cannot speak to his regular classes, but I have no doubt that they’re equally amazing.

Vendetti’s love of teaching and helping others shines through in his instruction. But his sense of humor – a must in yoga practice – and killer playlist make the New Year’s Yoga Party fabulous. From his telling of the Legend of New Year’s Yoga Party (that may or may not be 100% true) and the disco ball (it is a party, after all) to rising out of savasana with gentle group singing accompanied by his miniature piano, Vendetti’s class is unforgettable. And for just $30 ($35 at the door), New Year’s Eve at South Boston Yoga is one Boston’s least expensive New Year’s Eve parties around.

What’s the big deal?

This was my second year at Vendetti’s New Year’s Yoga class and the one-year anniversary of my love of yoga. Coincidence? I think not.

What started as an alternative New Year’s Eve idea thrown out by a friend, turned into one of the best decisions in my life. For real. In case you’re wondering, the other best decisions I ever made were to file for divorce, move to Boston, stop dying my hair, and change my career. That’s how much yoga has changed me, but I digress…

Although awesome, it wasn’t Vendetti’s class so much as my decision to do something different for New Year’s Eve, that made New Year’s Yoga such a great event in my life. Two hours of yoga at the end of 2013 spurred a year of personal growth and development for me. When the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2014, I had already accomplished something in the new year. How many other New Year’s Eve celebrations can provide that?

I woke up that morning well rested and calm. Two days later I was sore but happy. So I tried another class, this time at Back Bay Yoga, then another and another. I quit the florescent lit meat market of a gym and joined a yoga studio. A self-described balls-to-the-wall type of person, I accepted the label of yogi, and resigned myself to being the butt of patchouli jokes from friends.

What I found in yoga was much more than I had envisioned. My days and weeks, and later my body and mind, were shaped by hour and a half sweat sessions of strength and power. I learned to bring mindfulness not only to my mat, but also to my life and relationships. Yoga brought a self awareness that I didn’t think possible. I guess that’s what happens when you have to remind yourself to breathe.

And so it seemed natural to celebrate the end of 2014 the way it began, alone on the mat, ready to begin a new year with clarity. Happy New Year and Namaste.

2014 Year in Review

2014 was a year of big change for me. I thought I was finished with change after my relocation to Boston in 2013 but I had no idea what I was in for in 2014. Here’s a wrap up of my year:

30th Birthday

I turned 30 in 2014 which was not as scared as previously anticipated. While I didn’t manage to check everything off my 30 by 30 list, I had a lot of fun, made some good decisions, and generally have it together…which is good enough for me.

Career Changenew job champs

In 2014 I changed my career. After practicing law for the past 5 years, I threw caution to the wind and decided the potential for failure was worth more than wondering “what if”. I enrolled in a startup school called Startup Institute and in just 10 weeks went from working in an unfulfilling in a legal career to being challenged and valued as a content marketing specialist at a small technology startup. I now create content to help small business owners with their marketing so that they can grow their business.

Side HustleTIME article emily weisberg

My writing career took off in 2014. While I’ve always been a writer (philosophy, law, blog ramblings) my career change has enabled me to write content for my company. I also got the chance to write for a website, Levo League, which focuses on womens’ professional development. I wrote an article on startup schools for this site which was picked up by Fast Company. I geeked out. Hard. Then the article was picked up by TIME and I geeked out again. Harder. And so my side hustle, writing on random things like New Years Resolutions and really cool things like startups, was born.

startup institute yogaYoga Love

I’m ringing in 2015 the same way I rang in 2014–on the yoga mat. Last New Year’s Eve I found myself slightly buzzed after some New Year’s cocktails with a friend and barefoot on a yoga mat for two hours with another friend. This seemingly insane and almost-literally out of body experience kicked off my love of yoga, which I have been practicing as much as I can. I have almost successfully turned myself into a pretzel while managing to zen out enough not go completely crazy at my very stressful last job. This summer I even wrangled some friends at Startup Institute to join me in morning yoga, combining my love of yoga, startups, and making people look like idiots in quasi-public.


I got to spend time with family during 2014, which is always a good time. My niece and nephew have reached the ages when they realize how awesome I am, fully solidifying my position in “cool aunt” territory. I was able to travel to New Jersey a few time during the year for squeezes and cuddles and teaching the little ones how to take selfies.


friends and wine

New Friends

This year was a year for new friends. Between networking in the startup scene, blogging, and Twitter, I met more people than I thought possible. Some of those people turned out to be really great friends, some I even considered dating some of them but didn’t, and most of them were genuinely awesome people. #internetfriendsrule



Dating Stuff


I managed to stay single for most of 2014 but I did have my longest post-divorce relationship. That didn’t work out but it was a milestone for me. I dated a bit as well which always makes for funny stories, including the time one man accidentally stabbed me in the foot with a dart. For real, he didn’t mean it, but there’s nothing like a little blood to kill the mood.



parish cafe mugFood & Drinks

If there was a year of food and drinks, 2014 would win. I managed to eat and drink by way through the city of Boston AND lose 10 pounds this year–double win! Check out my Instagram for a daily account of my caloric intake. If I created a word cloud of 2014, bacon, lobster, beer, and bourbon would be largely displayed. I also joined the exclusive Mug Club at Parish Cafe. The 125 beers I drank in 6 months (and caused me to gain the 10 pounds I lost) earned me a fancy 25 oz. mug with the words, “WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE” etched into them. My mother is so proud.

Boston Boston Bostonzac brown band fenway

I barely traveled this past year, something that I will be changing in 2015. I spent most of my time in Boston and the surrounding areas including New Hampshire, Martha’s Vineyard, and Cape Cod. Boston and I became well acquainted through concerts, Red Sox games, the Pride Parade, and self-guided Boston beer tours.


2014 had its downs as well, but I’m choosing to highlight the good and start 2015 on a positive note!


happy new year!

Happy 2014!

I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve.  I had a different kind of New Year’s celebration this year.  Instead of spending hundreds of dollars going out to a bar for a booze and stranger filled celebration, some friends and I decided to ring in the New Year in a more peaceful way. With yoga.
In case you haven’t gotten the idea, I’m a bit spastic and not at all zen.  Yoga is not my thing.  I much prefer adrenaline fueled activities with a high risk of injury.  Twisting myself into a pretzel on New Year’s Eve wasn’t what I thought I’d be doing, however this is the same friend who I went to outdoor yoga with in the fall and since I always have fun with her, I decided to give it a go.
We went to South Boston Yoga, a studio far enough from my apartment so that I wouldn’t completely embarrass myself if I saw anyone I knew.  We got a bit of a late start since parking proved to be more of an issue than anticipated.  I joked to my friend that she might not live to see the New Year if we ended up in the front row.  She assured me that the space was big enough for us to sneak in the back…but it wasn’t.  Roughly 137 of the 140 people signed up were already there when we arrived, leaving 3 tiny spots for us– front and center–sandwiched between the instructor’s mini piano thing that he played songs on at the end of the session (no joke) and a handful of instructors from the studio.  We were total fish out of water and I was petrified.
Surprisingly, it was an great evening.  I figured it would be fun to try something different but this was more than just that.  It could have been the dehydration (did I mention it was HOT yoga for one of the two hours?) or maybe just the awesome instructor, but I loved it.  The instructor was funny and helpful and only called us out once on slacking.
I even surprised myself when I started chanting at the end.  Who knew that month of Kundalini yoga that my sister-in-law and I laughed through back in high school would stick with me a dozen years later??  It’s strange to say, but I might have been convinced to try it again.  It’s definitely a New Year!
Namaste, bitches!