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If you’re looking to keep up your workout routine while in Cayman, want to jumpstart a relaxation habit you can take back home with you, or just want to try something new, there are a few fantastic yoga studios on island I would highly recommend. Bliss Living Yoga and Cayman Yoga Club offer a variety of classes seven days a week. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or have never downward dogged in your life, there’s a class that will be fun, relaxing, and challenging for you.

Plan Your Class

You should look at the class descriptions on the studios' websites to see which type of class interests you the most. There are plenty of offerings each day of the week for all levels of yoga skill. The two studios are located between West Bay Road and Esterly Tibbets Highway, near Camana Bay, which is around a ten-minute drive from Christopher Columbus.

Both studios allow drop-in classes, so there's no need to call ahead—just arrive around fifteen minutes before class time so you can sign in at the front desk and get situated. If you don’t want to worry about packing a mat, you can borrow one for the class. A mat is complimentary for your first class, but you can also borrow one for a small fee for successive classes.

A single class is around $24 USD, but if you think you’ll come multiple times, a class pack might be a better deal. They’ll ask for just a few pieces of information and then you’ll be ready to get your yoga on.

What Should You Bring?

Wear comfy clothes you can freely move around in—t-shirts, tank tops, athletic or yoga pants are all great choices. Yoga is much easier to do barefoot, but you can wear socks if you would be more comfortable. You should also bring along a bottle of water, which you can bring into the studio with you, and a mat and towel if you want to bring your own. The studio will provide blocks, straps, blankets, bolsters, and other props you might need.

What To Expect

After you sign in, you’ll remove your shoes and store your belongings in cubbies—the yoga studio itself is a phone-free zone. Once you find a spot for your mat, you can start stretching or kick back and relax until class starts. Each class is lead by a trained instructor who will talk you through each pose as well as demonstrate proper technique.

I attended classes on two ends of the spectrum, one Flow class at Bliss Yoga Studio and one Power Vinyasa class at Cayman Yoga Club.

Flow

If you’re looking for a way to relax your muscles after a long flight, find some quiet time amid a busy itinerary, or just take your time with a workout, this is a great choice. The flow class is an hour long and focuses a lot on your breath, stretching and holding poses, and the meditative aspects of yoga. It’s accessible to all skill levels, from beginner to advanced. Many of the poses in this class were seated, and several props were used, which helped everyone modify poses to suit their flexibility.

My class was an early afternoon session with Janelle. She had a fantastically soothing demeanor and helped me relax my sore, plane-ride-agitated shoulders. I’d highly recommend this class to anyone, but especially for any first timers—you’ll get a good idea of what yoga is all about without getting into many difficult poses.

Power Vinyasa

Power Vinyasa is a rigorous class that focuses on working your whole body and the breath as you move from pose to pose. This hour-long course is designed to make you sweat and really challenge yourself. All skill levels are welcome and anyone can get a workout from this class, but I would recommend that you are already comfortable with flowing between poses (e.g., downward dog into the Warrior series) before attending this class.

Photo courtesy of Cayman Yoga Club

I attended a later evening class with Janine, who included some much-appreciated motivational wisdom within her instruction. She was also incredibly gracious and gave me some tips on improving a pose I struggle quite a bit with. If you're nervous about taking a class, don't worry, your instructor is happy to help and guide you—it's what they're there for! 

Get Started!

Don’t let vacation throw off your fitness resolutions this year. Stop in for a yoga class next time you’re on island, relax, and take that Cayman vibe back home with you! And don't forget you can also visit a traditional gym or take a bike ride around the island for other great ways to keep active while on the island. 

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If you’re like me, the only drawback to your trip to Grand Cayman is leaving furry family members at home. I’m not ashamed to admit that saying goodbye to my cats is cause for tears and daily requests for photos from the catsitter. Four-legged or not, my pets are important members of my household. If you have a big heart for animals like I do, you can show love to dogs and cats in need on the island through the Cayman Islands Humane Society.

The Cayman Islands Humane Society (CIHS) provides food, shelter, and care to homeless or abused dogs and cats, and also works to pair animals with loving and responsible owners. The shelter has a staff of 11, but can always use a helping hand from volunteers and support from donations. The current facility houses 37 dog kennels and a cat adoption room, which are kept very full due to the large number of animals in need.

How to help if you don’t live on island

  1. Volunteer to be a dog walker when you’re visiting
Dog walkers can come from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays, though it’s best to walk in the early morning when it’s not too hot—paws and hot pavement don't mix. If you’ve got the time, staff will help pair you with a dog who likes to go for longer walks and socialize. Camana Bay and the beach are great places to get in a little exercise with your furry pal for the day!  
    2. Be a patron of the Thrift Shop and Book Loft
Proceeds from these shops support the shelter. Grab some beach reading or a unique souvenir and help feed a dog or cat in the process!
    3. Become an Associated Member for CI $40 a year
Memberships are a great way to not only support the work of CIHS but also keep updated with what’s happening at the shelter. Members receive a monthly newsletter with photos and updates. 
    4. Sponsor a cage for a puppy, kitten, dog, or cat for one year
These sponsorships are a great way to make a direct impact for an animal in need.
    5. Donate funds or supplies to the shelter
Monetary donations of any amount are always greatly appreciated and can be put to immediate use. Other donations such as food, treats, cat litter, etc., are also welcome—but you should give the shelter a call to see what they’re in the most need of before taking a trip to the store.
    6. Adopt a pet
The shelter does offer a service to fly a pet from the island, so if you fall in love with a particular fuzzy fellow you see on Facebook or meet while visiting, it is possible to bring them home. Dogs and cats are duty free when coming into the United States.
    7. Tell your friends! 
If you know any animal lovers who feel like Cayman is a home away from home, encourage them to support the Humane Society’s efforts as well. Share one of CIHS's Facebook posts or create your own. 
     

The Humane Society office is located at 153 North Sound Road in Georgetown near the airport, so it’s only a short ten minute drive from the condos. If you’re looking to brighten a sunny Cayman day even more by taking a dog for a walk or making a donation, get in touch with the Humane Society and volunteer!

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If you want to see the "real island" then biking the West Bay Loop is for you! Tour guide, Richard McKee, leads bike tours through West Bay and shares lots of history and saucy facts about Cayman along the way. Aside from being a great Caribbean historian, Richard is a hoot and will keep you entertained along the way.

The tour meets and ends at the Cracked Conch/Macabuca. When my husband and I pulled up and approached the bike stand, Richard was there helping two other couples find the best bikes and helmets for their ride; and then did the same for us. I got the "Birthday bike" and was feeling pretty special as I made a few practice laps around the parking lot. (Someone had wrapped the handlebars with ribbon the day before for a Birthday girl.) Richard prepped us for the journey with some safety tips (like "Remember to stay to the left!!") and off we went.

We rode for a while and then stopped in at Boatswain Bay, a quiet little nook we never would have found on our own. Directly next to the bay is a cemetery, so Richard told us about burial customs new and old including shells used to mark graves (that are still there now). We took shelter from the sun under some shade trees nearby, and Richard started in with the history of the islands beginning with Christopher Columbus discovering the islands in 1503. He explained how the islands went from Spanish to British rule and how they went from the island that time forgot to one of the most successful islands in the Caribbean. He wrapped up our first stop by telling us he was going to tell us about the economic miracle of the Cayman Islands in little spurts along the way which left me excited for not only the biking ahead but our stops, too!

teeny house on beach

As we rode further through West Bay we got a good glimpse of the local life. We passed West Bayers who were walking, biking and relaxing on their porches. Everyone we passed was so friendly, wishing us a good morning and waving and smiling as we passed. We pulled up briefly next to an ackee tree along our way, and Richard told us all about the local love for the fruit and how Caymanians would often cook up a fresh batch of ackee and cod for dinner. We also made a quick stop at Hell, so Richard could explain how the attraction came to be and then carried on.

Our next big stop was at the library adjacent to the Sir. John A Cumber Primary School. School children were playing at recess when we stopped. Richard pointed out the British architecture of the library and then continued on telling us about the history and economic miracle of the Cayman Islands. As he gave us the coolest history lesson, a few of the school children had taken notice of our group and were waving and chuckling hellos at us in the background. Any time we'd actually look their way they'd immediately look away and act as if they hadn't been trying to get our attention. They were pretty cute, and it was fun to feel a part of everyday Cayman. We left the school grounds, and pedaled along further through West Bay. I was starting to feel proud of my morning workout!

library kids at recess and biking

The next stop was a fun surprise - and I'm not sure if Richard always makes it a stop - but he took us by his house to show us what life was like for residents of West Bay. He pointed out beloved birds flying around in his back yard, told us about hurricane preparations and explained why Caymanians feel that 9 ft above sea level is high ground and a valuable asset. He shared a few more facts and stories, and then we headed off towards Barker's National Park.

On our way to Barker's we made a pit-stop to look at interesting architecture and learn more about how the island has evolved. Once we arrived at Barker's we took a little break to walk around and then Richard shared more history and current affairs with us. We picked up our bikes and hit the road again, this time pedaling through mostly residential roads, winding our way to the West Bay Four Ways stop and then crossing over to Boggy Sand Road. The houses that line this little coastal road are a mix of old charming island cottages and new luxurious homes; and I think Richard had a story for just about every one of them! Once we left what might possibly be my favorite road on the island we headed back for home base - Macabucca. The final stretch of the ride was especially beautiful with the sea peeking through the trees to our left. I felt so peaceful and enjoyed having a little time for personal reflection.

Once we returned, Richard told us we had biked 11 miles which surprised all of us. He gave us some advice for what to do with the rest of our time on island and then several of us decided it was time for some grub at Macabuca. We earned it!

If you'd like to bike the West Bay Loop (which I 5000% recommend), get in touch with Richard on his website here. I hadn't ridden a bike in a year or so, and would only call myself slightly in shape at best; so don't let the 11 miles scare you away. : )

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Grand Cayman is one of the most relaxing, enjoyable places you can visit, but taking a vacation here doesn’t mean your daily workout routine has to be put on hold.

In fact, part of my travel planning includes scoping out all of the local gym options, so that I can continue to get in energy boosting workouts.

Prior to my first trip to Christopher Columbus Condos in Grand Cayman, I did a quick search for local gyms and weight rooms. I found several options which included an Anytime Fitness, Life Extension Sports and Fitness, and a World Gym.

As a powerlifting hobbyist training for my local gym's 1,250lb. club, I chose to go with the World Gym, a sister gym of the famous Gold’s Gym – a gym known for major strength building. My friend Chris, who was traveling with me, didn’t want to miss a workout either, so he joined me at World Gym.

I knew I made the right choice when I heard the hard rock pounding from the speakers as soon as I walked in. As I bought my day pass, I noticed the music switched to an upbeat techno track, and I decided to stow the earbuds for the day.

This place was rocking, and I couldn’t help but get pumped up.

As I walked into the primary, first-floor weight room, it was apparent: this was a place for serious bodybuilders and CrossFitters alike.

The personal trainers looked as though they lived and breathed fitness every day and everyone in the gym was hard at work. It’s hard to explain, but this gym had a contagious and exciting vibe to it that just makes you want to work out!

I made my way over to the squat rack to start on my routine. The equipment was in great shape, but I could tell that it had seen some hard, heavy days. I wanted to make sure I lived up to the “Gold Standard” so I racked on some heavy weight and went to work while Chris explored the various rooms and levels of the gym.

Later, Chris and I met at the bench press to crank out some reps together. As I laid on the bench, I noticed that the gym seemed to go on for ages in every direction.

There was an outdoor CrossFit arena and an upstairs level as well. Chris and I checked out the CrossFit area, “CrossFit Muscle Beach”, and decided it looked far too serious for us, but if CrossFit is your game, this is the place to be.

Next, we visited the upstairs where we found cardio equipment of all kinds and even more weight machines. While walking on the treadmills, I thought it was really neat that I had a bird’s eye view of the lower level.

If you enjoy people watching or learning new workout techniques, you can see dedicated people doing some pretty challenging workouts from up there. They also had plenty of big screens, so you can watch the news or a TV show while you exercise, too.

After Chris and I finished our cool down on the treadmills, we made our way back to the lobby where we met Herman, the owner of the Barbell Cafe.

The Barbell Cafe is located inside World Gym and offers the most nutritious (and absolutely delicious) juice creations on Grand Cayman. All of the recipes have been personally crafted by Herman himself and are the result of years of research and study.

You can read all about Herman and his wonderful concoctions here.

We decided right then that we had to come back each day of our trip, if not for a lift, definitely for a protein-packed smoothie.

So, whether you've just started a workout routine or have been working out faithfully for years just know that there are plenty of great options on the island to stay healthy while you're visiting. It's also really cool to have the opportunity to do something more "everyday" and local to get a feel for what life is really like on the island. 

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tropical drinks and bartenderMeet bartender Ricardo, aka "Ricky Ricardo." He's been featured in The Cayman Compass as bartender of the month and bragged on in several online reviews, including a Trip Advisor review titled "Ricardo is the best!" After meeting him at Cayman Cabana in Georgetown, I easily understood why. He was so funny, made easy conversation with us and was a joy to talk to. Plus, he challenged us to try the pull-up bar at the Cayman Cabana, which all made for a delightful and unexpected lunch.

Ricardo is originally from Jamaica and loves working in Cayman, but he does miss the mountains of his home. Home always has a special hold on the heart, but Ricardo has made a wonderful life for himself here in Grand Cayman. When Ricardo was looking for work, he was offered a job here and in Canada. Ricardo chose to stay true to his Caribbean roots and made the choice to come to Cayman, and he's been here three years now. In Cayman, he loves going to the beach, catching fish and meeting people at the bar. He also really likes going out to the East End. He says it's like going to the country. It's quiet, peaceful and has less noise.

Susan doing a pull up.While visiting with him at Cayman Caban, he whipped up a couple Swanky Lemonades and Bahama Mamas for us. As we questioned the pull up bar at the actual bar, he challenged each of us to take a turn. We were all hesitant and asked him to go first. He said he was "injured" and couldn't do any anyway and that we had to go first. Susan, the workout momma in our group, decided to accept the challenge. She actually was able to do one! The rest of us took a turn, but had to get a little extra assistance in getting our chins above the bar. :) After we were finished, Ricardo jumped up there and cranked out 30-ish pull-ups like it was as easy as breathing. So much for that injury... :)

Without Ricardo, our lunch would have been ordinary but, because of his boyish attitude and Cayman kindness, we had one of the best lunches in a long time. What's better than good food with an ocean view and lots of laughter? Thanks, Ricardo!


   
         

 
 
         
Susan doing pull-ups at Cayman Cabana.
 
 
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