Blissful yoga experiences abound in St. Maarten/St. Martin.
Who says you have to abandon fitness goals while on vacation? Yoga is a great way to benefit body and mind, and opportunities to stretch and pose are plentiful in St. Maarten/St. Martin.
If you’re looking to continue your yoga practice while in Dutch St. Maarten, your options are numerous. For outdoor yoga, visit Simpson Bay Resort for morning classes Monday through Friday from 9 to 10 a.m. Nearby El Zafiro Boutique Hotel offers another option for outdoor practice. You’ll also find Pilates and a weekly meditation course. 
For those who enjoy a studio setting, there are two options in Cole Bay. Island Rebel Yoga offers classes six days a week and even has a program for children. Joga offers classes seven days a week, along with cold-pressed juices, vegan snacks and a small boutique with yoga clothing, mats and jewelry. Yoga sessions are also on hand at a fitness facility, Ryu Training Club, in Philipsburg. 
In French St. Martin, Ti Temple offers yoga and Tai Chi at the Hotel L’Esplanade in Grand Case. This is your outdoor option to practice yoga and enjoy the benefits for your mind, body and spirit. If you would like a studio setting on the French side, visit YogaTime SXM. La Plénitude is another yoga studio featuring classes in Friar’s Bay. 
No matter which side of the island calls you to your mat, you can nourish body and mind while enjoying the peace and serenity of a St. Maarten/St. Martin vacation.
Food for Thought
More restaurants in St. Maarten/St. Martin are offering plant-based options.
Ribs, chicken and pig tail still star the menus of many Caribbean eateries, but more and more restaurants on St. Maarten/St. Martin are offering vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options for diners who are seeking a healthier lifestyle.
Here are six local restaurants that are sure to satisfy your meatless taste buds with scrumptious plant-based selections. 
Freedom Fighters Ital Shack 
Everything about this place is irie, as a satisfied Rastafarian would put it. The food is not only tasty and creative; it is also homegrown, organic and prepared in natural Rastafarian style. Rastafarians advocate a back-to-basics way of eating. Their slogan, Ital is Vital, conveys the message that a healthier, more organic lifestyle is important for well-being. Open for breakfast and lunch, the Ital Shack is the place for tasty platters of local vegetables, herbs and spices, most of which are grown right in back of the restaurant. It’s located on Bush Road in Philipsburg and serves vegan meals and fresh juices made of local plants and fruits like sorrel and tamarind.
Top Carrot
It’s health at first step the moment you walk into Top Carrot in Simpson Bay. You’ll note the aromas of incense and nutritious foods cooking in the small kitchen, as well as the buzzing of the juicer, blending yet another concoction of fruits and vegetables – a sure sign that you have found an oasis of health. Open for breakfast and lunch, Top Carrot serves up an array of delicious salads, sandwiches and homemade pastries; and the lunch specials listed daily on the blackboard are sure to make your mouth water. Combine your favorite healthy meal with one of the many fresh juices and smoothies, some unique to Top Carrot.
Gigi’s Organic Food & Drinks
Organic granola, pumpkin soup and chickpea burgers are just some of the many tasty vegetarian and vegan options found at Gigi’s Organic Food & Drinks small, yet cozy restaurant in Simpson Bay. Visit for breakfast, lunch or dinner or have your meal delivered. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options for breakfast, lunch and dinner have made Gigi’s a favorite restaurant for those who prefer a plant-based diet.
Here’s a yoga studio with a charming vegan and gluten-free cafe attached. Enjoy raw, vegan, gluten-free and paleo specials at Joga’s Juice-A-Teria. Cold-pressed juices, vegan soups, açaí bowls, muesli bars and vegan cakes are made fresh by SXM Vegans, a group of vegan chefs on the island who showcase their latest plant-based creations here in Cole Bay.
Grape leaves, creamy hummus topped with sautéed mushrooms, falafel and baba ghanoush are just some of the vegetarian and vegan options available at Beirut on the Simpson Bay strip. Middle Eastern music videos playing on screens around the restaurant help make the Lebanese experience complete.
Did You Know? 
Top Carrot serves up an array of delicious salads, sandwiches and homemade pastries; and the daily lunch specials are sure to make your mouth water.
Sharing is Caring
DJ and Joost are the hearts behind Freegan Food Foundation, a nonprofit organization solely based on one of the most essential life lessons: Sharing is caring.
Identifying a use for discarded products that were still in perfect condition, DJ and Joost started collecting what was perceived as waste. The products deemed “not sellable” by supermarkets, wholesalers and restaurants on the island were made into meals and shared with those affected the most by Hurricane Irma. 
Plant-based breakfasts and lunches at Freegan Food Cafe are made with these products. When you eat here, you automatically donate to Freegan Food Lunches, which are distributed in areas of St. Maarten where people are in need of basic essentials. It’s all part of the Freegan Food Foundation, whose goal is to reduce food waste and serve people in need.
Freegan recently kicked off its School Fruit Program to provide fresh fruit, vegetables or raw nuts to local primary schoolchildren, thus teaching them the importance of a healthy diet. 
To donate or be a part of Freegan Food Foundation’s programs, visit