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Samantha Wills

CONTRIBUTOR, MANTAS ZVINAS: Originally hailing from the sunny beaches of Southern California, Mantas is a 10-year open water lifeguard veteran & has travelled the world as a surf instructor.

Mantas is most passionate about creating habits in people that lead to longer, healthier, and more positive lives. His philosophy is that fitness is the best environment for creating a community, its very personal, its very encouraging, and its very healthy. Ultimately Mantas will get you to break a sweat and have fun doing it.

Mantas is the founder of SurfYogaBeer a fitness adventure company that hosts fitness classes and events in New York City and San Diego, but mainly takes groups of amazing likeminded people to magical places around the world. 

With an extensive yoga background, he has taken his fitness teachings to SoulCycle where his classes create a balance of ‘party of the year’, ‘personal coaching`’  and ‘what day is it and where am I?’ Book the ride & see for yourself!

Senior SoulCycle Instructor, (and all-round inspirational human), Mantas  Zvinas with SW, in NYC.

Senior SoulCycle Instructor, (and all-round inspirational human), Mantas Zvinas with SW, in NYC.

There is no road map, so let go of what’s ‘supposed’ to be, and approach it with open eyes & an open mind
— Mantas Zvinas

When he's not instructing on the bike in NYC, Manta leads Surf + Yoga retreats to remote destinations. Pictured far above in a weekend day trip to New York's Rockaway beach, and above, teaching SW to surf in Costa Rica. 

It is not about completing the’s actually about starting – it’s about showing up.
— Mantas Zvinas

MANTAS + MELANIE (2001),by the end of Grade 8, Mantas & Melanie where named 'Cutest Couple' in the school Yearbook. [Oh! Our Hearts!!! - ED]  Image Credit: Mantas' Mum, Reda. 

MANTAS + MELANIE (2001),by the end of Grade 8, Mantas & Melanie where named 'Cutest Couple' in the school Yearbook. [Oh! Our Hearts!!! - ED]

Image Credit: Mantas' Mum, Reda. 

I’d suggest letting go of having a time frame.
— Mantas Zvinas

IMAGE VIA: SoulCycle

IMAGE VIA: SoulCycle

Mantas in NYC

Mantas in NYC


I was recently reminded of a last-minute road trip I took with some friends, a year or two after high school in California.

We were off to surprise a friend at his college. Smart phones were not around just yet, and we didn’t have GPS. The only map we had, had blown out the window a few hours into the trip… We could have easily stressed out about not being about to get from Point A to point B directly and quickly, but instead (and by default), the trip quickly became all about off-course pit stops, music sessions at diners, hard right turns on the dime to explore scenic central Californian hills, some challenges that required some creative problem solving, and some wrongs turns. But in doing so, memories of a true road trip were made; one that goes left, right, and backwards, but eventually, (and in the most interesting way) reaches the final destination. The things we saw, learnt and experienced along the way made for many laughs and conversations when we finally reached our destination.

I have since applied this to how I not only do business, but also live life. There is no road map, so let go of what’s ‘supposed’ to be, and approach it with open eyes & an open mind, because getting from Point A to Point B is a much richer journey if you experience all of the things life throws in your direction along the way.



I’d suggest letting go of having a time frame.  

We constantly analyse decisions, create pros and cons lists in our minds, and replay past events over and over like broken records in our head. This all adds up to a worry that is so easily avoided, by focusing on the ‘now’ instead.

Just like a first kiss, the more you think (or obsess!) about something you want, the harder it becomes to execute. The anticipation of success or failure is one of the biggest drawbacks in execution. Once there is a slight chance of failure; we begin to second-guess ourselves, and before we know it, we’ve lost the initial momentum that brought us to that point.

I have such a story. In true form, I waited until the last day of 7th grade to make my big move. Melanie had my 11-year-old heart, and in the last week leading up to summer break, my anticipation (and overly enthusiastic analysis) of the situation had escalated to dangerous levels, and it was more than any 7th grader could handle! My whole week went by in a blur. My time was spent not learning American History, algebra, or Shakespeare, but instead making an extensive list of pros and cons on how this could go down.

Trust the gut. If you don’t know how, then start practising! Your first instinct is your unconscious mind aka your gut. Personally, I don’t believe a ‘perfect time’ for something exists, but even if it does, we’re usually so focused on what could go wrong, that we miss the opportunity anyway!

In other words, sometimes, the ‘Don’t Think, Just Do’ action is the most appropriate, especially if it’s something that has been rolling around non-stop in your mind.

We learn to trust intuition, and as we get older, we build an arsenal in our mind and bodies; a memory of experiences that we use to make decisions. All the things that we do, see, feel, hear and experience don’t always hit our conscious mind but do still register somewhere deep in the mind. In other words, there’s a good reason you feel a certain way about something – trust it.

So. The final bell rang and standing between me, and 10 weeks of summer freedom, was the prison of anxiety I had created for myself in over-thinking this ‘first kiss’ situation. I did what any self-respecting 11-year-old 7th grader would do; I walked straight up to Melanie, and without saying so much of a spoken word, kissed her on the lips, right then and there. I had worked myself up into such a state by over-thinking it, I didn’t know what to say, so just turned on my heel & jumped on the bus for the hour-long ride home. I was on cloud nine – I FINALLY DID IT! I was too scared of rejection to follow up with her, so for the 10 weeks before school started again, Melanie didn’t hear from me. She probably wondered where I disappeared to all summer, and it wasn’t until the end of 8th grade that I actually mustered up the courage to ask her out, & we ended up dating for two weeks (this is the equivalent of 20 years middle school terms!) AND getting named cutest couple in the yearbook! Moral of the story is; I over thought it, wasted a heap of time doing so and invited much-unneeded anxiety into my world in the process.



The best thing about life, no matter what happens, physically, mentally, emotionally or financially there will always be another opportunity. It might not be the exact same one, but there will ALWAYS be another one.

Seems like the discourse on inspirational Instagram is always saying YES to every opportunity, which I believe misses the point of following your intuition.

I don’t think you always need to say yes to every opportunity. Do not be afraid to say no to something that doesn’t feel right, and do not feel pressured to take every opportunity.

There are times when we need to trust our gut and not blindly say yes. This is not about waiting for another opportunity, this is about listening to the feeling in your gut and following it!



Once we begin to think, to anticipate, and to create the pros and cons lists, we begin to fear something, and 9 times out of 10, it’s failure.

When I teach my SoulCycle classes, I like to remind people it is not about completing the task or getting to the destination, it is not even about being able to get to the end. It’s actually about starting – it’s about showing up.

I’m here for the journey.

Maybe I won’t be the best writer in the world… doesn’t mean I won’t write and share my words.

Maybe I won’t be a movie star… doesn’t mean I won’t follow my dream of acting.

Maybe I won’t get into that university… doesn’t mean I won’t apply.

And maybe my business won’t change the world…but it doesn’t mean I won’t try! There are a lot of things I can’t do or become, but that won’t stop me from giving it my all. I’m here regardless of the result, I’m here for the journey.

Speak with Mantas on Instagram; @MantasZvinas