A couple people asked about hot yoga from my post on Monday, so I thought I might as well do a series on the fitness classes I'm taking over the next month. My friend Alexandra told me about this pass from Classtivity that allows you to try 10 classes at new (to me) gyms or studios around the city. I like running and still do it often but have decided that this year I'm going to focus on all-around fitness by adding strength and flexibility to my typical regimen. I'm certainly not up on the newest and hippest workouts, so I'm looking forward to learning about lots of new classes that I would normally be intimidated to try.
[Lastics] I thought I would ease into my new workouts with a stretching class. I'll admit, I tend to skip most forms of pre or post-run stretching, so I'm typically ailed by sore and tight muscles. The class targeted a lot of my typical problem areas (quads) but also some I rarely give thought to (shoulders). Sure, I can touch my toes fine, but the moves really made me want to regain a lot of lost flexibility. I think it would be a great class to take on a regular basis but I wasn't thrilled with the instructor. A lot of the stretches were slight movements which she didn't verbalize all that clearly. She would walk around and help put you in the right position, but she couldn't be with you constantly, so I spent most of the class wondering if I was doing it right. I would be interested in trying a different teacher or maybe checking out their DVD workout at home.
[Y-7: Slow Burn] I find myself going to a yoga class every few months or so. I like it, but I never get into a routine or find a class I really connect with (or want to spend extra money on). It's all a little too zen for me, if you know what I mean. A friend liked this studio that does mainly hot yoga, so I decided to give it a try. Once I decided I wasn't going to suffocate because the room was so effing hot, I actual really enjoyed the practice. The poses weren't any different than a typical class and I felt like the heat helped me get a deeper stretch (I was sore the next day). Our instructor was young and really laid back. (I think she mentioned Google maps and dropped the f-bomb while talking to us about Buddha.) The class was small and only lit by candlelight (thank goodness so no one could see me sweating like crazy). And the music was awesome. Normally I'm bored to tears by "yoga music" but the studio uses modern songs by popular artists. It might distract some people who prefer a more serene class but I found it empowering. (Luckily, they share some of their songs here.) If the studio wasn't all the way in Williamsburg, I would definitely go back regularly.