BY AMY SHERMAN | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s the start of a new year, and that means gyms across Michigan are packed with people fulfilling their New Year’s resolutions to get healthier, move more, and maybe lose a little bit of the weight they put on over the last few months.
There are so many workouts to choose from, it can be completely overwhelming to those of us who might not be regular gym rats. Some workouts can sound downright scary, intimidating, or flat-out weird, while others might have been on your radar for a while but you just haven’t taken the plunge yet. I know, and to be honest, working out at a gym has never really been my bag. Walking into a unknown situation, with some really bad, old workout clothes on, and no idea how to “do” the workout as a beginner, totally makes me uncomfortable. So I just don’t go, and that’s a problem when you eat for a living.
To kick off 2020, I decided to do a little research, and went out and and actually participated in a variety of exercise classes, to take some of the mystery out of them. I experienced first hand what these workouts were like, learned some tips and tricks to make even a first timer feel comfortable, and investigated what the health benefits are. We also got to meet some passionate owners and exercise experts along the way.
We’ll be sharing with you 12 different workouts over the next couple of weeks.
See our first foray into Aerial Silks here.
Check out our Pilates experience here.
We tried a kickboxing class, see what happened here.
A barre class is way harder than it looks, and that’s a great thing.
Pole dancing is a total test of strength, and is one empowering workout if you can get off the ground.
Get in proper alignment with an Anusara style yoga class.
Vinyasa Yoga is all about the flow. This style of yoga, which I experienced at a class at Hello Yoga in Grand Rapids, is based on a traditional Indian style yoga. And while you’ll be practicing a classic style, you’ll be doing it with the twist of flowing movements along with synchronized breathing, for a vibrant workout that will not only invigorate you, but might create a little peace of mind as well.
This style of yoga was developed by K. Pattabhi Jois when he developed the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in 1948. Vinyasa style yoga can go by many names, sometimes dependent on the studio itself. “Power Yoga” or “Yoga Flow” might be some of the ways this type is referred to, or you might find this style in a hot yoga class.
“You’ll feel in your body, and undo all that you’ve done through the day when you do a class,” Hello Yoga owner Allison Steele said. “Life sometimes seems crazy, but you can stand up, and become aware of your breath here.”
The class that I took was labeled for all levels, but if you are a true beginner to yoga, meaning you have no idea what is happening, this type of class will be a challenge. You definitely need to know the basic poses, terms and moves in order to participate in a vinyasa class.
If you do have some yoga experience, then you will find a vinyasa class a fast moving experience, as you quickly go from pose to pose. In fact, you may find it downright FAST.
I know I did.
As we moved through the class, it quickly became apparent that we were going to be moving quick. This was not a class that would allow you time to find your pose, and then adjust to make sure it is right. You’ll get in the pose, and then move right into the next one. Fast, fast, fast. Very soon, you’ll be sweating it out, and breathing pretty hard.
Breath is important in this class, so pay attention to what the teacher is saying about that. You’ll be breathing in and out sometimes against what you’d think was the natural way. Keep it up, there’s a method to this madness.
Overall, this is a fantastic workout. It’s got all the benefits of cardio, as well as an incredible stretch, and a lovely calm mindset when you are done. Find your very own Namaste during a Vinyasa yoga workout.
Things to know about this workout:
–Don’t worry about having the right equipment. The studio will have what you need, from yoga mats, to bolsters, blocks, blankets and straps.
-Wear something you feel comfortable in, but keep in mind that you’ll be doing inversions and stretches, so closer-fitting clothes may be best.
-You’ll be either in bare feet or with grippy socks on the mat. Plan your pedicure accordingly.
-If you decide to continue your practice, you’ll most likely want your own mat. These can be purchased for anywhere from $15 to $100. Remember that you don’t need anything fancy
This is part of a Michigan’s Best Workout series focusing on 12 different types of exercise you can try in 2020. It’s being done in partnership with Gazelle Sports.