We at the Firm understand that there is more to life than working out. There are a jillion other things that need to be done ASAP. You’re busy. No, you’re SUPER busy. Or you’re not busy, per se, you’ve just got other places you’d rather be, other things you’d rather be doing. We totally get that. People are pulling you in all directions, and you’d love to use that as an excuse to skip your workout, but you’re getting squishy. Or you’re getting antsy. Perhaps you’re getting very, very grumpy. All sorts of bad things happen when you fail to check “workout” off of your “to do” list.
Let’s say you’ve only got one hour to work out, so you need to use that time as effectively as possible. Your workout regimen should include cardiovascular training, muscle toning, and stretching: Cardio has all that, and gets you in and out in an hour. The class is athletic-driven, and incorporates sports drills, calisthenics, weights and resistance tubes to push muscles to fatigue, and also includes ab work and stretching. Class ends with ab work and stretching. Burn fat and tone your entire body, and still be on time to your meeting, or date, or piano lesson, or talk show, or wherever life leads you..
And anyway, eventually you’ll enjoy yourself so much you will look forward to checking “workout” off your daily to-do list!
Step is alright, I guess. I mean it’s fine if you like the type of class where the instructor occasionally wears costumes, and even when he’s not in costume he’s so unbelievably glamorous he looks like he’s from another planet. It’ll pass if you’re interested in the style of instructor who works so hard in class you think his skeleton is going to come apart. It’s okay if you are into the kind of scene that makes you feel like you’ve dropped acid and then been dropped into the center of a Broadway musical comedy about aerobics, directed by David LaChappelle and starring Gwen Stefani with choreography by David Fosse and Janet Jackson’s lovechild. It’ll do in a pinch for those who want to beg for mercy while they turn and twirl and feel pretty, oh so pretty. And kind of dirty.But don’t take it from me. Take it from the people who have written about it, take it from the countless hotties with rock-hard thighs who come to every class and say that the hour flies by. Take it from the folks who come to class to see the costumes and antics and the dirty jokes, but stay for the butt-kicking workout, and leave drenched in sweat and laughing their asses off. You’ll wish your brain had TiVo, because about half the jokes will leave you asking, “Did he just say what I think he said?”
Okay, first just erase from your mind any associations you have with yoga and dirty, farty hippies. At the Firm we teach Vinyasa or Power Yoga, which is a continual flow of Hatha yoga poses to create internal heat in your body, which in turn produces a cleansing and detoxifying effect. It’s intense, educational and vigorous. There is no chanting, no sage-burning, no talking about your feelings. There is an emphasis on breath, strength, stamina and flexibility. You will synchronize breath and movement, and you will get your butt-kicked, and you will thank us for it!
Each class is different, but they all integrate variations on standing series, balancing series, floor work, core-strengthening, and ab work. Other exercises and postures include hip openers, releasing tight shoulders, inversions and back bends, breathing and meditation exercises either at the end or beginning. Each class ends with restorative practice.
With continued yoga practice, you will find your core strength, eventually be able to lift your own body weight, challenge your flexibility and balance, work on inversions (which are cheaper and better for you than Botox or plastic surgery), and learn meditation and breathing techniques to help you in a stressful world. As Courtney Love used to say, “The more yoga I do, the less makeup I need or want.”
And then she stopped doing yoga, and now she looks like crap!
When I was little I remember going to Ballet class every Saturday morning. Mom would have to drag me to class, up a steep and very narrow stairway and the old lady teacher that smelled like cigarettes and coffee, would put us all in a line against the wall and where we would hang on to “The Barre” while we practiced Plie’s in different positions and the crotch of my tights would always be sagging to my knees. I hated it, I was never going to be a dancer.
So yesterday when my favorite Yoga instructor said “We are going to go to The Barre” I hoped she was talking about drinks, but once I realized what she meant, I got nervous and remembered those positions that my feet were never be able to do from when I was a kid and hoped she wasn’t going to make us do “Ballet”
It wasn’t “Ballet” at all but strength training moves that kicked my ass, but also made sense to me. Maybe it’s because I am older and wiser about my body now and I know how it feels when I am really strengthening my body and getting stronger, or maybe it’s because I have better yoga pants now, whatever the reason, I feel longer and stronger and my yoga practice has gotten better too. We worked glutes, quads, calves, arms and even abs and not once did I feel like I was back in ballet class.
So do not be afraid of The Barre, it’s a whole new Barre than the one from Ballet class. It’s a little Yoga, a little Pilates and a whole lot of strength training. After any of the Barre classes, Yoga/Barre or Pilates/Barre, my body feels so much smarter, if that makes any sense….and then I go to a real bar.