As I have mentioned before, my college career ended on March 3rd, and I wasted no time implementing a solid workout routine. While I dedicate an hour and a half each morning to cardio and weights, I like to throw in a few exercise classes to spice things up.
If you are anything like me, you’re probably under the impression that yoga is easy. Probably because most “yogis” are super chill and yoga is all about stretching, right?Well, that is a myth. It honestly depends on the class you sign up for. Some yoga classes are more focused on meditation, others on your core, balance, restoration, the list goes on. If you want to do yoga only because you want to stretch, then I think you’re better off just stretching by yourself. But if you want to stretch, work on strength, balance and your core, then yoga is for you.
The first yoga class I ever took was a hot vinyasa class. I think I overestimated my abilities. While I didn’t die during the workout, there were a few times I came pretty closes. (I know! I’m dramatic.) While I am new to yoga and still learning about the different styles, vinyasa is definitely a more advanced form. Try it if you want, but you will definitely understand what I’m talking about when you’ve held a plank for five minutes, you’re sweating bullets because the room is a sauna, your muscles are shaking, and your instructor is telling you to “Just breath through it.”
I highly recommend that you take flow or sequence classes that are not hot as your introduction to yoga. Once you’ve done those, you can slowly incorporate beginner or intermediate hot class as you get more comfortable and begin to understand what yoga is all about.
I like yoga because it is a very self-reflective practice. Whenever I go to yoga I know I can work on myself, but in the presence of others. Often at the beginning of class, you’ll set a focus for yourself or as a class. A common theme of many of my classes has been letting go of anything (any energy) that doesn’t serve you.
It’s a great way to clear your mind, push yourself mentally and physically, and meet other amazing people in your community.
It’s all about “finding your shake.” What is “your shake,” you ask? It is when your muscles start to shake as you fatigue them during an exercise or movement. Barre is an exercise that closely resembles the movements and workouts of ballerinas. As the name alludes to, you work with a bar and a few other items (2-3 pound weights, a small exercise ball, and circular exercise cords) to get the most out of each workout.
Pure Barre is all about working in opposite directions. You will hear the phrase “heavy tailbone,” because it helps to isolate muscles and ultimately “find your shake.” As someone who trained as a college athlete, I find pure barre to be quite challenging. Pushing through fatigue is hard despite the fact that all movements are minuscule. It causes me to work my mental toughness just as much as it makes me work physically. This has been refreshing because one of the biggest lessons I learned during college athletics was mental toughness. I’m glad I get the opportunity to work that “muscle” as well as all my other ones.
I have tried both boxing and kickboxing and have decided that I like boxing more. While kickboxing is fun and very similar, I just find boxing to be more my style. It’s easier for me to focus on punching combinations without adding in kicks and switching my footwork.
But let me backtrack and start by saying boxing and kickboxing are both great workouts! You will definitely sweat and be tired after but isn’t that what you went there for? Usually, you will have a warm up that is honestly harder than actual boxing or kickboxing workout. It will consist of jumping jacks, different variations of squats, lunges, planks, push-ups, mountain climbers, etc. Then you go through a series of boxing or kickboxing combinations for multiple rounds. Depending on where you go and what class (boxing or kickboxing), your workout could end with 10-15 minutes of abs, boxing with a partner, or something similar to the warm up.
When I attended my first classes, I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s definitely worth the hour you’re paying for. There is no doubt you’ll get a quality workout in.
I hope this workout review was helpful, and that it inspires you to get active for at least one hour every day if you are not already.
Let me know in the comments below if you have ever tried these classes, if you plan to, and other workout classes that I should try in the future!
Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life.