Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Branching out!

     While on Spring Break and visiting my grandma in Tampa, I decided to try some new workouts available in the area. She lives in one of the trendiest areas of town and after 39 years of NOT trying anything new in the area, I made up my mind that this time I would! I would add in some new adventures! Thanks to the wonderful running community that I am a part of and all of my friends on Twitter, I have learned about so many cool workouts that I may have never heard of in little ol' Jacksonville!
     For a couple of years now I have been wanting to explore hot yoga. I have been practicing yoga on my own for almost 15 years but only one type and style. There is a yoga studio, Evolation, located less than a mile from my grandmother's home that I have passed many times. This time I decided to try out a class! They have many classes offered but I chose their "Warm 60" class as an intro to the hot yoga scene. It is a 60 minute yoga class using the same sequences as hot yoga but in a shorter class and slightly cooler room - 90 degrees versus 105 degrees. It was a cold morning when I went for class so stepping into the warm room felt great!
     Within five minutes I was sweating - and I was just sitting there! The instructor made a point of learning my name AND saying it correctly! In fact, she did a better job than some of my long time friends at saying my name! The class was made up of about 40% male and the rest female. I was actually quite surprised at the number of men who walked in! They provided mats and towels if you did not have one, but I brought my own. You leave your shoes by the front door and can use their changing rooms if needed. There are no lockers but they do have cubbies to put your things in. The studio is locked during class. I felt very safe and wasn't worried about my stuff.
     I chose to wear as little clothing as possible - a Lululemon bra top and their boogie shorts, which are the second shortest they sell! I wanted to sweat but not be trapped in drenched clothing! People had on various different things and there were a few women dressed like me. I was dealing with self-conscious demons that day being in public dressed like I was going to the beach or something! It was a good thing for me to go through and actually proved to be quite a reassuring experience!
     Class began with breathing exercises and then you move in to the various postures. Since I have practiced yoga for so long I knew and had done many of the poses. Thankfully the instructor used both the yoga name and the English name for the moves or I may have been lost! I watched others a few times to get a move but for the most part watched myself in the mirror. This is the one drawback of workouts at home. I can never see myself to know if I am in correct alignment or position. This also goes back to the self-conscious part. Being able to see my strength in action and watch my body move gave me a new found appreciation for it!
     By the time I was about 15 minutes into class, the sweat was literally pouring off of me! It really felt great! The clothing choice also gave me freedom to move. I never felt too hot or even the least bit uncomfortable. I truly enjoyed the Warm 60 class and planned on returning again after my run Saturday morning.

Ready for Warm 60 Yoga!
     When I returned on Saturday, it was after a quick three miles on Bayshore. I had parked my car at the studio and walked to Bayshore for my run then walked back after. 
Running on Bayshore in Tampa is my favorite place to run!
My reflection in the window near the studio pre-run
     I changed out of my sweaty tee & shorts into my yoga outfit and was ready to hit the mat again! I was really excited to try the class after a run and see how I did. The class is a real workout! I think some people think yoga is not really a workout but the classes I take sure are! I wanted to see how my body held up after a run. I think I did pretty good! I was a little tired after though!
     This class was lead by a male instructor and was PACKED! I have never had a male instructor before. He was very different than the first instructor I had there but I loved it! He was great! Even funny! The class was literally wall to wall people and this time I'd say it was about half male and half female. At my last class I was in the back row but still could see myself in the mirror. This class I was right up front! There was no avoiding myself! The instructor lead us through a similar sequence but sometimes we held the pose longer or repeated it more. It was a tough but great workout! I cannot wait to go back the next time I am in Tampa!
     For my other Spring Break Adventure I decided to try out a Pure Barre class. We have a studio here in Jacksonville Beach but I had never been. This class uses a mix of weights, resistance and Pilates which sounded like a great replacement for my regular strength training and Pilates workout I do at home! Only I wouldn't have to haul all my weights and props down to Tampa with me! So I scheduled myself a class online at the Pure Barre website. It was just that easy!
     When you take a Pure Barre class there are a few things you need to know. Number one, be ready for a REAL workout! It was tough! But none of the moves were impossible and they offer variations if you need them. Some of the moves I could not hold or do as many reps, but I tried! Number two is clothing choices. You have to wear a top that covers your midriff and you need to wear socks. I forgot socks but they had some at the studio you could buy which was actually better. The socks they had have non-skid designs on the bottom which really helped on the carpet, so I was glad I forgot my socks!
Ready for my first Pure Barre Tampa experience!
     One of the other great things about this class is you don't need to bring anything! They provide you with the tools you will need for the class: dumbbells, resistance band & ball. We used a mat but only for a little while. The staff was so friendly and helpful and very welcoming for this newbie! The class was really fabulous! In contrast to my yoga class, this one was ALL women! It is a very sexy class with the moves that you do! It's fun and high energy and most of all a great, challenging workout! I could very easily become addicted to this class! I'm glad we have a studio in Jax for when I need something new to spice up my workouts!
     During my new adventures, it was also pretty nice to be complemented by both instructors on my ability. Specifically the instructor at Pure Barre told me I was in great shape! Wow! Thanks! That's always nice to hear especially from someone you don't know.
     Trying out new classes alone can be scary but overcoming that and just getting out there to see what's available is so worth it! I really enjoyed branching out and trying something new while in Tampa and I look forward to returning to both studios on future visits. I wonder what else I can try next time??

     Have you ever "branched out" and tried a new class on your own? Would you?


  1. I just tried a spin class last week and posted about it today! It is good to get out of your comfort zone and I really enjoyed the class!

    1. Spin scares me! I have never tried it. I'm not a big biker chick anyway... It makes my knees hurt. I only do it when I have too. Maybe one day...Need someone to DRAG me to a class! ;-)

  2. I have always wanted to try hot yoga, I haven't gotten to it yet. It is on my to do list for this coming winter when the weather turns nasty and I no longer can be outside.

    1. Well this was a nice intro to it! I'd look for a beginner friendly class to ease into it!

  3. I have to agree with your instructors - looking fab Marcia!! I'm glad you had a great time while visiting. I haven't been to either Evolation or Pure Barre- I'd like to try a pure barre class, but I'm a little nervous that I'd be underwhelmed since oogles of sweat isn't required. haha

    1. Believe me though Beka - oogles of work is done! I was sweating! It was a great workout! Not easy! TRY IT!

  4. I loved Hot Yoga when I tried it in November! I really want to make it more routine but I already pay for a gym membership so I cannot rationalize the cost of additional classes.

  5. Try all the free classes at various studios?? Watch Groupon?

  6. I'm not a big fan of classes (I'm very self-conscious and it's hard to arrange a regular time with my husband's work schedule), but I would love to try a barre workout. I think it's great that you were able to branch out and try new things, especially that you found stuff you love!