Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hitting the Pavement & a Fitness Class Review - Hot Yoga

Sorry for the late-ish post today. I've had a busy morning!

Before I get to today though, we need to rewind to yesterday! I had a great workout yesterday at the gym. 60 minutes on the elliptical, long core & leg strength session (see this post for details), and then I finished it off by jumping rope for a bit! Really great way to start the day. My muscles felt really worked but not totally overspent. I almost floated home from the gym!

Around mid-day I decided to bundle up and re-introduce my sneakers to the road. Yes, I went out for a run!! My first real (aka non-treadmill) run in almost 3 months! Three months! I can't believe it's been that long! I haven't been wearing a walking cast for all of January, but I've been reluctant to start running again because of all the pain I was in before and not wanting to go there again. But, I have a half marathon coming up in 3 months and I was really itching to go, so I did it! Ended up running a pretty awkward route (happens sometime in this city) that included Park Ave, the reservoir in Central Park and 5th Ave. All in all it was about 3.5 miles. Lungs felt great, feet didn't hurt (!!), but my legs did feel heavier than I was hoping and I was definitely slower. I hope that has more to do with the lunges and elliptical workout from the morning than anything else. Never the less, it was fantastic to get back out there and I'm incredibly excited to have three of my college friends coming into town to run the half with me in April!!

Now, onto this morning!

Over on the right, #1 on my 'healthy to do list' for this week is to take a hot yoga class. Well, that's what I did this morning! You might remember back in November Gracela, Special K, and I went to a yoga class at Yoga To The People on St. Marks St. This morning I went to another one of their studios to try hot yoga. Here's my review:

Yoga To The People - Hot Power Vinyasa
1017 6th Ave, 3rd Fl (at 38th St) 917.279.0534
$5 per class, $2 mat rental, $2 tower rental, $1 water (you can byo mat, towel, water, of course!)
Each class is 60 minutes long, no reservations but get there at least 10-15 minutes early

Expectations: I've heard from others who have taken hot yoga classes that it's a huge energy boost and refresher. This was exciting, but I was also expecting a lot of sweat and a bit of pain (as comes with all yoga classes for me. but it's always good pain). The Vinyasa Flow class I took at the other studio was pretty intense and moved much quicker than I was used to, so I was expecting the same for this one.

Studio: The studio is just south of Times Square, very convenient. On the 3rd Fl of what looks to be a multi-use building. Shoes off before you walk in. One bathroom, no locker room but cubbies in the 'reception' area to leave all your stuff. The studio is a good size but not too big. Could easily get very crowded. Big windows that look out onto 6th Ave letting in lots of light and smaller windows facing north letting in a little more light. I imagine it's pretty bright mid-day.

Instructor: Bebe was great. She spoke a little quietly for my taste at the start and end (I could hardly hear her) but the class flowed very well and she walked around helping students adjust their poses if needed. This happened before too, and I find it a little strange that the instructors don't actually do the poses with the class, rather they call out the poses. Maybe this is typical though, I haven't tried too many studios. It didn't bother me, just an observation. Bebe was really nice and welcoming, especially when I told her it was my first Hot Yoga class. I did find out that the teachers rotate between the three studios and are not aware of where they will be teaching until shortly before the class. They know the days, but not the studio. This, I found interesting. Personally, if I like a teacher I want to know when I can take their class.

Overall Impression: I really enjoyed this class. It was difficult at times, but that's what it's about for me. I want to push myself and stretch myself. My legs were a bit tight from yesterday (maybe I shouldn't do this the day after lunges!) but I think the heat helped loosen them up a bit. It didn't move as quickly as I was expecting it to, which was good because I didn't fall behind! They offer the class several times a day, but I liked the 7am class. For one, it's done and I am energized for my day, and 2, there were only 9 people in class! I'm sure the others have a lot more students. I'm feeling pretty great and hope to go back!

It started snowing during class but I walked about a mile towards home before picking up the bus. There was quite a contrast from the warm, nurturing yoga studio to the bustling, rush hour streets.

I had to stop by the market on the way home to pick up a few things for the lentil soup I'm making tonight (#4 on the list) so needless to say, by the time I got home I was starving and had to eat my yogurt, banana, granola, flax & almond mixture before I did anything else!

Whether you do yoga or not, it's great to take a few minutes each day and stretch. A few balance poses are great too. You can do them in your chair at work, while you're waiting for the bus, standing in line at the market, or watching TV at night. It helps keep our muscles pliable and strong and relieve tension!

Have a great day!!


ShutUpandRun said...

Hey Lisa, just stopping by your blog. I, too, did my first hot yoga class this week and really enjoyed it. I am going to try the vinyasa version tomorrow. Wondering why you were in a walking cast...I have just recovered from a stress fracture and am back to running, but am feeling some pain again. What was the nature of your injury?

...::Mrs. Southern Bride::... said...

Mmm..Lentil soup sounds so good right about now!!!

Jocelyn said...

great job on your 1st real outside run yesterday! It was a great day to do it...better than today at a least. I have been wanting to take a yoga class too...maybe hot yoga is the way to go! Sounds great

Julie said...

Hi Lisa,
You had a run in Central Park and I am just a little jealous:) I am glad to hear that your Yoga class went well and the studio looks like a really nice place. Great pictures of a rainy day in New York City!! Thanks for sharing:)

SueMac said...

I'm so very jealous of the route you ran.... I would be in heaven, I think! Great that you get to mark two things off your list today!

Me, Myself and Pie said...

Wow, you are so dedicated. I admire your ambition. I really wish I had that in me to get up and run like that. I'd probably pull muscle just trying to stretch.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! (And go ahead and splurge on the cake - it's light!)