Truth be told, I haven't practiced yoga since my 'Week of Hotness' in May. I have every intention to make yoga a regular part of my fitness routine, but I've just been caught up in my regular routine of cardio and trying to get back to running. Sunday morning though, I took a first step in the right direction.
On Friday I mentioned Lululemon's Salutation Nation event, which is planned for August 7th, in my "5 for Friday" post. You may not know that all Lululemon stores host free weekly classes including yoga, running, bootcamp, and more. These classes are both fantastic marketing tools and a great way for fitness enthusiasts, or those just getting started, to enjoy a fitness class for free.
The class I attended was at the store on 3rd Ave and E 66th St, started at 9:30am and was led by Sarita. I arrived about 10 minutes early, thinking it would be crowded, and I was right. Mats were laid out throughout the store between fixtures of clothing and accessories. I filled out the waiver (good for 1 year) and found a mat in the middle near the door. I'm not certain how many people were there since I couldn't even see everyone, but I would say there were probably 30 or so, at least six being men. Not everyone wore Lululemon, which was a relief - I didn't get weird looks for wearing my C9 gear from Target. Sarita was energetic but a little laid back, perfect for Sunday morning.
I could tell right away that it had been much too long between yoga sessions. My muscles were really tight. The students were of all levels, which was also comforting; I didn't feel out of place when I couldn't extend a pose quite as far as I had wished. I did feel a bit of tension in my right heel a few times, but with a little modification I was able to overcome it. I didn't feel any pain during Bikram classes, but I'm sure that was due to the extreme heat loosening the muscles. The teacher was clear, demonstrated some poses, and gently corrected some students (including me).
Overall, I enjoyed the class. The atmosphere was really chill and just what I needed yesterday morning, so I plan to go back next week. Once I can run full speed again (and for more than just two minutes at a time before a walk break) I'm going to check out their variety of running classes.
It was a bit odd to be doing yoga in the midst of sports bras and cropped pants, and there are no mirrors to check your posture, but there was also no pressure to buy anything, and since the store wasn't officially open yet for the day, I'm not sure that you could buy something even if you wanted to. This is an ingenious marketing technique and other brands should take notice. Some running shops host run nights, which is awesome. As long as the company doesn't push sales too hard, I think it's a great idea. If a brand or shop begins a strong relationship with someone through free events, chances are the person will start to feel a strong sense of loyalty to that brand/shop and make it their go-to for products and advice. Events like this yoga class are perfect brand extensions that only prove that they are experts in their field. It was a lesson in relaxation and an experience in great marketing.
After my shower I promptly put on my comfy pair of cropped Lululemon sweats.
Injury update: My foot is feeling better every day. I did walk/jog intervals again on Saturday and this morning. This week I'm extending the jogging intervals just a bit. Still taking it slow and easy - only 3 days of this each week. I am determined to do this right and build a strong base so I don't injure myself again.
Have you taken a fitness class or joined a running group at a local store? What do you think about them?
workout stats recap -
1.25mile walk/jog intervals
3x12 cable pull twists
3x12 leg press
3x10 weighted side bends
3x10 lateral side arm raise
3x10 hamstring deadlift, bicep curl, shoulder press combo
3x10 lat pull downs
3x10 seated row
3x10 glute kickbacks
3x10 hip abductors
3x12 leg press