Woody loves to golf but he doesn’t get to do much of it in NYC. It’s something he’s been doing since he was young and one of the sacrifices he’s made since he moved out here. Michigan has a lot of fantastic golf courses, so whenever we go up north he brings his clubs and makes tee times for at least two rounds. I do not golf, but I’m not going to deny him this pleasure. I have watched a fair amount of golf tournaments on TV over the past several years and I can appreciate the beauty of the courses and the precision of the game, but given my horrible hand-eye coordination and miserable history trying to play most sports I’ve attempted, I don’t think it’s for me. I do have to find something to do though when he golfs on vacation.
Woody found a golf course overlooking the East Bay near Traverse City and a few weeks before our trip I did a Google search for yoga classes in the area. Yen Yoga & Fitness is located on the east end of Front Street in Downtown Traverse City. The entrance to the large space is inviting with windows all across the front, a lounge area and a retail area with yoga wear and accessories. After filling out the obligatory paperwork for all first-time students, I was informed my first class was free and given a quick tour.
Past the front desk are two yoga studios and a spinning studio, restrooms for men and women fitted with nice showers, lockers for anyone to use during class in the hall, free mats and towels to use, a cleaning station, filtered water station and tea. The entire place was clean and inviting. While a spinning class was in session, a few others were milling about in conversation.
The class I was there for was Inspire YYF Yoga class, which is done in a warm room, usually around 90 degrees but the high humidity after a night of rare storms made the room much more warm than the regulars were apparently used to. I was early and when I first arrived in the room a staff member was busy cleaning the floor. Good sign!
I found a spot at the back of the room, but there was only enough space for three rows, at most. The room was comfortably full by the time class started at 10am; it seemed most of my fellow students were regulars, many of them knowing each other, at least by sight. The teacher was welcoming and friendly. Class started with what seemed like 5 minutes in child’s pose, which was perfectly fine for me because even two days later, I was still feeling the effects of the Dune Climb in my lower back! After some deep breathing, she turned on the music – an eclectic mix which I liked – and the pace quickened.
While I dripped sweat, I was more than happy and at peace to be in the room. I’m usually horrible at leaving everything at the door of the yoga studio, and I won’t pretend that my mind didn’t wander a few times to think about what shops I would visit before I picked up Woody from the golf course or the winery we were going to go to in the evening, but it was a great way to relax and stretch on vacation. We did a couple poses I hadn’t done since I took a week of Bikram yoga in 2010 and some of my favorites like tree and pigeon. Just what my body and mind needed.
My only regret is that I didn’t go to Yen Yoga & Fitness until Thursday and only had once chance to take a class there. Friday morning while sitting at a diner in town with Woody and my parents (who arrived the night before), my phone rang and a local 231 number was on the caller ID. It was someone from the studio calling to see how I enjoyed the class and let me know about their new student packages. Unfortunately I had to explain that I wasn’t from the area but let her know I’d be back for another class next time I’m in the area. It’s true – just wish it would be sooner rather than later. While I think the $17 drop-in price for a class is a bit on the expensive side, the facility is pretty nice, the staff welcoming and the class was great. If I lived in the area I would definitely be a regular. It just seems like a fantastic place to spend some time when you’re not out on the water or enjoying wine at a local winery.
On another note, we picked up the local Traverse City Record-Eagle that day while we were in town and on the front page of the Sports section, below a story about another Tigers win (woot!), was a story about three new running races being planned for the Fall in the area! How often do you see running on the front page of the Sports section? I love how running, and outdoor sports in general, is such a part of the area culture.
- Do you take fitness classes when you’re on vacation?
- Did you know there are more than 90 wineries in Northern Michigan?
Today’s workout -
- 40 min run
- 150 ab exercises
- 2x50sec plank
- 10 push-ups