First Timer: Trying Power Yoga Sculpt
Yoga is just one of those things I never did. My mom did it -- it was her thing. She was a little bit of a hippie mom, and she did yoga before studios were on every street in Manhattan. When you're growing up the last exercise you take part in is the one your mom does, right?
Anyway, I never got over that and when all my friends starting going to yoga, carrying the mats and eventually tossing out words like "bikram," I was even more resigned to never take part in the fad.
And I still haven't really taken a straight-forward yoga class. But I did try Power Yoga Sculpt at Pure Yoga on the Upper East Side. And I really liked it. It was calming while also a very strenuous workout. Granted, this wasn't straight yoga -- there were weights involved -- but the yoga aspect of the class was surprisingly pleasant.
I've done the plank before and the child's pose and even the downward facing dog just by virtue of taking lots of group fitness classes, so I wasn't totally in the dark. But not knowing the poses through and through made the class difficult. If you are a first timer to yoga, I'd recommend brushing up on the basics.
We were constantly moving -- no breaks or cool down moments. Instead of stretching on the mat, we relaxed in downward facing dog, which is in and of itself, a move that requires core muscles to be working. But because of all the action, it went by pretty quickly.
And like a yoga class, there are no shoes, which is great for summer.
Pure Yoga (pureyoga.com) is offering weekend drop-in rates for non-members through Sept. 2. Any non-members can attend class at either the east or west-side studio for $30.
deom instructor Amanda Murdock
1. “This is a prop-intensive class so get to class a few minutes early to set up your mat with the proper accessories. ... We use light weights, gliders, a weighted ball and a purple triad ball for core and glute work.”
2. “Get the correct pound weights for you. We do a lot of compound movements with a lot of repetitions so ... grab a set of light weights 2 lb., 3 lb., 5 lb. (and nothing over).”
3. “If you notice your form suffering due to the weight and repetitions, take a minute and stop, then rejoin. Or, put down the weights and do the remaining set without weights. It’s more effective to do the exercise properly with proper form than do it half way with bad form.”
4. “Everybody’s body is different so if there is an exercise that we do that doesn’t work in your body due to injury, body function, etc. then ... modify as you see fit. \[I\] like to see that my students understand what works in their bodies and what doesn’t and to modify accordingly.”
5. “Don’t stress! This is just a class. We’re here to have fun, break a sweat, listen to great music and \[have\] fun. Do not take yourself so seriously! Many first timers get discouraged when they can’t do everything in class, but ... it gets easier every time you come.”