Friday night fitness

Streeeetch your worries away during a hot yin yoga class.

Streeeetch your worries away during a hot yin yoga class.

I can think of no lovelier way to end a work week with a wind-down class like yin yoga. I decided to take my first-ever yin yoga class post-work at Yoga Public, as I found I tend to prefer classes where poses are held vs. the super flow-y types where form is often sacrificed for speed/movement (I still do the latter anyway).

I was quite surprised to discover a) the class is mega popular as it was packed full when I wandered down to the 38C-heated room minutes before class started b) it’s a super slow down of your typical yoga class. As the class was only 45 minutes, it seemed to fly by super fast. Basically it was savasana, back twists, the butterfly leg pose with a neck drop, supported back bridge, another pose where sort of you sit on your knees w/toes curled under (INTENSE), then a straight knee sit followed by more savasana.

I encountered a major yoga fail moment when I kept falling asleep at the end. My body felt like jelly after being in the warm room and holding the stretches for so long…it was so nice and relaxing. It wasn’t challenging in a boot camp kick-your-ass sense, but I definitely had trouble following the breath, not falling asleep and checking my mind from wandering. I guess that’s why I need to “practice!” Bonus: I didn’t get super sweaty due to the nature of the exercise! This is the type of class I’d drop in for stress or tension relief or as a complement to my regular flexibility practice, but I couldn’t just do yin yoga alone and feel like it was enough to take care of my strength building/cardio needs.

Later in the evening I went on a skate date with my fiance to the newly expanded duck pond at Assiniboine Park. I haven’t gone since they expanded the duck pond or added the new washroom area with the cozy fireplace. While the scenery was gorgeous, I didn’t like how dark it felt while skating on the pond. I also bailed walking through the giant piles of snow leading to the rink. I think a bit of grooming in the area and some proper lighting would make it way better. The evening got me excited for a return to the River Trail at The Forks! We will definitely be hitting that up soon for some entertaining cardio exercise and pretty scenery.

Before I sign off, here’s a great article from Refinery 29 (one of my favourite websites) re: tips from fitness gurus on how to keep New Year’s resolution fitness goals.

 

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Savasana in the sun and some great sporting sales!

Summer is the season for a plethora of outdoor group yoga sessions.

Wow, you know it’s summer when you are inundated with all sorts of notices for free exercise classes taking place in the great outdoors. Take advantage of the opportunity and try out a new activity/sport or save those hard-earned dollars for a future holiday. My schedule is quickly filling up with all sorts of fitness related events lately and the cost to partake is minimal.

To start, I just wanted to say that I took my sweet new ride out for a spin on Sunday. I rode my bike across Assiniboine Park and halfway down Wellington before turning around when my middle toes started to cramp. An ice cream break at Sargeant Sundae followed before heading home. So the ice cream may have negated any health benefits, whatever, it was still a blast. I’ll try to get some pics up of my fave insider’s sneaky shortcut into the park that local Charleswood residents have been using for years. Or maybe it’s not that sneaky…you tell me!

Tomorrow I’m going to Assiniboine Park again from 6:30-8:30 for a two-hour group yoga practice for charity. This gigantic Moksha Yoga “karma” class costs $5 and as long as the rain holds off, it should be an energizing experience. No need to pre-register either as my co-worker found out when she called for more info.

I’ve made plans to FINALLY play some tennis with a group of friends at my favourite free courts on Thursday that I mentioned before here. Also, I’m going to check out “yoga in the park” again that I went to last week.

If I were more of an early riser and still living at my old place, I’d totally go to fresh cafe‘s free yoga practice for all levels from 7-8 am on Thursday mornings. Instead, I’m going to my second session of “yoga in the park” put on by the Downtown Biz at Memorial Park at noon on Thursday.

And if you need more free yoga and/or running clinics in your life, join lululemon Polo Park’s facebook page for updates on their regular Sunday morning “Run. Yoga. Live.” event held on by the duck pond. The run is at 9 am and yoga is at 10:30. Apparently they are family friendly too–very nice!

There’s also a quirky exercise deal on Swarmjam for 10 jazzercise classes for $25 (reg. $75). Classes are only offered three times a week, which is kind of a bummer, but they sound like tons of fun.

Finally, it’s the time of year when summer sales start kicking into high gear. Sport Chek is having a giant summer sale on a lot of their summer sporting goods from bikes to tennis raquets to apparel.

Enjoy the great weather!

 

 

Free yoga classes & $1 yoga classes

Now that summer has arrived, there are plenty of outdoor yoga classes to take join.

Just a reminder that there is a free yoga class taking place in Memorial Park today at noon. Read more here. I showed up a little too late (blaming it on construction traffic) to make it last week (the sky was dark and scary too), but my co-worker and I are ready to go today!

Also, if you’re looking for low-cost yoga classes, dealfind has them on 20 for $20 (reg $160) at Centered Yoga & Fitness in River Heights. Drawbacks? Well, classes are only Mon & Wed from 6:30-8:30. Also, you have to make an appointment before attending. Dropping in just so much more convenient, don’t ya think?

Also, a quick preview on some upcoming posts:

-Review of Sustainable Fitness TRX boot camps

-$5 outdoor yoga class next week led by Moksha Yoga

-How to score dozens of FREE yoga classes with the click of a button

-Free outdoor yoga & running clinics at Assiniboine Park on Sundays

And I’ve got tons more up my sleeve. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

 

Back to boot camp!

My soon-to-be bike for comfy summer cycling!

I head back to my TRX suspension boot camp tonight. At least now I’ve been once so I know what to expect. I’m going to be extra diligent with stretching and drinking lots of water so that I don’t end up so sore.

Tennis lessons are also on the horizon for tomorrow, as long as it doesn’t rain. Fingers crossed. I have not played enough tennis this year.

I’m also going to pick up the beautiful bike pictured so that I can start cycling again! It’s been too long since I had a bike. Bikes are a big investment, but if you choose the one that’s right for your needs they are affordable when you consider the cost per ride. If you aren’t using it as a main mode of transportation then there’s no need to drop a large amount. My bike is free thanks to an awesome contest I recently won through St. Vital Centre. I’m so excited to get it!

On a final note, there are two boot camp/conditioning fitness deals out there that I’ll point out in case you missed them.

Groupon is offering 10 outdoor fitness classes through Lure Outdoor Fitness for $39 (reg $100). Classes are held at The Forks or Assiniboine Park as weather permits, so you get a nice backdrop! I’m not sure I’d gamble on paying for outdoor classes given the crappy weather recently, but I’m sure that when it’s nice out, it’s REALLY nice to exercise in the great outdoors. It looks like there’s a wide variety to choose from, including yoga, dance and cardio strength.

WagJag has a deal on with Advantage Conditioning (2020 Portage Ave) for a four-week boot camp (12 total) plus fitness assessment for $64 (reg $161). They are held outdoors, so workouts happen rain or shine. Also, it looks like you have to bring a fair amount of equipment, which I’m not really a fan of. One nice thing about the program is you get a follow up every four weeks plus an at-home regime. Now that’s going the extra mile!

What summer activities are you taking part in? Drop me a comment!

Louis Riel on Ice

Sorry for the mini hiatus there. My significant other recently injured himself pretty seriously during a game of hockey, so I’ve informally donned a nursing cap and channelled my inner Florence Nightingale for the past week. He’s doing much better after some day surgery and a bit of TLC, but full recovery is still a couple of months away.

Moving along, most Winnipeggers are looking forward to taking a day off on Louis Riel Day, Mon, Feb 21. What better way to spend this holiday than to hit the great outdoors with friends and family? Skating is a wintertime staple in Winnipeg. Fortunately, there are plenty of spots to show off your sharpest edge. I have yet to try out the new skating surface in Assiniboine Park, but initial reviews are strong. It’s on my hit list of places to try. St. Vital Park is renowned for its massive skating rink on the pond, and of course, there is The Forks Winter Glacier Park and the Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail.

The ACU River Trail offers free programming for family on weekends. This Friday, Feb 18 there’s a torch light walk and on Monday, Feb 21 there is a Skate-A-Thon from 8 am until noon. More details are found here.

I went to The Forks to skate before the river trail opened, so I really got to know the 1.2 km of ice trails that wind their way throughout the majestic Forks area, connecting the canopy rink, the Olympic-sized rink by the Scotia Bank stage and the river rinks. Benches and warming shacks are scattered along the trail to take breaks or adjust laces. One of my favourite trail spots is atop the bridge, which gives skaters an incredible panoramic view of the city. One funny loop of the trail leads skaters past the Old Spaghetti Factory, where diners and skaters often exchange friendly waves. The river trail is incredible, and I can’t wait to go back to see the beautiful warming huts, but don’t miss the well-groomed ice trails! Skate rentals are available at the mini donuts shack inside The Forks Market for an affordable $2 for children/seniors and $4 for adults. Call 257.0288 or 955.8814 for group bookings. Be sure to check out The Forks website for updates on rink and trail conditions before lacing up.

Skating is a pretty cheap workout that gives your legs and cardio system a great workout. Balance is also key here, so don’t be surprised if your abs are a little sore afterward from engaging your core. Unlike other cities where it can cost and arm and a leg to go skating (NYC’s Rockefeller Centre anyone?) there are no entry fees to hit the ice. If you don’t have a pair, chances are you can borrow a pair from a similar-sized friend. My co-workers have purchased used skates at their Salvation Army and used sports stores for the kids. I received my shiny white pair as a gift, so maybe add it to your wish list for the future if you don’t want to part with cold, hard cash. If you need a spanking new pair ASAP, then take advantage of this awesome deal on skates spotted on redflagdeals.ca here.

Hockey skates are currently on sale at sportcheck.ca

Sportcheck.ca is featuring hockey skates up to 60% until Feb 28. If you use the promo code Sunkist to receive $10 off purchases of $50 or more. The $10 coupon code can be used up until April 30, 2011.

So, there you have it. There are lots of ice rinks to see and skates to beg, borrow or buy. Please share your ice skating experiences and favourite spots in the comments below. Time to hit the ice!