Fabulous at 50!

Worked on opening my hip flexors in runner's lunge during hot yoga.

Worked on opening my hip flexors in runner’s lunge during hot yoga.

It’s a bit of a misleading title (I’ve got a couple of decades to go), but I wanted to celebrate my 50th blog post.

I haven’t written in here as much as I originally planned. When I first started, I was all gung ho about blogging, but now I’ve come to see this as a mix of a personal reflection of my fitness journey and a chance to share about my varied exercise experiences to help others looking for some local reviews/promotions.

The FANTASTIC news is I have worked my way back up to a regular 3-4x week workout by attending a handful of classes regularly through the Leisure Guide and Yoga Public, so my exploring (a key part of this original blog) has gone down a notch.

Not to fear, as I felt inspired to post after venturing out into my new ‘hood to check out Images Fitness for Women located in sunny St. James. They are (still) offering a sweet deal on Groupon that I snapped up for hot yoga–$49 for 10 classes!

I participated in my first class one week ago exactly, and have been back once already! Monday night’s class was called “26 in 60.” When I asked the front desk gal, she said it was like a Bikram style class. “Oh no,” I remember thinking in my head. My least favourite form next to Ashtanga.

Luckily, it was not the drill-Sargent military-style Bikram class I had experienced before at other studios. In fact, I quite liked it! It wasn’t intimidating, the studio was hot but not so roasting that I was dripping sweat on my mat every two seconds, and the teacher was in there flowing/working on poses with the class. It was an 8:30 pm class, so it wasn’t too vigorous either, with lots of time for relaxation at the end. I slept like a baby that night.

I’ve returned for a hot flow class, which was your standard hot yoga class. The teacher, again, was great at getting in there to flow and then pausing to demonstrate more complicated poses.

That all being said, Images isn’t fancy pants. I’m not sure what’s up with the ice cold change rooms that require a portable heater, although it is nice to cool down in there after a hot class! You get what you pay for, which is a semi-decent studio (it’s got mirrors, which I like sometimes to check on form), some props and solid teachers. You need to bring your own mat, or I believe they charge a $3 rental fee for a mat, which seems a bit steep in my opinion. I’d recommend the class for the beginner to mid-level yogi, but the hardcore ones would probably prefer a more “serious” studio I imagine.

Like another hot yoga studio I’ve been to, this one uses a kettle to steam up the room, which I always find humourous. This one wasn’t nearly as blistering hot though, thank god. If my experience continues to be positive, I’ll probably buy a drop-in pass for some yoga classes since it is close to home (I love walking to and from yoga classes like I used to when I lived in Crescentwood!) and the prices are wallet friendly. I think a regular drop-in yoga pass lets you try non-hot classes too. Regular class passes are $60 for five, 10 for $110 and 20 for $180–a bargain considering I pay $170 for 10 at Yoga Public (but it’s such a great studio, so I consider it a little splurge for my health!)

So I’m curious friends, have you been to Image Fitness Center for Women? What’s your favourite place in the city for hot yoga?



Back to “school”

Body bar is just one of the many tools used to build strength in my 30/20/10 class.

Body bar is just one of the many tools used to build strength in my 30/20/10 class.

Most people think of September as “Back to School” month and in some ways, I can still relate to that feeling even though I graduated in 2005 and don’t have any kids.

September for me is like January, when fitness folks typically make a “New Year’s Resolution” to start a regular workout.

To update, I got married in the middle of June, which was also the last time of my last formal class. Yikes. I certainly wasn’t lying around while getting married; honeymooning in South of France; attending my sister’s wedding in San Fran; or while packing, moving and unpacking boxes from our apartment into our new house. But it’s not quite the same.

I kept (jokingly) threatening my husband that I was “ready to let go” once I got married. And while the signs certainly seemed to be pointing in that direction, I always knew that September would come around, my Leisure Guide classes would start and I’d get on track. Today, after a three-month hiatus, I returned to a 30/20/10 class.

And it felt good.

While so many parts of my life felt fulfilled, exercise was always there kind of nagging me in the back of my mind. I missed it.

My body felt weak, yet energized after today’s workout. My flexiblity is horrendous, but it’s motivating me to get back into practicing yoga.

I’m glad to be back in class!


Tip-top shape

coreMy arms are burning.

Yes, I know I disappeared again. The good news is (as you can guess by the above statement) I’ve been keeping up with regular workouts usually one or two times a week. This week I had three solid ones and as a result, I can barely lift my arms up without feeling sore. Since the new year, I’ve bumped up my body bar weight to 12 lbs, am trying power moves during the aerobics, and can literally feel myself getting stronger in the core area the more I go. It’s an amazing feeling and I hope you’re all on track with your own personal fitness goals! Did I mention I only have 34 days until my wedding? Yes, the pressure is on to be in tip top shape!

I’ve been mainly sticking to 30/20/10 classes through the Leisure Guide and the odd yoga class at Yoga Public. I’ve also been dropping in at Total Body Conditioning (TBC) classes through the Leisure Guide, but it has been hard on Thursdays with all the wedding planning appointments that seem to crop up on that day of the week. TBC are the classes I should be attending the most since they focus on building strength, which is probably my weakest area (although my flexibility stinks too). The class is an hour, where you’ll work with weights, a step, dynabands, body bars and your own body weight to tone those muscles (and leave you sore the next day!)

The teacher is super friendly and smiley, and has admirable muscles, so I think she serves as a good inspiration for the attendees. The class is usually pretty full since she does a good job and makes it a fun, welcoming environment. Case in point: at the end of the last session she gave all participants a 30-minute workout DVD for us to work on until the next Leisure Guide sessions started.

With all the fitness activity this week it got me thinking about this neglected blog. How are your fitness goals going? Any plans to power up your workout as we head into swimsuit season? (Dun dun dun…)

Break down into 30/20/10

Step right up and take a 30/20/10 class through the Leisure Guide.

Step right up and take a 30/20/10 class through the Leisure Guide.

Hello readers! I took a week-long break there as it was filled with after-work appointments and the like related to wedding and my regularly scheduled non-wedding activities. It feels nice to take a Sunday afternoon off to just sit back, write and reflect.

I thought I’d theme this post around a wonderful fitness class I am taking through the City of Winnipeg’s Leisure Guide. It’s called 30/20/10. Before I used to take all my Leisure Guide classes at Pan Am Pool, but now that I’m quite close to St. James Civic Centre, it has opened up some new class possibilities. After perusing the guide last fall, I decided to pick one weekly class (wanted to leave the rest of the week free for other activities) on Monday evenings right after work. The 30/20/10 class really appealed to me because it breaks down an hour into a full-body, complete physical workout.

For the first 30 minutes, you do a short cardio warm up & cool down, along with some step and/or ground aerobics. Then, for the next 20 minutes you do weights using either the body bar or free weights. Twenty minutes isn’t a lot of time, so you don’t get to hit every muscle or target one area in-depth, but the instructor does a good job trying to get you through the major ones. Finally, there is a 10-minute stretching session at the end, an area in fitness that is often ignored, yet so crucial to overall health. The instructor plays lots of upbeat music and she has an energetic, friendly disposition. And of course, she always demonstrates low-impact/power moves and mods of exercises for all levels. Love that!

I took this class for 10 weeks last fall and only missed one where I was on holiday. So far I’m 2/2 for this year and still love it. It’s not a particularly advanced class, but if you’re looking for an affordable, all-over body and fitness workout then I highly suggest keeping an eye out for this class in the Leisure Guide at a centre near you!  P.S. This class isn’t on the drop-in list, but the instructor does allow drop-ins if you have one of those city passes you’d like to use.

Leisure guide & discounted yoga/pilates pass

Registration for summer leisure programs starts Mon, Mar 14, 9 am.

Good news! I signed up for the YMCA downtown on Friday for my two week trial pass. It’s getting late, so I’ll save my impressions on that experience for my next post.

For this post, I want to just send two quick reminders:

1) TeamBuy.ca is offering a discounted 10-class package to Yoga, Pilates & More for $35 (Reg. $130). I’ve actually been there before (it’s in the south end of the city) for a $5 drop-in class open house and from what I remember, it’s actually quite cute. The first time drop-in rate is only $5, so take advantage of that if you want to test the waters.

The studio itself is not super massive, but it’s very clean, mod and the yoga teacher had a nice demeanor to her. I do remember there being some new age-y music in the class, which I had trouble not laughing at during savasana at the end. Anyway, if you’re out in this neck of the woods I’d recommend this studio. What I love about the schedule is there are other classes available, like Zumba and bosu to offer some variety. One downside is the schedule heavily favours 9-5ers…there aren’t any daytime/early am options if that fits in with your schedule better, so keep that in mind.

2) Leisure guide registration starts tomorrow! I typically sign up for one class in fall and one in winter. Since I am moving to a new neighbourhood soon and pursuing this blog, I won’t be registering tomorrow. That being said, the Leisure Guide is one of my favourite resources for fitness activities. The registration fees are affordable (my bosu class is typically under $70 for 10 classes, that’s less than $10 a visit!)

I would defo take a browse through the online catalogue (if you haven’t already) and pick something new…think of it as spring cleaning your workout routine. Some people find scheduling a regular class restricting. I find it assuring that I have this block of time reserved for exercise, so I KNOW it will get done. Tuesday is my last bosu/cardio class of the winter session and I made it for 10/10 classes. I haven’t done that for awhile! The kettle bell fitness course interests me as it’s supposed to be the hot new fitness toy. My bosu/cardio class is up for sign-up again, but I typically start tennis clinic on Tuesdays come May, so that’s it for that class.

Let me know what course you signed up for in the comments!