Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Sweat: Week One Review

Hello again my lovely followers! I hope you are all doing well, I know Mondays can be difficult for us all. I wanted to do a little recap on my Summer Sweat progress. Now that I have taken a few classes with my Classpass membership, I have so much to share with you about my workout experience so far! I stuck to barre and yoga style classes for my first week. I had never before done a barre class, however I did dance for many years so I felt a level of comfort in trying this new style. I also have taken a few yoga classes before, so I was not a total beginner. Keeping that in mind, here are my thoughts and more about each specific class.

Date: Monday, March 16th

Time: 6:45 p.m.

Location: The Barre Code Highland Park

Class: Barre Code

Instructor: Kayln Potter

About: This signature workout is a 50 minute full body workout, targeting the arms, abdominals, thighs, and glutes and includes intermittent cardio activity. Each class also incorporates different props and equipment. Alternating between isometric holds, heavy repetition, and deep stretching, this class is geared toward working your muscles to fatigue to develop musle stamina and endurance over time.

What Meggie Wore:
Top: Lululemon "Bonded Bra" in black c/o HERE similar HERE
Pants: Lululemon "If You're Lucky Pant" c/o HERE

Thoughts: This Barre Code class was my first ever barre class, so I was unsure what to expect. I knew that barre itself was a ballet-inspired aerobics class, but I had no idea that it would incorporate so much strength training and, really, push me beyond my limits. For this class, our accessory was a 5lb kettle bell that we incorporated into almost every exercise we performed. The class was comprised of a mixture of floor work with both body weight and kettle bell exercises, as well as bar work. We were moving non-stop! Our instructor Kayln was very encouraging, pushing us beyond what we thought we could do. She not only demonstrated each exercise, but she also went around the room correcting our posture so that our muscles got the most out of each position. I definitely worked up a sweat in this class, and feel like I burned some serious calories! I wore my Lululemon “Bonded Bra” top and “If You’re Lucky” pant and they both served me well. The top, which is longer, almost like a bralette or a short tank top, held my girls in while allowing me to move freely. It also wicked away sweat as I was working my body as hard as I could push it! The pants are high waisted, which I love! They kept my abs, butt, and thighs nice and tight through each exercise. The pants also have a beautiful breathable mesh on the calves that kept me cool and fashionable throughout my barre class. I would highly recommend this class, as well as this studio in general. In fact, I took the same class yesterday and I will tell you all about it in next week’s review!

Date:  Tuesday, March 17th
Time: 8:30 p.m.

Location: CorePower Yoga Mockingbird Station

Class: Hot Power Fusion - Candlelight

Instructor: Susie H Hughes

About: Hot Power Fusion blends CorePower's detoxifying qualities of the Hot Yoga and intensity of the Power Yoga classes. This candlelight class is practiced in a heated, climate controlled environment set to appeal to all those in favor of a healthy sweat. This class focuses primarily on opening up the shoulders, hips, and spine as well as building upper arm strength and practicing meditation.

What Meggie Wore:
Top: Lululemon "Just Breathe Tank" in alberta lake/split pea c/o HERE
Pants: Lululemon "High Times Pant" in black/black HERE

Thoughts: Hot Power Fusion Candlelight Yoga was my next adventure for the week. Sweet Julianne from the Northpark Lululemon joined me as well on my yoga journey. I chose this class because I was feeling a bit sore from my barre class and I was hoping to do a good amount of stretching to ease my muscle pain. I was a little disappointed to find that this class focused more on balancing then stretching, but I do think I got a better workout then originally anticipated. I have taken a few yoga classes before, but this was my first time taking hot yoga, and boy did I SWEAT! It was a much different challenge then barre class, as well as previous yoga classes I have attended. Susie instructed us to lace together different poses, holding each for a significant period of time. The transitions were slow and powerful, and I found it to be an extremely meditative experience as a whole. The most challenging part for me was figuring out what pose was next. Because I am still a yoga beginner, when Susie was calling out the name of the next pose, I did not always know what she was referring to. She was traveling around the room correcting our posture, so I could not refer to her for an example of the correct transitions or poses. Luckily, I was able to look around at my classmates and figure it out fairly quickly. At the cool down, we focused on being grateful. Susie asked us to write down each night three things we are grateful for and to concentrate on that graciousness throughout our day. That message was powerful to me, and made me think of this class as not only an exercise, but also a therapy experience. For this class, I wore my “Just Breathe Tank” top and my “High Times” pant. The light straps and support of the top were perfect for this class. I also loved that it was loose fitting and not clinging to my stomach, because that can be uncomfortable when you were sweating as much as I was! I also loved the pants. Again, the high rise kept my core tight, while the lightweight fabric wicked away sweat throughout the class. This session was the perfect class to take when you are just getting back into a workout routine. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a more low-intensity workout, and cleansing experience.

Date: Wednesday, March 18th
Time: 5:30 p.m.

Location: CorePower Yoga Mockingbird Station 

Class: CorePower Yoga 2 - Heated Power Yoga

Instructor: Catrina

About: CorePower Yoga 2 (C2) is a energizing and rigorous yoga class with demanding strength poses that will have you moving, breathing, and sweating. This heated climate controlled class focuses on building and engaging your core to strengthen and support you in more advanced poses.

What Meggie Wore:
 Top: Lululemon "Mesh With Me Tank" in desert snake white silver fox/white HERE
Pants: Lululemon "If You're Lucky Pant" c/o HERE

Thoughts: My friend Jen, also from the Northpark Lululemon, suggested this class last week. When I compare the two yoga classes, I preferred this one! It was much more fast paced, and consisted of quick transitions other than balancing poses. I felt the burn in my core and absolutely got a little cardio push swiftly switching poses. Catrina was a lovely instructor, encouraging us to smile and not take class, or life, so seriously. She was really great at instructing each pose and showing examples of the transitions before we attempted them. She also gave us beginner, intermediate, and advanced options for almost every pose to appeal to all levels of yogis. I, once again, worked up a serious sweat in this class! Hot yoga is no joke when it comes to releasing toxins!  I sported my Lululemon “Mesh With Me tank” top and “If You’re Lucky” pant and I loved the result. With white mesh on top, black mesh on bottom, a snakeskin print on my tank and a heathered gray fabric on my pants, the combination made for a very stylish yoga outfit, if I do say so myself! The mesh fabrics were perfect for keeping areas of my body covered, but cool and the performance fabrics of the top and pants are amazing at keeping me as comfortable as possible exercising in a hot and humid room. The top has a very supportive built in bra, that comes with removable cups. I love built in bras because that is one less layer I have to sweat through! All in all, I look forward to taking this class again in the near future.

Date: Thursday, March 19th
Time: 6:30 p.m.

Location: Exhale Spa Dallas

Class: Core Barre Fusion

Instructor: Kristen Hoffman

About: Exhale's signature full body barre workout designed to give you chiseled abs, toned legs, cut arms, and a lifted butt. This core-centric class focuses on isolated exercises, alignment, flexibility, and posture as you work targeted muscles to the limit.

What Meggie Wore:
Top: Lululemon "Bonded Bra" in black c/o HERE similar HERE
Pants: Lululemon "High Times Pant" in black/black HERE

Thoughts: This barre class really kicked my butt, quite literally! I have never worked my glutes so hard and they were sore all weekend after this Thursday class! Kristen was super sweet but was not fooling around and we started off with a bang. She was encouraging and guided us through every, grueling motion and did a great job leading by example as well as coming around and adjusting our form. This class was very fast paced and focused on different muscle groups at a time, working each to exhaustion before moving on to the next one. We used different free weights and resistance bands to increase the intensity, and did a combination of floor and barre work. This was the most challenging class of the week for me. It was hard to push myself to finish each interval, but Kristen was very encouraging and kept convincing us "you can do anything for ten seconds, it won't kill you!" It almost did though, it almost did kill me! Through this intense workout, I am glad I had my Lululemon "Bonded Bra" top and my "High Times" pants because they kept my muscles in a nice compression as I pushed them to their limit. Plus, I love a good "all black everythang" ensemble as much as the next girl! Besides the workout, I really loved Exhale as a facility. The room was really nice, and they offer not only barre classes, but yoga, cardio, and an immense selection of spa services! I am planning on attending this class again, as well as trying out some of their other options. I would recommend this class to anyone who is up for a real challenge, and is looking for an intense workout. I know this class will whip me into shape by summer! 

With all of this, I wanted to share with you one of my outfits as well as a few of the yoga poses and simple workouts I have learned in my recent classes.  These are just some poses I now do around the house to center myself, and some body weight exercises that are great to do at home.

 Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

 At my Wednesday class, my teacher had me do this pose. Catrina told us in the beginning that we would do variations on traditional poses. I could not find a proper name for this one, however it was my favorite. It seems to be a combination of Tree Pose (Vrksasana) and Prayer Twist (Parvritta Utkatasana).

Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

 Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana)

 Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana)

 WarriorPose 2 (Virabhdrasana II)

And here are just some easy body weight exercises I do at home, as well as in the barre classes. 

 Pushups: For arms, pecs, and core

 Bicycles: For upper and lower abs, and obliques

Vertical Leg Crunch : For lower abs

 Forearm Plank: For core muscles

Top: Lululemon "All Sport Bra" in split pea HERE
Pants: Lululemon "High Times Pant" in black/black HERE