Over the recent years, yoga has gained tremendous popularity in mainstream society — and it’s for good reason.
“Our generation is all about truth, honesty, and transparency,” says personal trainer Jacquelyn Umof, who also has certifications in yoga, barre, Pilates and spin. “It’s no wonder that we’re attracted to a physical practice that dates back to over 5,000 years ago. As more and more legitimate, measureable health benefits seem to be proven every day, it makes it a no-brainer for a newbie to give that free week trial a shot.”
“Yoga is the cure that people are looking for to balance their chaotic lives,” Umof adds.
As a yoga instructor/aficionado myself, I’ll definitely be the first to praise this practice for all that it does, but I also know it is possible to get burnt out from doing too much.
“I would go crazy if I did the same thing every day,” says Umof, noting that there are so many fun workouts to choose from these days, that you shouldn’t be afraid to mix up your regular fitness routine. “It keeps the body guessing and working harder by not doing the same thing every day,” she adds.
And although it can be a little scary to try something new, especially once you get into a regular fitness groove, Umof reminds students to keep an open mind and always try a class more than one time.
“If the teacher is giving you a correction, it’s because they care,” she says. “I’ve tried classes and didn’t like them the first time around, then went back the second or third time and loved them. Sometimes teachers just have off days, so give it more than one shot.”
So what should you do if you’re a die-hard yogi, looking for a new way to move? Umof suggests trying out one (or all) of these three classes below.
If you're all about a good stretch, barre is the class for you. This full-body workout concentrates on the areas women struggle with the most — hips, thighs, booty, abs and arms. The workouts combine a strength section with a stretching section to create long, lean muscles — much like yoga.
“Any yogi would love the physical challenge of Barre, as it moves your legs and body in a different way,” says Umof. “Barre focuses on lifting and pulsing repeatedly, which makes your muscles fatigue and work to their ultimate maximum. The mind-body connection and awareness you need to fully execute the moves is something that both barre and yoga share. Barre can be more fast-paced than yoga, and will definitely leave your booty and abs sore.
If you're a hot yoga fanatic in need of a serious sweat, look no further than dance cardio. With enthusiastic instructors, upbeat music and killer choreography, you'll be challenging your body while feeling like a backup dancer for Beyoncé. And seriously, what's better than that?
“In a dance cardio class, you’ll challenge your coordination, and what’s best is that you can let loose, sweat, and have fun!” says Umof.
If you enjoy that daily dose of inspiration you get from yoga, then you may just want to give SoulCycle a try. After all, these classes have got some serious soul — hey, it's in the name. Not only has this workout been noted to change the body, but SoulCyclers also say it changes lives. With inspirational instructors, candlelit classes and rocking playlists, you'll be sure to leave class feeling a little more inspired.
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