Sporty Lately: ClassPass + yoga like I like it

As promised, I’m finally blogging about ClassPass. My coworker Andrea had talked about it for months and I kind of ignored it. Basically, I thought I had my fitness studios to frequent and  I wasn’t looking around for more. But when I gathered together the list of barre studios I wanted to try and a two-for-one offer came through, I finally activated. I’m currently in my fourth month with the Base (five classes per month) plan.

Five classes a month is supposed to be supplemented with cycling to work (not since it started to rain incessantly and then froze over quite a while) and training for some short races (not yet). And I’ve found that it’s a great way to socialize. I have in Andrea an eager partner in going to classes. Our interests do not significantly: She’s not into barre and I’m into intense workouts… but there’s always yoga! And I ended up convincing my friend Edna to join.

Here are some of my adventures so far.

October 15: Mini Tramp @ Seacity Fitness via ClassPass

My first thought was that “Mini Tramp” was a sexy fitness class. Oh, from my Tantra days. But it refers to the trampoline as a fitness apparatus, which is quite a different workout so I was down to try it. Seacity is around the corner from Andrea’s apartment and somewhere I could easily get free parking on a Saturday morning. What was I expecting – there was a lot of bouncing and coordinating with bouncing. At times, the class felt 80s fabulous (with the velcro ankle weights). The instructor even threw in some barre, to Andrea’s chagrin, by turning having us turn the trampoline on its edge. Edna also lives around the corner from Seacity and was interested in starting to go to that gym so I referred her to ClassPass and we both received $30 credit.

October 23: Sunday Sweat Series by YYoga @BrainStation

Andrea had attended a Wanderlust seminar at BrainStation and was on the mailing list and learned about this class. It wasn’t too hard and I was grateful because it was my re-introduction to yoga. Attending the class reminded how I might be inherently flexible and have decent balance but it takes work. It was a good check.

October 25: Joga @ Steve Nash Fitness Club (Downtown) via ClassPass

Three years working just down the street but I never visited the downtown Steve Nash, well, because it’s a gym, and I can’t normally just drop in. Andrea is into Joga and considering getting her certification. I had heard of Yoga for Runners (and it has been recommended to me) but not Joga. Joga is trademarked, like Zumba. Isn’t it just a subset of yoga poses that is more appropriate for runners (like pigeon pose) and with less of the spiritual talk? No. For starters, their downward dog is different with bent knees. And they have a killer salutation series. And there are plenty of flowing through push-ups I did not do. For some reason my wrists were feeling very week. It was the most intense yoga I have ever done.

October 25: Equinox Yoga Event @Equinox showroom

So, fancy schmancy gym Equinox – “It’s Not Fitness. It’s Life.” – has come to Vancouver and opened in November in the new Trump Tower. Andrea signed up to try it out and was consequently invited to their glamorous events which included a fairly down-to-earth Ladies-Only yoga session that I attended as her Plus 1. The practice was lead by one instructor who is a dash each of edgy cool, ethereal dancer, “exotic” and certified yoga instructor. We were quite packed into the showroom space but the practice was thankfully over earlier than I thought it would be. We got a nice swag bag with cold pressed juice and smoothie powders from Body Energy and a yoga kit from Saje Wellness – cool!

October 29: Float @Float Yaletown via ClassPass

What? Float isn’t fitness. The craze came to Vancouver I don’t know how many years ago and a male colleague of mine was quite enthusiastic about it. Other than him, I don’t know anyone else who has floated. And while floats start at $39 each, with ClassPass, I get a 90-minute float for $11 ($5.50 even, because of the two-for-one). I’m all for trying new things. So, I cleared my schedule and went for a float on a truly drippy Saturday morning. The images on their webpage are really gorgeous and I realized that I was treating myself (more in terms of time than in cost) to something like a spa session. It took about five minutes for me to figure out the way that was comfortable for me to float and I would note that my shoulders tend to want to defy gravity and were shrugged forward and I had to conscientiously relax them. Bumping into the sides of the pod was a little disheartening and I fancied that someone super-rich who is into floating would have such a large pod, or a pool and never have to touch anything and jar your sensory deprivation. And… as could be totally expected, I fell asleep probably 15 minutes into the 90 minute session and only woke up when the lights were turned back on. Would I go again? Nah.

November 7: Pure Barre @Pure Barre Kitsilano via ClassPass

See my barre/ballet post.

November 10 & December 1 & 8: Ballet Fit Level 1 @ Ballet Lounge via ClassPass

See my barre/ballet post.

December 5: Surf & Sand @Steve Nash Fitness Club (Marine Gateway) via ClassPass

Finding a Surf + Sand class was a fun challenge. I think Steve Nash is the only place in town where you can do a SurfSET workout (there is a whole SurfSET studio in Toronto). Of the 14 Steve Nash gyms on ClassPass, it is only offered at the Downtown, Brentwood and Marine Gateway locations. To be fair, I didn’t look at the Poco schedule because I’m not that desperate to attend that class. But the Downtown (conveniently at lunch time) and Brentwood classes are not on ClassPass. Marine Gateway’s is on Mondays when I don’t go in to work but they will not be setting up child-minding and it seemed untenable until NPY was off one Monday as well.

On Vancouver’s first (and only?) snow day of the 2016/2017 season, I drove to Marine Gateway. I used an online Fuel Cost Calculator, looked up our car’s fuel efficiency (24 mpg) and figured it’s cheaper to drive and pay parking than take a subway and pay the two fares I would end up incurring.

As it was a snow day, there was only one other participant and that’s all the better for there were fewer people seeing me “wipe out” not once, but twice. The first time I tipped so far over I fell off and I was in, of all things, Child’s Pose. The other time, I was doing a “Hang Ten” and my weight was wrong and I tipped forwarded. The upbeat instructor (Ingrid) helped me lug out a SurfSET board and check it. She thought the middle balance might be low on inflation but the front and back ones were okay and maybe it was better overall for a complete newbie. The balance balls were off-center and she moved them into place but then I was sure the whole board was slanted while I was using it (and not, as it is more likely, user error). We got comfortable with the board during warm up and soon were on board to do squats and lunges. It’s like stand-up paddleboard yoga without having go out on the water, I kept thinking. More so than any other fitness class, I have to focus and not take for granted that I will be able to balance.

There is built-in tubing in the board so we could do some rowing exercises and the “Sand” portion of the workout came when we worked with sandbells. Neat.

December 6: Balanced Barre @ Body Balance Vancouver via ClassPass

See my barre/ballet post.

December 10: Hatha Yoga @ Semperviva Yoga via ClassPass

The thought of 90 minutes yoga generally puts me off, but it would be at one of the big studios in town and 49th Parallel is just across the street so we could get a coffee and delicious Lucky’s Doughnut after. ;) It was an interesting experience so I’m glad I went. In a good way, it felt like were in a yoga factor, practicing with more people than I ever have before at once. The instructor had good energy that he shared well with all of us.

December 19: Aerial Yoga @ Tantra Fitness Mount Pleasant via ClassPass

It’s been three years since I was last at Tantra Fitness which used to be two blocks away but then moved to a new location eight blocks away. But they offer Aerial Yoga in the evening and Edna was down to try it. I was eager – but also anxious – about going to my first aerial yoga class in over four years. As it turned, the hammocks were a derivative of their silks and it was more of a stretching class that wasn’t overly yoga nor aerial. We only did one inversion at the end.

Now, in my fourth cycle, I’m settling in and not trying out as many classes. I’m generally using my five classes per month at lunch-hour classes at Ballet Lounge (three classes) and Body Balance (two classes).

On this day..