Start sweatin’ in 2019 with five of our fitness favorites.
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Do you remember what your workout routine looked like a year ago? The hybrid-style of virtual and in-person classes had become the new normal for most fitness studios across the world—and for a lot of studios, the hybrid format will still play a huge role. But for me, I live in Phoenix and fitness studios all over the city are now open for us fitness aficionados to enjoy the in-studio experience we so desperately missed.
While I still plan on taking advantage of virtual offerings when traveling—or for when that 4 pm meeting goes just a tad bit too long to make it to the studio in time—the fact that I can now get a good sweat sesh in at my favorite studio has me pumped. Don’t get me wrong—I had a lot of fun supplementing my normal spin routine with virtual barre and yoga, but there are some attributes of an at-home workout that I am happy to leave behind. As much as I love my overly affectionate pit bull (okay, I’m obsessed with her), it was difficult going into a downward dog pose or popping up into a headstand without her attacking my face with kisses. On a less adorable note, it also started to feel a bit...lonely. I mean, nobody was there to witness my first handstand—something I’ve been working on for years. Okay—I may have only held it for a second, but that is still progress!
While it’s great to still have these virtual options (they were a total lifesaver when fitness businesses were closed last year), I can’t even put into words how great it feels to be back in the studio. That first class back, I was pleasantly overwhelmed with all the things that I had missed about the in-studio experience. If you’ve been back to your favorite fitness studios, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you have yet to jump back into your pre-pandemic fitness routine, here’s what you can look forward to:
I know I’m not the only one who started to feel less-than-inspired while working out in my living room every day. While the convenience of rolling out my mat for a yoga class or setting up shop at my kitchen counter for barre class was great—I really missed the hustle and bustle of my high-energy spin and yoga studio. I go to The Madison Improvement Club in Phoenix and am a frequent rider in all the classes they offer from “Party on a Bike” to their themed rides (think Billie Eilish vs. Justin Bieber). These classes are inspirational and just downright fun—not to mention you’re surrounded by carnival-eqsue lights that flicker to the beat of the music. This is a type of experience you can’t find just anywhere—let alone in my tiny apartment. If you want to get a taste of the action, just check out their website.
I don’t know about you, but I go to my spin studio so much that the people I’ve met there are some of my best friends. While we didn’t lose touch with each other over the last year (thank goodness for Zoom happy hours and the occasional virtual workout sesh), it has been so nice being able to ride next to them again. Being able to see their smiling faces, celebrate our victories, and just feel like you’re a part of your fitness family again just hits different than working out at home every day.
Celebrating and empowering my fellow riders is something I missed a lot. We couldn’t be in a class with other fitness fanatics, and we also had to let go of those post-class high-fives and hugs. I can speak firsthand about how powerful a high-five or a hug is after a tough workout. I remember my first spin class over four years ago—and how dead I felt after it—but having my neighbor cheer me on and give me that celebratory high-five was absolutely exhilarating. I felt welcomed and accomplished—I couldn’t wait to go back to another class. While the first few phases of going back to the studio after the shutdown still warranted some restrictions (like wearing masks and continuing to social distance), we’re starting to get to a place where folks are feeling more comfortable with bringing these confidence boosters back and I am here for it.
Let’s push my spin routine to the side for a bit and focus on yoga. Can we all just agree that adjustments in yoga (or any workout class for that matter) are super beneficial? Even as a yoga instructor, I know that I’m not always setting up in certain yoga poses correctly, whether that is due to fatigue in the middle of a practice or if a certain pose is just not as accessible to me as other poses are. Having an instructor shift your body into the correct alignment not only feels good but it also helps you practice safely and avoid injury. And I’m sure it goes without saying that we are all ready to experience those Savasana massages at the end of class. Am I right?
While I’m grateful for the opportunities that arose to practice fitness virtually while we were advised to stay at home, I’m so excited to get back to the unique thrills of working out in an in-person class—from the motivation of being in the studio to the celebratory high-fives and helpful adjustments. We are excited to connect you to in-person experiences again. It’s time for wellness!
Ready to feel exhilarated in an in-person class once again? Browse Mindbody.
Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.
The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.
A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.
The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.
The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.
Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.
Do you live by the ocean? Paddle out with an instructor.
Don't live by the water, but still want to train for your next surf trip? Consider these classes.
If your location isn't listed above, browse Mindbody to see if they are available in your city.