Who doesn’t love free stuff? I know I like it, especially when it gives me a chance to try something I’ve never done before. Today, I popped over to Soulistic Studio and Spa for their Fall Open House. They offered 30 minute samplers of some of their classes, and for first timers like me, it was a great introduction to new fitness techniques.

You all know I’m a Moksha purist, so did I feel weird when I first walked into Soulistic? Sure. I’m so used to Moksha and the teachers there–it was strange to go to a place where I didn’t know anyone. Fortunately, people were friendly and open and warm, and I hope to see some of them again sometime.

As I said, today’s open house consisted of a number of 30 minute “samplers”, many offered simultaneously. So I had to choose what I wanted. Here is what I did:

Pilates Reformer
Pilates Burn
Barre Belly Sculpt
Nia Dance [learn more]
Capoeira [learn more]

Here are my impressions.

Pilates Reformer was strange, and I know that’s because I’d never used a Pilates Reformer machine before. I’d only done the Pilates Mat workout. I know that after a few more times, I’ll be OK on the machine, but to be honest, other than my bike (or a treadmill), I don’t really like using machines to work out. Props I don’t mind, but machines aren’t really my thing.

I ended up loving Pilates Burn a LOT more than I expected. We used a BOSU ball, did a lot of core training, and some slight cardio. Part of the reason I enjoyed that class so much was because of the teacher. Ilana was a lot of fun. I think a lot of people forget that exercising doesn’t have to suck. It can be hard work but it can be fun as well.

Barre Belly Sculpt was surprisingly hard, as we did a lot of strength training with dumbbells. It’s hard to furrow your forehead when the instructor is giving you a beautiful, encouraging smile, though. I did the best I could with the weights (my arms are so not my strongest body part). I didn’t expect the class to be so much belly dancing, but I LOVED it.

Capoeria is a dance that combines music, sports, and martial arts. That was the one class that intimidated me, because you have to be so exact and so precise. It was the last class of the day, so my body was NOT feeling the precise movements so much. It’s a beautiful dance, though, and challenging. At the end, we got into a circle and clapped and sang while two people “played.” It was really, really cool.

My favorite, favorite, favorite was the Nia Dance. I LOVED Nia Dance. Music, movement, martial arts, yoga, and meditation all in one. It’s a grounded, low impact dance. I like cardio, but I DO NOT like aerobics. This was perfect, because I love to dance, I love yoga, and there was no jumping. I was building strength, burning calories, and making my heart healthy. This is the class I definitely plan to go back for. Again and again and again.

There was lots of fruit to snack on (including honey crisp apples), and there were samples of Solixir. It was a good day for my body.

I might be feeling differently once the soreness kicks in. But I will keep going. Candlelight Vinyasa with Amber at Moksha tomorrow evening. I must be there.

It feels good to have time to take care of myself again. It also feels good to have MOTIVATION to take care of myself. Now if I could just slow down with the sugar…… *innocent look*

What are your favorite ways to keep in shape?

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