Fit and Flow: The Missing Component to my NYC Workout Schedule
Posted Jun 06 2010 7:42pm
Before moving to NYC, I lived in the suburbs of Philadelphia for three glorious years. I made some amazing friends while there, enjoying exploring Philadelphia, and also kicked my ass into the best shape of my life! This was due to many factors including but not limited to the following:
-I didn’t live with Bo. This meant that there was never any food in the house that I didn’t buy nor were there the common “boy foods” which would lead me to temptation. I also had more freedom in the kitchen since I was cooking for my taste buds alone.
-I worked from home. This meant that I could go to the gym, a class, or run whenever the urge struck since I owned my schedule for the most part and had very flexible hours. In addition, I was able to fix my breakfast and lunch at home which meant tasty egg white omelets and veggies, huge salads, and anything else my stomach craved.
-I participated in multiple outdoor workout groups such as the Bryn Mawr Women running club and boot camp multiple times a week.
This last point is one that I am able to influence in my current life stage. I love my new job even though it is office based and that isn’t going to change. I love Bo even though he comes with random takeout or delivery dinner cravings and doesn’t love some of my healthy, odd creations. Since I’m married to him our living situation isn’t going to change either. :) Therefore, over the past few weeks I’ve made it a goal to focus on the third point as I strive to return to my previous fitness level and shed a few of the “married bliss”/stressful job pounds. Thanks to Lululemon , I’ve built Wednesday night Run Club into my weekly routine which has helped me kick my running plateau to the curb.
This week, Daily Candy helped me with the other part of the third point- outdoor bootcamp. As soon as I saw the subject line of Tuesday’s Daily Candy I was ecstatic. As I read the snippet regarding Leanne and her blossoming fitness business I knew I’d found my missing component. The email described her as a trainer who is passionate about helping others find their optimal state through personalizing workouts, keeping things fun, and doing all of this with a smile. The Daily Candy email was primarily advertising her outdoor workout class Fit & Flow. For $25, This class combines the rigors of a bootcamp with the restoring qualities of a yoga class. Participants complete 45 minutes of heart pumping and sweat inducing moves in the beautiful surroundings of Central Park before engaging in 45 minutes of stress releasing and muscle lengthening yoga taught by her fitness partner Jill.
At 6:50pm last night I met the group outside Central Park at 59th and 6th Avenue right near the statues. I was greeted by the energetic and bubbly Leanne who quickly introduced me to Jill and the other ladies. By 7pm there were around 25 women of all shapes and sizes chatting while also discussing their fears in hopes of finding confidence from others.
“I hope this doesn’t include running because I’m more into yoga. “ “What if I die of exhaustion?” “I’ve never done a boot camp before, have you?” “Umm, the other girls look like they’re in great shape but this is my first time.”
These were just a few of the many comments uttered before Leanne and Jill put everyone to rest. The class would be heart pumping but fun as she promised to keep everything fresh by changing it up and would also provide modifications if anyone needed it. In addition, it was clear that this was not a boot camp intended r o intimidate, fear, or upset anyone. In fact, we all made fun of the hard core, screaming boot camp leader nearby who thought it more fun to scream his heart out at his poor participants rather than participating and encourage them as Leanne and Kim did. Oh well, to each their own but I was glad to be a part of the supportive group!
Class started on a grassy knoll about a quarter of a mile from the park entrance. We lined up and started with some warm-ups including two minutes of jumping jacks and then a minute of high knees. During the warmups Leanne informed us that throughout the class she wanted us to take a note from yoga’s book and do everything with intention. This meant that whether you were doing a jumping jack or a lunch, every muscle should be engaged- no flailing arms or listless squats.
After the warm up we quickly began the real workout. This consisted of lunges, burpees, pushups, more lunges, abs, and a quick jog down to the waterfall area for dips and incline pushups. The abs section was one of my favorites as we were able to partner with another participant for the exercise. Working with others always makes the time pass quicker!
We ended the “fit” session with a relay race between two teams. Everyone was very supportive, team oriented, and focused on winning so they didn’t have to do more pushups. Unfortunately, one of the participants fell and hurt her ankle. Everyone immediately stopped and focused on her health. No one was upset that her injury forced the one team to come in last. Instead everyone was concerned about how she was feeling and also ensuring that she felt like she was still part of the team and loved. This was amazing. I’ve been part of many bootcamps before and normally there is a lack of team spirit and support. I believe this all comes from the leader. In the end we all did the pushups because we’re all one team!
After a short break, Jill moved the group into the “flow” section of the class. I honestly can’t remember all of it but can tell you that it was very similar to a flow vinyasa class. The movements were not held very long but flowed from one into another. We went through the warrior poses but also focused on many traditional “yoga for runners” movements to stretch us out after the great workout.
I thoroughly enjoyed this workout and would highly recommend it for almost any person. Here are a few pointers:
-Be open to hard work. The more you put in the more you get out. Some of the strongest women there were older than me and they were all smiles!
-Bring your own yoga mat, towel, and water. Many people, including myself, forgot yoga mats. While the Central Park lawn is nice it isn’t exactly soft or comfortable for planks or yoga. –
-Give yourself plenty of time to arrive. I really enjoyed getting to know the other participants before the class as it made partner sections less awkward. In addition, since the class doesn’t take place at the meeting point it’d stink to get there late and then be lost.
If you’re interested in joining the next Fit and Flo w class in Central Park contact Leanne Shear at