Wow, I feel like more has happened in the week I have been home than in the entire six month before I left. Fortunately, a lot of it has involved two of my favorite things, fitness and friends!
I have mentioned that I am getting back into my workout routine and that it has been more difficult than I anticipated, hello sorebody! However, I am definitely beginning to feel like myself and 30 minutes of cardio no longer kills me! In fact, I am back to normal as of today!
Just to recap, this weekend I went for my first official long run of the marathon training session—one down! I met Katherine and one of her great friends for an easy 10 miles. One full loop, plus the 4 mile loop of the park. We took it easy and enjoyed the fact that NY Road Runners was having a long training run, replete with plenty of water stations to steal from hehe! I was thrilled to have finished 10 miles, six longer than I had run in a month without much difficulty at all. Especially considering I had consumed more than a couple glasses of prosecco while out with a girlfriend at Dove and Otto the night before!
That evening I went out to try a place I have heard a lot about, but had been resistant to try: Studio Square (aka the new beer garden). I had been resistant to try it not because it didn’t look nice (in fact it got 4 out of 5 stars in the Time Out Review ), but because I have such a love and esteem for the old beer garden, and I didn’t want to cheat on it for it’s younger, chicer, hipper cousin. (photos below from google images)
I have to say Studio Square thoroughly impressed me. It was packed, there must have been easily 1000 people spilling over the surround bar patio and out of the huge outdoor seating section. I actually wasn’t sure if we could find seats. But fortunately we did and the night involved lots of fun, meeting new friends, learning new games, and flip cup—during which we were enthusiastically cheered on by at least a hundred fellow patrons. haha. While I do not consider myself a beer fan by any stretch of the imagination, I would definitely recommend skipping the sangria, it was way too sweet.
On a final note, the new beer garden is not replacing the old, it serves a different purpose. If I want to wear heels and have a slightly lounge/club vibe, I will go to the new beer garden. For a laid back, bring the (big and boisterous) family and wear flops experience, that’s beer garden classic.
YOGA ROOM REVIEW
On Sunday I woke up surprisingly full of energy, and was eager to try out The Yoga Room! I have Gena’sawesome yoga post to thank for that! The Yoga Room has two locations in Queens, and the LIC studio just moved to a gorgeous space just three blocks from my casa! I took advantage of the $10 classes open house special and signed up for Hot Yoga and Hot Bodies Pilates.
This was the fourth Bikram class I have taken, and the first one in a few years. The room was HOT, definitely 110! The class had a good mix of veterans and newbies. Bikram involves 26 poses, and you do each twice in a row. I really enjoyed the standing series. Interestingly enough, the standing side stretch was one of the most challenging for me. I seemed to have plenty of strength and flexibility for all of the others, although I got wobbly at times—balance is apparently not my forte! I like the 26 poses because you can really focus on getting into the pose or focusing inward, since there is not a lot of jumping around from position to position. That said by the time we got to the mat poses, I was experiencing occasional bouts of boredom and wanted things to move a bit faster. The second half involves sivasina between each pose. Nevertheless, at the end of the class I felt longer, more limber and even a bit leaner, it was a wonderful stretch for my entire body. I was also fairly invigorated and totally drenched in sweat, in an extremely cleansing way not a gross way. I went to the changing room to switch outfits and get ready for Pilates.
I grabbed a free mango zico coconut water —yum, that was being given out in the lobby. When I asked where my Pilates class would be, they said the same studio. Wait, what? The hot room? Stupidly, I thought hot bodies Pilates was just a cute name for a vigorous Pilates class. It never occurred to me that a Pilates class would be hot. I have never heard of bikram Pilates. I was more than a little nervous to spend 2 and a half hours in a such a hot room, but my yoga instructor was taking the class, so I decided to just try it and see if I would be okay. Fortunately, the Pilates class wasn’t as hot as the yoga, maybe 90 degrees.
While I really enjoy Pilates, I don’t get the chance to take it very often, so this was a nice treat. The class was about a fifth the size of my yoga class, so we got lots of personal attention from the instructor. The class was pretty challenging. We used the ring a lot, which really added to the intensity of the ab work. I like that Pilates feels like a workout more than yoga, but I like how yoga lets you focus on something beyond the workout and get in touch with yourself and the world. I will say that I don’t really see the need for heat in Pilates (or even yoga for that matter). I definitely appreciate the renewing feeling and opportunity for focus that a bikram yoga class offers. But I see it as an occasional novelty, not something that I would take on a regular basis. I do look forward to trying the non-bikram yoga and Pilates and reformer classes at the Yoga Room since you can work more intensely when you are not in such hot conditions, and consequently, drenched in sweat.
Overall, I really enjoyed both classes, the stunning and spacious—rare in yoga–studio (will take pics next time) and friendly staff! The Yoga Room isn’t cheap, classes are $18 each, although you save a few bucks when you purchase a class card. They are offering a special of $89 for unlimited monthly classes, almost half off the regularly cost and far cheaper than the Core Fusion or Physique 57. Speaking of P57, workout dvds have finally been released for those non-NYers, NYers (like me) that can’t afford $35 a class, or NYers that like the convenience of not having to stick to class schedules, which tend to fill up anyways!
On a final note, I always think of taking a yoga class as a way of doing something special just for myself. I think of it as treating myself and my body really well. I hope the Yoga Room continues to offer great specials, so that I can treat myself more often Sunday was definitely a great day for some “me time,” some R and R with the roomie, and settling happily back into my life in the city.