Fit Chic NYC’s Blog


Life Lessons I Learned In The Bikram Studio

Balancing Stick Pose

Despite my initial whining, during my 25 days at Bikram Yoga NYC (I had guests in town the last five days of my month Groupon pass) I was able to take a total of 15 classes.

Obsessed doesn’t begin to describe my passion for the practice. Here’s why:

1. I believe sweat is a strong indicator of a good workout. In Bikram, you’ll start sweating before class even begins.

2. In other forms of yoga there can be a lot of down time while holding poses; and, being the competitive person I am I like to look around at other people. That isn’t great for my meditation nor is it polite when they awkwardly catch me starring at them. In Bikram, moving your eyeballs is energy you can’t afford to waste.

3. The group mentality of the class is incredible. Yogis in general tend to foster a sense of comradeship with each other but there’s just something about dripping sweat in front of each other in as little clothes as possible for an hour and a half that makes you feel so…. Connected.

4. Bikram is a moving mediation. While I’ve never been able to fully “zone out” in other forms of yoga (see number 2) in Bikram I find that I’m completely concentrated on my practice.

5. I like to control my schedule and plan it out to the very last details so if you’re like me (very Type A) Bikram is the yoga style for you. Every class is performed exactly the same way and while you might think that performing the 26 postures in the same sequence every time would become monotonous, each class feels entirely different

6. The first class or two is miserable. But that moment when it all just clicks makes the initial suffering entirely worth it.

7. I get bored when I hold a posture for too long – even if it’s tough. In Bikram, no posture is held for more than a minute and I know exactly what’s coming next (see number 5). Knowing when it’s going to end allows me to judge my effort level.

8. I semi-jokingly told my friend that I’d consider a breast reduction so my practice would be better. Personally, I feel that a having a naturally (or unnaturally if that’s your style) large chest hinders some of the postures because they just get in the way.

9. Bikram has a strong cardio component. I wanted to wear my heart monitor during class but I couldn’t get it to stay completely silent so I left it at home. One instructor said that the Balancing Stick Pose pose was comparable to 30 minutes on the treadmill. While that might be a stretch, it gets your heart rate up.

10. You can do anything for 10 seconds. Suck it up and push through.

Advertisements


My Bikram Science Experiment

I’m still on my Bikram high from last night – I totally kicked ass in class. It seems that the third class was the charm for me and it’s funny how I went from “I’m about to die, why did I sign-up to do this” to “I want to do this everyday” in a matter of four days. But consider me converted.

That being said, I wouldn’t be a New Yorker if I weren’t skeptical of my new-found “enlightenment,” hence my Bikram Science Experiment.

So here’s the deal: I bought a month pass to Bikram Yoga NYC from Groupon. My initial goal was to (1) shock my body and try to reap the benefits of Bikram practice. I’m strong, but at 5’1” my muscular frame tends to look a little bulky so (2) I’m seeking the much envied, strong, lean bodies of hipster yogis. And since I enjoy a workout challenge I (3) wanted to give Bikram another shot (if you remember, my first try – and my first FitChicNYC post! – wasn’t exactly encouraging). But now, I’m on a mission to determine whether I actually reached a Bikram high in my third class, or if it was a fluke thanks to a few variable factors.

Let’s examine the facts, class by class.

First Class: Saturday, April 10, Noon
I braced myself for this. I knew it was going to be rough. I hadn’t done Bikram yoga in over a year, and no matter how in shape I am, I was going to have to go through a readjustment period in acclimating to the heated room. The heat was brutal, and when the sun started creeping in around 1pm (30 more minutes to go), and my mat just so happened to be in the spot where it shined through. Joy. My concentration was on breathing and I had to sit down during the last few standing poses. Overall, I felt horrible and I didn’t reach my full potential during the poses.

Second Class: Sunday, April 11, 11AM
I showed up – which was already an accomplishment. The sun wasn’t as strong (and I changed my mat location slightly) so I thought I was going to rock this class. While I admit my breathing was much more controlled, I still just wasn’t getting it during certain postures and much to my dismay, I had to sit down during the end of the standing sequence. Once again the heat got to me and I left feeling a little better than I did the day before, but was wondering why I signed up for this insanity – I wasn’t getting the most out of my practice, I was totally wiped out for the rest of the day and quite honestly I hate staring at myself for 90 minutes while I drip sweat.

Third Class: Tuesday, April 13, 7PM
Okay so here is where I reached my Bikram high. Not only did I complete the 26 posture sequence without taking any breaks, I was also able to move into poses that I had to modify for the first two classes and believe it or not, I actually kind of enjoyed the heat. As I mentioned, I’m skeptical. I think that the time of day had EVERYTHING to do with my new-found enlightenment because (1) since it was a night class, the sun wasn’t shining, so it wasn’t as hot in the room and (2) I know my body and I am stronger at night.

So if my hypothesis is correct, I will reach my maximum potential in Bikram yoga if I practice at night. I have 25 more days to test my theory but I’d love for you to weigh in on my little workout experiment.



Music to Motivate: March Playlist
March 10, 2010, 10:48 AM
Filed under: NYC life, Overheard At The Gym | Tags: , ,

I like to think I have good taste in music, dare I even say at the forefront of the scene at times. Thanks to satellite radio I was totally rocking out to “Just Dance” and “Lollipop” before the songs became hits. And while I’m not spinning at clubs, I do take great pride in my personal playlists. I’ll admit I enjoy quite the eclectic mix of music, but when it comes to working out I need something upbeat. Whether a song ties me to a place, person or thought, it has to motivate me. Here’s what I’m playing to keep me pushing harder, faster, stronger.

DJ FitChic1. All of the Above – Maino2. Horchata – Vampire Weekend

3. In My Head – Jason Derulo

4. Telephone – Lady GaGa featuring Beyoncé

5. Hey, Soul Sister – Train

6. Take It Off – Ke$ha

7. Africa – Karl Wolf featuring Culture

8. Cowboy Casanova – Carrie Underwood

9. No Te Veo – Casa De Leones

10. Sweet About Me – Gabriella Cilmi

11. BedRock – Young Money featuring Lloyd

12. Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny) – AR Rahman and The Pussycat Dolls

13. My Life Be Like – Grits

14. Morning After Dark – Timbaland featuring SoShy and Nelly Furtado

15. Say Aah – Trey Songz featuring Fabolous

16. One Day – Matisyahu



Yep, this happened
February 18, 2010, 11:16 AM
Filed under: Celebrity Fitness, NYC life | Tags: , , ,

Off to a great Thursday!

Terrell Owens Tweeted at me

Terrell Owens Tweets me



My Open Letter to John Durant

Dear John,

The way you spoke about your caveman diet and lifestyle on The Colbert Report was positively dreamy. For you, exercise isn’t isolated to a gym; instead, you replicate the natural movements hunter-gatherers had to perform to survive. And while you lift logs and throw stones you shun processed foods and share the diet that kept our ancestors strong.

And since today is Valentine’s Day I thought I would answer your uniquely primal personal.

“I’m really looking for a healthy woman who is a meat-eater and ideally if she were lactose intolerant (no dairy) that would be good… if she had Celiac Disease (no wheat), it’s my dream woman!”

John, you are a modern-day hunter-gatherer, and I could be your prehistoric partner. I am lactose intolerant and while I do not officially have Celiac Disease, I’ve found that I am sensitive to most grain products. In the summer we could run through Central Park in Vibram Five Fingers and then snack on a Paleo picnic full of meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts.

We’re a match made in Paleolithic heaven!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Health & Nutrition Speed Dating
February 5, 2010, 12:34 PM
Filed under: NYC life | Tags: , , ,

Last night I attended The Editor Showcase: Health & Nutrition and met with 40 different brands to learn, taste and takeaway yummy samples and products.


It was like speed dating health brands.

This private brand-to-press event featured a variety of brands and products but my top pick of the evening went to Sunland’s Valencia Peanut Butter who had the largest display of peanut butter I had ever seen with flavors ranging from raspberry to dark chocolate and even banana – I was in heaven.

I left with a full stomach and bag full of information to share, but sadly no jars of peanut butter.



Fit Fundraiser: Helping Haiti

The fitness industry has quickly rallied its support for Haiti after the devastating earthquake that hit the nation on Jan. 12th. Here are some fitness-inspired ways you can aid in disaster relief efforts.

Spinning

Join Chelsea Clinton and SoulCycle for a special 90-minute ride on Thursday, January 21st to benefit The Clinton Haiti Relief Fund. All proceeds go towards helping Haiti. Stacey Griffith and Laurie Cole will lead the evening in the new TriBeCa studio at 103 Warren Street. Activities start at 6:30pm, please RSVP to: kaili@soul-cycle.com.

PRICES:
$1,000 – Front Row & Side Pod Bikes
$500 – Second Row
$100 – All Other Bikes
* Please have payment be made via check upon arrival Thursday night. Make checks directly out to: “The Clinton Foundation” and write “Haiti Relief” in the memo section of your check

The evening will also feature a multimedia presentation of Kym Perfetto’s 2006 photo journal of the Haitian Medical Mission. The Medical Mission established mobile clinics every four months in rural areas of Haiti. In June of 2006, Kym traveled and worked with the Mission. The images in Kym’s photo journal feature colorful Haitian landscapes as well as an intimate look at the resilient rural communities there.

Yoga
Yogis for Haiti with Latham Thomas and Tigist Selam on Saturday, January 23rd from 6-8pm at the Om Factory (265 West 37th Street). Suggested donation $20.

Latham Thomas writes: Join us for an incredible evening of grounding meditation, soulful music, inspired asana and healing vibes to benefit our brothers and sisters in Haiti. This special practice will honor those who have passed away and our efforts will serve those who have survived and need our help. Latham and Tigist will guide you through a meditation and Vinyasa class with live music from Yoga Organix, Tom Rossi, and special guests. Suggested donation is $20, please feel free to give more if you would like. Thank you for your contributions and your support. (This is a Vinyasa yoga and meditation practice open to all, regardless of your level or ability.)

Proceeds will benefit the Cine-Institute and the Yele Foundation

Run
And from my friend at Fiterati, if you’re in the Los Angeles area you can join Josh Duhamel (When in Rome, Fergie’s husband) and The American Red Cross Youth Run 4 Haiti on Saturday, January 23 at 9am for a two-mile run on the beach at Santa Monica Pier. Click here for more information.

If your organization is holding a fitness-inspired fundraiser to aid in disaster relief efforts in Haiti please leave information about the event in the comments.