By Chelsea L. Calhoun, NASM CPT
The week before Christmas I did an intense leg workout and took a pole dancing class on Monday, and on Tuesday went roller skating. The result – extremely tight quads. I could barely walk. Since I was determined to experience several different types of exercise classes during my holiday break, I thought it would be a good idea for the next class I took to be more toned down. I recalled my colleague Kim Rush Lynch speaking highly of Laura Bonkosky’s Lunchtime Yoga class and how it was more of a relaxing and stretching kind of yoga, so I decided to try it out that following Thursday. I was hoping it would help my quads.
When I walked into class the lights were dim, the ambiance calming, and room really quiet, so I greeted Laura I used a whisper, not wanting to disturb anyone in the class. In contrast, when I teach Ultimate Groove Workout, I’m usually a little loud and we play loud music. To be in the dance studio filled with people but still quiet, I felt out of my element. Yet once I was lying on my mat with my eyes closed, and concentrating on my deep inhales and exhales, I started to allow myself to relax.
For the first few minutes of class, Laura allows you to embrace the silence in the room. Then she starts to speak softly, telling you to take deep breaths, and just let everything go. The stress in your life, let it go. Any negative thoughts in your mind, let it go. Any pain in your joints or muscles, image it gone.
At that point, I started to have a private conversation with my quads. Laura continued to talk for a while, gently guiding us to a relaxed and stress-free place in our mind and body. I really enjoyed this part of the class.
Next, we went into what I would call traditional yoga poses, which have a nice flow and felt effortless. Usually, I struggle when doing poses because I’m new to yoga, but this class had me so relaxed, the moves came more easily to me. At the same time, I noticed my heart rate being elevated, so I was working it!
Laura ended the class the way she started it – by instructing us in relaxation and focus on the breath.
After class I felt great! Lighter! Things that were on my mind weren’t there anymore, my quads felt a lot better, and I felt like I got a nice relaxing workout. Laura’s Lunchtime Yoga was such a treat!
Laura Bonkosky teaches Lunchtime Yoga Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30-1:30 pm, Yoga & Core Conditioning Thursday, 7-8:15 pm, and Gentle Yoga Tuesdays, 7-8 pm at the Greenbelt Community Center. It’s only $10 to drop-in.
Chelsea L. Calhoun is a fitness professional certified by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and the National Academy of Sports and Medicine. She is also the owner of Groove Dance Fitness and creator of the Ultimate Groove Workout.