Fitness class review: Yoga

By in Sports & Health
Fitness classes offer chances for new experiences.

Each week, the Fit Centre, which operates out of the Physical Activity Complex, hosts a variety of classes throughout the day. These classes range from Zumba to weight lifting sessions — so there’s a suitable class for most interests.

Every class runs for one hour, and the schedule can be found on the College of Kinesiology website. Students can register for a class up to two days in advance, but if those slots fill up, there are 10 spots reserved in every class for drop-ins. However, if the class does fill up, or if it gets cancelled at the last minute, you will still be in the PAC, and you can salvage your workout with the exercise machines or weights.

In order to experience a class, I attended one with the goal of determining how welcoming the classes are for beginners and reviewing the benefits of the class. With this in mind, I chose yoga, as I have very little experience with this form of exercise.

As a larger man, I have always felt a little awkward attempting yoga — like my body got in the way of doing the movements that yoga requires. Going into the class, I felt a little bit nervous, but I was determined to see if yoga was something I could do well at.

Signing up for the class was incredibly simple. Some quick Google searches, and I found an easily understable timetable of classes to choose from. Clicking on the Saturday yoga session brought me to a short form to fill out with my name, email and NSID. Afterwards, I was sent a confirmation email telling me I was signed up — easy peasy.

Come Saturday, I made my way down to the PAC and asked one of the staff at the front desk where the class would be, as I realized that the registration came with no information about class location.

The instructor came in just on time, with a cart full of yoga mats and foam blocks — a good sign, as I didn’t known if any equipment would be supplied. The mat was pretty straightforward, but I wasn’t entirely sure at the beginning what the foam blocks would be used for. I later found out that they can be used for extra stability in some of the balancing poses.

The lack of any introductions or exchanges of names was great for my lingering anxiety about trying something new, since it allowed me to ignore the other people in the room a little bit and just focus on the poses. The instructor didn’t waste any time with explanations, yet still moved at a pace that was easy to follow. I quickly learned to watch the instructor and the other people in the room for guidance on the poses.

When it came time to do some more advanced movements, the instructor was kind enough to inquire if any of us were familiar with them. When a number of us said we weren’t, the instructor demonstrated them slowly, so that we could learn them properly.

If the instructor saw some of us struggling, she would show us alternative and easier movements. She also gave advice on how to achieve the right posture in certain poses in a way that never made me feel as if I was doing it wrong. I found myself frequently using these easier versions, and yet, I was still pouring with sweat by the middle of the session.

By the end of the class, I felt relaxed, both physically and mentally. Any anxiety I had going into the class was gone, along with the mild aching back pain I had woken up with that day. This class is certainly one I would recommend.

Jack Thompson / Sports & Health Editor

Photo: J.C. Balicanta Narag / Photo Editor