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FIT & Flirty’s Fitness Journey

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I have 10 reasons why SoulCycle is the best spin studio. This fitness phenomenon is a New York City-based indoor cycling company founded in 2006;  with studios in nine U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.  As of 2016, SoulCycle had 85 locations in the United States with approximately 20,000 people riding every week.

Athlete, Legend, Warrior, Renegade, Rockstar, SOUL CYCLE”

My first SoulCycle ride was in San Francisco in November 2015 and it changed my spinning expectations.  I’ve been to a dozen different studios since, and not to say I didn’t enjoy every single workout (cause there’s no such things as a bad workout right?) but no ride has come close. It’s like when you meet the guy of your dreams, and then he vanishes…you’ll meet other people, but the feeling just isn’t the same…

So when the Vancouver location opened this summer, I was worried… would it be as magical? Or would it shatter the beautiful memories of my first time?  I had to find out; on Saturday I attended the 11:45 am ride lead by Daniela and I’m ecstatic, it was everything I remembered and more! Little fun fact, Kelly Rippa was in my class!

Photo from Well+Good

Here are my 10 reasons why SoulCycle is the best spin studio:

1.Spinning® has been around since the late 80’s but SoulCycle created the craze. 

2.  A perfectly branded “feel good” company that practices what it preaches. The SoulCycle riders loyalty is proof of that; in 2015 there were 934,500 rides, 25,641 classes, and 10,378 rides per day.

3. Extremely courteous, knowledgeable and friendly staff. The instructor training program is eight-weeks long. But the company also created a ‘Soul University’ with over 45 proprietary training programs to scale the distinctive culture and service of its studio operations.

4. A “clique” free zone, where everyone is made to feel part of the family! In class, the instructors encourage interaction with your neighbor, which opens communication and creates an uplifting feeling in room.  There’s also constant dialogue with riders through ‘Your Soul Matters’ team, responding to 50,000 rider emails annually, and Twitter feeds.

5. Well organized, beautifully designed, spacious, and clean studios.

6. The service is on point! From the second you check in, customer services representatives makes sure you’re informed and helpful staff members come around the spin room and ask every single person if they need help setting up their bike before the ride starts.

7. A high vibbin’ candle lit room, with heart-pounding tracks and inspiring mantras from your instructor will help you push your physical limits and guarantees a great sweat sesh! Instructors are more than just guiding through the ride: they remind you that you’re stronger than the voice in your head that says you can’t.” You don’t have to be here, you GET to be here!”

8. SoulCyle fitness apparel and swag is cool AF!

9. Giving back!  SoulCycle hosts over 300 charity rides per year; giving organization of all sizes the opportunity to join together and raise money for much-needed causes in a fun and inspiring way!

10.State of the art bikes! The SoulCycle Next Generation spin bike is sleek, modern and technically advanced! No more sore butts, these bikes ensure a comfortable ride!

SoulCycle Next Generation Spin Bike

SoulCycle Next Generation Spin Bike

Oxygen Yoga and FitnessFall has officially hit the west coast; torrential downpours and gusty winds are likely to be with us for the next five months. After only two days of darkness my body was desperate for some heat and since I can’t just hop a flight to Hawaii I decided on the next best thing; a workout at Oxygen Hot Yoga & Fitness.  The Kitsilano location opened up few blocks away from my place, so I decided to go try a class.

Oxygen Hot Yoga & Fitness is not a typically yoga studio. First of all,  the studios are heated with far infrared heat which has extraordinary heath benefits such as; improves your immune system, reduces toxins and wast minerals, helps reduce stress, burns extra calories and helps control weight gain. It’s also been proven to help diminish cellulite and improve skin tone, plus can strengthen the cardiovascular system, relieve pain from arthritis, sprains, strains and over worked muscles.

You can indulge in a wide variety of yoga classes such as “Hot Yoga Rise & Shine”  – Mix sun salutations, balance poses, standing poses with strengthening poses and deep stretches. Early morning yoga is a great way to center yourself, listen to your body and set an intention. But if you’re looking for something more powerful, I welcome you to try one of the many fitness classes such as “Hot Cardio Fusion” –  A intense cardio party that helps keep your heart healthy and burn fat.  View the full schedule

The Oxygen Yoga & Fitness mantra is “I Love My Life” which is written all over the studio and  the fitness instructors have you recite it at the end of every single class; expect nothing but good. positive and friendly vibes! The room is hot approx 30 degrees and the lights are usually dimed. If you’re in a yoga class the mood is calm and meditative but in the fitness classes  you can expect loud music and very high energy! You’ll need your  yoga mat, a yoga towel, a face towel and WATER! Be prepared to SWEAT A LOT!

“No one has ever drowned in sweat.” – Lou Holtz

I hadn’t been to a “hot class” since February of this year,  so I decided to looked up my sign in records at the Olympic Village/Fairview location from February 2016 to end February 2017. I attended 155 classes (13 classes per month or 3.5 classes per week for a year). WOWZA! So I thought it best to ease the hot classes back into my fitness schedule this week.

Monday October 16th 7:30 pm – Combo at Kondi 30 minutes of a total body TRX workout to strengthen and tone and 30 minutes of Callanetics to lengthen and tighten your muscles.
Tuesday October 17th 6:30 pm Oxygen Hot Yang/Ying Yoga lead by Sandra: first class back and forgot how HAWWWT it get’s in there.  The yoga teacher was friendly and had a meditative voice; this much needed deep stretch was painful yet ohhhh so good!
Wednesday October 18th 7:15 pm TRX class at Kondi is a core-focused workout which uses your own body weight and angle to determine the difficulty.
Thursday October 19th 6:30 pm Oxygen Hot Fast and Furious Fusion Challenge Level 2/3 with Holly. This class was kickass ! One hour of non-stop heart pumping cardio and strength training! I felt amazing after! This class confirmed I’d to signing up again!
Friday October 20th – Rest day
Saturday October 21st 11:15 am – Combo Kondi 30 minutes of a total body TRX workout to strengthen and tone and 30 minutes of Callanetics to lengthen and tighten your muscles.
NFL Sunday October 22nd – 4:30 pm 6km hilly run
Monday October 23rd 6:30 pm Oxygen Hot Power Core with Lindsey!! One of my favorite teacher’s from the Fairview location.  This class ABS-olutely rocked!!!  This class incorporates yoga, weights, resistance training and cardio into a fast paced heart pumping core blasting session!

Having only been back for a week, I can already see and feel the benefits of combining my fitness routine in the far infrared heat. My body leans out and builds muscle so much faster, my skin is glowing, I push myself to my physical limit in each session and I’ve been sleeping like a baby! Plus working out in the heat is a good way to prepare for the outdoor workouts I will be doing on my luxury fitness retreat in Costa Rica. Not to mention, all my fitness needs are met under on roof with classes ranging from yoga, barre, cardio, core, strengthening and more!

“I will make sweat my best accessory, I will run harder than my mascara.”

If you’re a Vancouverite, Oxygen Yoga & Fitness is a must! Especially in the winter months! But don’t take my word for it, for only $10.00 you can try it yourself for a week or for $49.00 have unlimited access for a month. With 35 locations in British Columbia and 11 more opening soon there’s sure to be a studio near you!

Have you tried Oxygen Yoga & Fitness? What’s your favorite local studio these days?

Leave a comment below!

Namaste xo

 

Here’s a quick story about the real dangers of a running girl.

As a woman I try to be mindful of some of the dangers of running:

  • Don’t run alone at night and always wear reflective gear
  • Carry your ID and your phone
  • Don’t be predictable, change up your route and don’t post on social before leaving

Today I was reminded of a much greater danger: your skin scraping across the surface of the pavement, Urgh!

I was awake and sitting at my home office desk with a fresh cup of coffee by 5:30 am.  My mood was abnormally cheerful and my productivity level was off the charts. With the rest of the world still asleep or commuting to work I had no disruptions and by 8:30 I’d checked off half of my to-do list for the day. So I decided to take a mid-morning break and head out for a quick run. I threw on my favorite lululemon running shorts and Nike mesh tank top and laced up.

I took my pre-run selfie and thought to myself “this is going to be a great run”. I was rested, hydrated, well-nourished and in a freaking good mood; all of the elements that usually make a fast run for me. So off I went up 12th Ave.  My head was in the clouds, I was thinking of all the things to come this week, like how I would deal with this situation, and how to address that email, when out of the blue I was literally flying horizontally above the ground, hit the concrete and skidded across the pavement surface for what felt like three to five feet. “WTF!!!”

My iPhone flew out my pocket, so I turned around to grab it, and happily it was unscathed. “Thank god!” I thought “Now finish your run!”  But when I went to standup, I felt THROBBING and I noticed blood gushing from both my knees and both my hands. Now at this point, I’m still contemplating running. But as I started wobbling down the street and the blood started to run down my leg I figured it was probably best I didn’t continue.  A few blocks from home I noticed stains on my white tank and look over at my right arm, from the elbow down, my skin was shredded!

I couldn’t help but laugh at myself! This was the second time I’d taken such a fall…. Luckily less was at stake today.

Throwback

December 2010, Las Vegas Rock n Roll Marathon: I’d trained hard and was totally ready for my first marathon. I was strong, fast (for me), focused AF and determined to keep to a 6mins per km run.  I was precisely on track until I rounded the corner, near old Vegas at about the 8km mark. There was a huge bottleneck of people and I thought I’d be smart and bypass them by jumping on the sidewalk;  with the space to myself I started waiving on bystanders cheering on the runners and that’s when I stepped on a gu pack and went FLYING hitting the pavement with the entire right side of my body!  I was so mad“My time, my time!! This is going to F**ck up my time!!!” I jumped up and without looking at my injuries or giving it a second thought I took off.  I don’t know if it was adrenaline, naivety or pure stupidity but I didn’t stop, I didn’t feel no pain I didn’t see no blood. I just ran – and I crossed the finish line in 4h:13mins:12secs which is EXACTLY 6 minutes per kilometer  to the seconds (12 mins per mile).

When I got to my hotel room I finally noticed that the right sleeve of light-weight running shirt was torn, and the blood had dried and stuck to my skin. My right knee was throbbing but lucky the capri material prevented any ripping.  BEST DAY EVER!

Lesson, don’t let life trip you up!!

Question – anyone else has trip, hit and fall running stories? I’d love to hear from you!

Last week, while in San Francisco I got the chance to go to a spin class at Soul Cycle SoMa. The candle lit space is jammed packed with bikes with just enough room between them to squeeze by. The music is rocking loud which instantly hyped me. As I sat on my bike, an attendant came by. “I haven’t seen you here before; can I help you set up your bike?” She asked. She welcomed me and gave me a quick briefing of what to expect during the session. Out of nowhere a tiny muscular lady with a super long blond ponytail jumped in front of me and said “I love your tank top! I’m Jenny, I’ll be guiding your ride, let me know if you have any questions and have fun!” 3-2-1 and we were off.  We climbed, jogged, sprinted, danced and worked our upper body. Before I knew it, I was drenched from head to toe and the 45 minutes class was over!

Soul Cycle definitely is fitness fun! The inspirational instructors have a knack for bringing the riders together and creating a real sense of community. I was blown away!  The good vibes and energetic instructor Jenny re-ignited my spinning obsession.

When I got home on Thursday I looked into local spin gyms. On Saturday I went to Eastwood Cycle. The setup was very similar, with the instructor surrounded by candlelight on a platform in the front of the dark room.  The class “Icon” was also comparable; a 45 minutes intense class that combines riding to the rhythm and an upper body workout.

These bikes have a display with a speedometer, time worked and calories burned showing on them. I know most people love this feature, but personally I’d rather not know! The numbers tend to distract me, so I threw my towel over top of it.

I had a chance to speak with the instructor after class, and it turns out she used teach at Soul Cycle in LA! She also told me about the introductory special, $100 for 30 days of unlimited classes. I signed up!

With the festivite season upon us, I can use the extra motivation to ensure I make the best of the next 31 days and avoid packing on any holiday pounds. #holidaysweat

PS – If you’re an enthusiast of sweaty activities, I would definitely suggest you try a spin class!

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