Rosie and Gym: Body Balance



Well, these pictures are a bit embarassing! But if I'm going to be fitness blogging I better get used to it I suppose.

I'm on a bit of a mission to try out every class on my gym's timetable, and thought it might be useful to anybody interested in trying out a new fitness class, if I reviewed my experiences. Just call me your sweaty little guinea pig.

Today I'm going to talk about Les Mills' BodyBalance, which is a mix of tai chi, yoga and Pilates, designed to tone and strengthen the body, increase flexibility and promote a sense of wellbeing.

My favourite thing about the class has got to be it's tracklist; unlike the panpipe music played in traditional yoga classes, BodyBalance is set to a great selection of chilled out chart music. Working out to the soothing serenades of George Ezra and Sam Smith is far more appealing to me than all that hippy dippy stuff! 

Every BodyBalance class is structured into ten routines, each one focussing on targeting a different area of the body or mind. Here's how it goes:

1. Tai Chi warm up. Simple Tai Chi moves to limber up the muscles and set a calm and relaxing atmosphere. It gets you used to the breathing patterns that are so important throughout the class. At the moment the warm up is set to a cover version of my current favourite song, Tesselate by Alt J, so it puts me in a great mood from the start :)
2. Sun Salutations. A few cycles of traditional yoga Sun Salutations take up the heart rate and introduce strength and flexibility. These are tough to do properly, but I've seen my flexibility increase just in the five or so sessions I've been to. I can just about step my foot from a lunge position to inbetween my hands now!
3. Standing Strength. These poses find strength and power in your legs. Holding the warrior poses hurts like a bitch but really tones the glutes and hamstrings! It does feel quite empowering standing like a warrior too!
4. Balance. Gracefully finding stability in balance poses like diver, dancer, tree etc - my favourite section of the class, I think! It's a short track but when you achieve the perfect balance, it feels physically great to have found that strength in your legs, and mentally great to have that level of focus on your body.
5. Hip Openers. I tend to get alot of tension in my hips from running, so stretching out the hips in frog or swan pose really eases away any soreness in this area. It aches at the time but releases any stiffness from past workouts and resets my body, ready for another week of exercise!
6. Core (Abs). Set to a faster pace track we do various styles of crunches and leg raises in time to the beat. Sore towards the end of the song - but effective!
7. Core (Back). A flow of various backbends to stretch and strengthen the back and improve posture. I'm not great in this section, so at the moment I'm taking the easier option of doing shoulder bridges - the instructor and one show off person manage to do a full backbend!
8. Twists. A Beyonce track (in the current release) to twist and stretch out the spine. This is when the class starts to cool down, but the lunge twists are a bit of a challenge.
9. Forward bends/Hamstrings. Forward bends lengthen and stretch out the back and legs, from calf, to hamstrings and glutes. Again, I have noticed my flexibility improve over time on this one!
10. Relaxation. Ten minutes (? it certainly feels longer than that to me) of meditation set to a more traditional piece of music. Unlike nearly everyone in the class I actually hate this bit! I know it's so important to switch off and find your inner peace etc, etc but to be honest, I just want to get home to a shower and bed! Not lie on the floor of a sweaty gym studio. I should probably learn to relax.


So what do you think? BodyBalance sound like your kind of thing? I find it a much more 'realistic' approach to Yoga, I just couldn't get on board with all the spirituality stuff in a traditional Yoga class! Let me know if you decide to try a class! You can search for you local class here.

CONVERSATION

7 comments:

  1. This has honestly inspired me! x

    Jane x Poptarts Beauty
    Make sure you check out my giveaway - a Beauty Box full of products, worth nearly £60! Click HERE!

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    1. I'm so glad :) you should give it a go x

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  2. I'm doing a 30 day yoga challenge at the moment, which is going pretty well. Good luck with the fitness blogging!

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    1. Well done! I didn't love Yoga, so found BodyBalance a great alternative x

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  3. I really want to take up classes now, your fitness blog inspires me! Those photos are pro by the way, be proud of them x

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    1. You should come to BodyBalance with me! Thanks, but I think I'm doing the top pose wrong! Haha! x

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  4. I did body balance when I was in NZ and really like it! Combines lots of good stuff and I still felt the benefit. I'm just doing plain old yoga now which I love for the mental aspects of it! x

    Jasmin Charlotte

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