Saturday, July 21, 2012

Breaking Out of my Comfort Zone with Zumba

Today’s post is a milestone for Spoonful at a Time – this is my 100th post!  I’m happy to report that I am well on my way towards maintaining an active and balanced lifestyle, and I owe a lot of that to this blog.  It’s only fitting that this post is all about being active and trying new things!

072112 - 1This week I was visiting my parents in Charlotte, so I tagged along to a couple of my mom’s classes at the Harris YMCA Express.  It’s a really nice small gym just down the street from the SouthPark mall.

We went to a deep stretch yoga class that I’d been to before on Wednesday and it was just as amazing as the first one I took from Debra.  It was slow, quiet class mostly spent on the floor, doing lots of twists with all long holds.  The O2 Fitness yoga classes are more of a vinyasa (flow) style, so this restorative class was a nice change from my usual practice. 


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I especially liked that she circulated around the room rather than just demonstrating at the front, and during some of the poses would come by and assist and push me further into the poses than I could get on my own, which felt amazing.  Then the last 20 minutes of the 90-minute class were devoted to shavasana (corpse) pose and meditation. 

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The best part was this chilled stone that she placed on my forehead, it was refreshing and gave me a focus point during the meditation. I wish all yoga classes ended that way!

Then on Thursday it was time for Zumba!  I danced as a kid, but I have never been one to go dancing at clubs and usually feel pretty self conscious whenever I do attempt to shake it in public, so Zumba has always intimidated me a bit.  As this week is all about facing my fears and embracing group fitness, so I had to try it – plus it was a beginner class designed for the older crowd so I figured I had a better chance of keeping up.

I have to admit, I had a lot of fun!  The class was similar to BodyPump in that it was a series of songs and we did different moves with each, with a small break in between.  The moves were a combination of hip hop, Latin, and what seemed like Bollywood-style dancing, with lots of hip and booty shaking.

Photo from

I got mixed up with my feet on several moves, and I definitely feel like I could use a “little more hip action,” as Len always says on Dancing with the Stars, but it was still a great workout.  I worked up a good sweat, and the dance moves all really emphasized using your core so I felt like I got a little extra toning action along with the cardio.  The best part was that I was engaged the whole time and the time absolutely flew by!

So once again, there was nothing to really be nervous about Smile  I’m definitely planning to check out O2 Fitness’ version of Zumba, Les Mills Sh’Bam.  It’ll be nice to shake up my cardio routine from the usual elliptical/treadmill combo I’ve had going on lately.

Speaking of the treadmill –  I have officially finished the 5K running program!  I took about 3 weeks to complete that last week because I kept running the 30-minute program over and over, but I sucked it up yesterday and did the full 35 minutes.  I think I’ve still got a ways to go before I actually run a real 5K since I’m still running on a flat incline on the treadmill (plus I’m not too eager to try my first during this crazy heat wave), but it’s still a big achievement to me that I can run that long now, and I am proud of myself!

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