Find a fun fit­ness so­lu­tion that will stick in 2017

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

This year, re­solve to do some­thing dif­fer­ent than try­ing to stick to the same work­out rou­tine that hasn’t stuck the last three years you tried it.

“It’s a new year and you are re­minded that you’ve got a new op­por­tu­nity to re­con­nect with some goals that you prob­a­bly al­ready have,” said Becky Nick­er­son, owner of In­fin­ity Yoga At­lanta. “The an­cient yoga texts tell us that our souls, our deeper selves, are in­fi­nite … but there is this mor­tal­ity on the other side that our bod­ies have. They are fi­nite and we do need to make goals for them so we can pur­sue more joy in our lives and less fear.”

One way to do that is hit­ting the yoga mat. But if the tra­di­tional na­maste isn’t your style, Nick­er­son’s stu­dio of­fers hot In­fin­ity Flow and vinyasa yoga classes, which take place in rooms be­tween 85 and 95 de­grees.

“You’ll get a good sweat go­ing,” Nick­er­son said. “I al­ways bring a towel and wa­ter and make sure I’m hy­drated. I usu­ally look like I went swimming.”

Nick­er­son ad­vises stu­dents to have a ba­sic knowl­edge of poses be­fore reg­is­ter­ing for hot yoga.

“Not that they’re re­ally hard, we’re just mov­ing through them re­ally quickly. So when the in­struc­tor says we’re go­ing to War­rior II … you al­ready know the general geog­ra­phy of the pose,” she said.

Hot yoga en­cour­ages the body to stay hy­drated. In­tense sweat­ing in­vites in­creased wa­ter con­sump­tion, and ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, ad­e­quate wa­ter sta­bi­lizes body tem­per­a­ture, lu­bri­cates joints and helps rid the body of waste. Nick­er­son said added ben­e­fits of heat in­clude ease of flex­i­bil­ity, al­low­ing peo­ple to go deeper into their poses.

The style de­vel­oped from Bikram yoga, a se­quence of 26 pos­tures done in a 105-de­gree room, Nick­er­son said. Bikram yoga

Jan­uary 6, 2017

orig­i­nated in a hot, hu­mid town in In­dia.

“That se­ries is the same ev­ery time you go. There’s no mu­sic; it’s very reg­i­mented. Whereas in our style of class, we of­fer mod­i­fi­ca­tions and op­tions so if some­body wants to go add in some hand­stands along the way, they can; or if some­one wants to take a lit­tle break and do Child’s Pose, no one is go­ing to judge them,” she said.

In­fin­ity Yoga At­lanta of­fers classes for all lev­els, in­clud­ing two hot yoga op­tions for those with a ba­sic knowl­edge of po­si­tions. It op­er­ates three stu­dios in Dun­woody and At­lanta’s Brookhaven and Old Fourth Ward neigh­bor­hoods. For sched­ules and regis­tra­tion in­for­ma­tion, visit in­fin­i­tyyo­gaat­

Re­solve to re­volve

The truly non-tra­di­tional Pole Fit classes of­fered at More­land Av­enue stu­dio Dance 411 give At­lantans a chance to ex­plore a new style of dance while build­ing strength and com­plet­ing en­tire body work­outs — all while re­volv­ing around a sta­tion­ary pole.

“Peo­ple don’t un­der­stand that pole is a sport,” said Chris­tian Tay­lor, di­rec­tor of women’s pro­grams for Dance 411. “It did start out as an en­ter­tain­ment kind of in­dus­try. Ev­ery­thing was about en­ter­tain­ing, and then peo­ple Top left: Chris­tian Tay­lor, di­rec­tor of women’s pro­grams for Dance 411 in At­lanta, shows one of the strength tricks a Pole Fit stu­dent may learn in class. Above: Tay­lor, along with Justin Draper, di­rec­tor of client ser­vices, and Di­rec­tor of Fit­ness Pro­grams Ang­gie Pope, demon­strate lev­els of pole mas­tery avail­able to stu­dents. (Photos by Dal­las Dun­can)


saw how much strength it took to ac­tu­ally do cer­tain tricks and just to climb a pole.”

Com­pared to other dance fit­ness classes like Zumba — which Dance 411 also of­fers — Pole Fit is an en­tire body work­out.

“You’re go­ing to learn a cou­ple tricks, learn how to be a lit­tle sexy, but you’re go­ing to go home and in two days you’re go­ing to be sore,” Tay­lor said. “Say for in­stance we do a toe-touch. You think of a toe-touch in cheer­lead­ing, it’s with both your legs com­ing up; you touch your toes and come back down. In this class you do a toe touch, your arms are wrapped around the pole so you’re go­ing to be us­ing your bi­ceps and tri­ceps. And then you’re go­ing to pull your body up­wards, so then you have to suck in your core at the same time. You’re go­ing to lift your legs around the pole, touch your toes [to­gether] in front and go back down.”

De­spite the stereo­types of young, slen­der women be­ing the pri­mary tar­get mar­ket for pole fit­ness, op­tions are avail­able for all. There are men in classes, the av­er­age cus­tomer age is 30 to 45 and there’s even a class for curvier women.

“Even at an older age, your body ad­justs to the pole dif­fer­ently, but you can still do it,” Tay­lor said. “There are a cou­ple of ladies that come in here and they say, ‘You’re skinny. You can do it be­cause you’re skinny.’ I show them a video of one of my stu­dents up­side down on a pole and they’re like, whoa. I’m like yeah, you can do this.”

Justin Draper, di­rec­tor of client ser­vices

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