Find a fun fitness solution that will stick in 2017
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 infinityyogaatlanta.com.
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)
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