This year, one of the things I wanted to do was try new things in the fitness world. I am always reading and researching and learning from the other therapists and trainers at my studio. I also try to soak up as much knowledge as I can when talking to the great practitioners in my network, but I haven’t actually been out there to try what the other guys are doing in a while.
So, I worked my way around local and online classes that I had always wanted to try. It was a fun year exploring the different class options that are around Boulder. Even if the class did not sit well with me, I always learned something, saw things from a different perspective, and, usually, I had fun.
Below is a quick summary of the experiences I had over the last year. What I loved and what I wouldn’t try again.
Outlaw Yoga– The best yoga class I have ever taken. I had the added benefit of doing it outside, on a beautiful, Colorado morning, with friends, but Mark still rocks no matter what setting you put him in. This class was fun, challenging, and Mark’s organization and cueing were spot on.
Boulder Movement Collective – My exposure to BMC and the movement training of Ido Portal has made a lasting influence on my own training. Fluidity and rhythm are now as much a part of my training as alignment, balance, and strength. It has been a fun and challenging year adding these new elements into my training and I continue to get into the BMC studio whenever I can.
Not My Favorite:
Yoga for Athletes – If you have read my reviews, this should not be such a surprise. I was deeply disappointed in this class. I thought I was walking into something that would focus on alignment and posture specifically for an athlete, instead I got an unorganized, very informal class on a cement floor.
This year, one of the things I wanted to do is try new things in the fitness world. I am always reading and researching and learning from the other therapists and trainers at my studio. I also try to soak up as much knowledge as I can when talking to the great practitioners in my network, but I haven’t actually been out there to try what the other guys are doing in a while.
So I have committed to trying something new each month and to write a review about it. By no means do I pretend that these are objective reviews. Think of this as more my opinion as a fitness expert (it does say opinionated fitness guru in the title). Also, there may be things I don’t like that you do. I am not here to debate, just stating my thoughts because my name is in the url.
Boulder Movement Collective – Fundamentals
I was first introduce to Boulder Movement Collective and the movement philosophy of Ido Portal 2-3 years ago when a friend from NJ came to Boulder with the sole purpose of spending a week at the Collective to learn. At first glance, it just looks like a bunch of people trying to handstand and moving around in similar movements to that of monkeys, but I am here to tell you, it is so much more.
I have been obsessing over the idea of movement vs. exercise for a few years now (There will be a whole other blog post on this) and I am always looking to learn and observe more movement, more teachings, and more ideas. It seems we (meaning us as a society) have lost the core of movement, the heart of it, and I want to get closer and closer to it for me and my clients. Ido Portal and the people over at the Collective have come up with a way to teach movement patterns in an intuitive and fun way.
From the moment I stepped through the door, I was welcomed. Our instructor, Zack, was super friendly and inviting. The other students also did not hesitate to approach me, engage me in conversation, and help me understand the movements we were working on. The space is light, bright, and just generally happy.
I LOVE this kind of workout. Crawling around on the floor, trying to move in creative and different ways, hanging, pushing, pulling, and lizarding. You heard right, the lizard, its a thing. We spent most of the time on floor work, moving in different ways, with a lot of time spent in a low squat, using our hands and feet and staying low to make our way across the floor. It is one of those workouts where you hardly notice you are exercising because it is so fun and mentally engaging. Our class was 90 minutes, and at no point was I looking at the clock and wishing it would end. It was seamless, fun, and the sense of community was comforting.
Along with the floor work, we also incorporated some mobility work and strength work. The strength consisted of pull-ups or chin-ups and pushups or tricep dips. The focus was always on shoulder position and stability. The instructor was constantly wandering providing feedback to each person. However, since you are always working in pairs, you always have a 2nd set of eyes on your movements and you get to provide that for your partner as well. It is nice to practice the movement and also watch it being performed. It makes learning the movements easier.
Class ended with the lizard. A low crawl across the floor (see video below). I have seen this done many times and have tried to mimic it, but it is almost impossible till you have someone show it to you. It was fun to do this as a class, you could really see the different levels of beginner to advanced student and it helps you progress your movements and make them more fluid.
Cons: They only have 6 parking spots and my class had over 20 attendees. So you have to park down the street. Unfortunately, they are also doing construction in the area so it made this scenario even a little more inconvenient. However, I did get a little extra jog in going back and forth to my car.
I would also warn that those with injuries and limitations should talk to the instructor before class. We spent a lot of time on our wrists and in deep knee bends. Zack assured me there were modifications, but you should definitely be proactive and give him the heads up. If this type of movement hurts you, this may not be your thing right now.
Pros: Fun! This class is so engaging on many levels, which to me, equals fun. It makes you think, move in different ways, test your boundaries of movement, and sets you up for success. More than once during class I thought “There is NO WAY I can do that!” and overtime, Zack broke down the move to where I could do more than I thought.
Here is a little glimpse into some of the movements: