Last summer I took a 3-week teachers training course at the Los Angeles based yoga and spinning studio, YAS, after which I realized I may not want to teach either of their spinning or yoga classes…sorry mom and dad. I enjoy the spiritual aspects of yoga and their philosophy of “no chanting, no granola, no sanskrit” took some of yoga’s greatest pleasures out of the practice for me – I love granola (although this is not a typical part of yoga class) and I do love chanting om. While I never taught at YAS, I learned about proper form and alignment in basic yoga poses and the benefits of each asana. Spinning was great for me because it’s non-impact, gentle on the knees, and an awesome interval workout. The only drawback to spinning, as with most teacher-led classes – the quality of the class depends on the teacher. Spinning in a class where the teacher plays bad music, spins out of rhythm, or screeches, “oh yea you can do it, go, go, go…,” the whole time is so unbearable for me that I’ve left classes to avoid punching the teacher in the face.
As you will come to realize I’m somewhat of a gym avoider, which is easy for me as I’m a spoiled Californian (although San Francisco can get pretty nasty). I do make the occasional gym visit if I feel like ellipticizing or want to get in a treadmill fartlek run – we’ll discuss these bad boys later, but on the whole other than going to yoga, I would rather workout outside a million times more than inside. If you’re stuck inside at work all day, why do you want to go to a humid, moist, sweaty, stuffy, dark gym that smells of stale B.O. and swims with men in cut-off t-shirts watching themselves get swell in the mirror. Baffling. I do understand the convenience of a gym and any exercise is better than none, but I just feel so much fresher and healthier after working out in the fresh air getting rained on by vitamin D.
One of my favorite outdoor workouts…stairs.