Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Thanksgiving 2016 Fitness Classes and Workshops – Seattle

I spent a few minutes searching for interesting Thanksgiving Day fitness classes this morning and realized there should be a post about the options.

A few things I noticed:
– The first few which popped up in my search were yoga studio classes/workshops with a focus on being thankful.
– Some of the other studios will be focusing on getting a great work-out before eating a huge meal.
– Many of the studios have picked a non-profit to support and will be hosting a donation-based class/workshop instead of a normal class.

Aditi Yoga & Bodywork (Fremont)
“Join Megan for her 2nd annual special Thanksgiving Day Practice at Aditi. This heart opening slow flow practice will open us up to the energy of the day, welcoming in peace and connecting us with gratitude and thanksgiving. The asana practice will be followed by a long delicious savasana accompanied by a sound bath with crystal singing bowls. Class is all levels.”
When: 9:30am
Cost: Regular class pricing. I found it on ClassPass.
Donation/non-profit: Mom & Baby Benefit Drive (a check or items from their list) for Seattle women’s shelter, Mary’s Place.

Bala Yoga (Kirkland & Fremont)
“Join us for an all levels class in benefit of Yoga Behind Bars – A Seattle based, volunteer powered nonprofit that offers incarcerated people—men, women and youth—the transformative power of yoga as a tool for self-awareness, healing, and a pathway to freedom.”
When: 9:30am in Kirkland and Fremont
Donation: Cash – amount up to you?
Non-profit: Yoga Behind Bars

bFit Bellevue
8:30am Thanksgiving Throwdown
Cost: Regular class pricing? I found it on ClassPass.

Community Fitness – Roosevelt Way
10:45am BodyPump – Thanksgiving Fundraiser
Cost: Not sure. Regular class? Found it on ClassPass!

Corepower Yoga

Eka Yoga (Queen Anne)

FUELHouse (Fremont)
Turkey Day Massacre with Molly – “Every year on Thanksgiving we do one workout as a community. We hope to always maintain this tradition. This year we will be serving up a partner workout that will be very demanding. ”
Cost: Regular class pricing? I found it on ClassPass.

hauteyoga Queen Anne
8:45am Thanksgiving Devotional – “Join Leah for a special 75 minute class on Thanksgiving morning. Give thanks and gratitude for everything we have in our lives, the triumph AND trials. Move through this strong flow, leaving feeling joyful, thankful, and transformed. Start Thanksgiving Day off with your community at hauteyoga Queen Anne!
Cost: $20

Hot Yoga Experience – Issaquah & Sammamish
7:30am Power Class for Thanksgiving
Cost: Looks like a regular class!
ClassPass: Issaquah Studio and Sammamish Studio.

Live Love Flow
9:30am Gratitude Practice (Madison Valley)
9am Gratitude in Motion – PureCycle for Northwest Harvest (Capitol Hill)
10am Gratitude in Motion – Flow  for Northwest Harvest (Capitol Hill)
Donation: $20+
Non-profit: Northwest Harvest
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/249549165443144/

Ritual House of Yoga
9-10:30a Jivamukti Devotional Vinyasa: led by Erika Ramberg
Cost: regular drop-in or membership
11a-12p Donation Vinyasa: led by Aubrey Jenkins
Non-profit: STREET YOGA
Pre-registration is recommended and open online. Email info@ritualhouseseattle.com with any questions.
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1430926886921494/

Sweat Equity (Bellevue)
9am Lose a Turkey Workout
Cost: Regular drop-in or membership. I found it on ClassPass!

Yogabliss (Mercer Island)
Description: Practice of Gratitude – Thanksgiving Day
8am & 9:30am Hot Fusion
8:30am Power Vinyasa
10am Vinyasa
11:30am BlissBarre
Donation: $25+
Non-profit: Mercer Island Youth and Family Services

Xtra Fitness (Bothell)
9am Turkey Bootcamp Special
“Burn those Thanksgiving calories before you ever sit down at the table.”
Cost: Looks like it’s a regular class. I found it on ClassPass!

Know about any others? Please leave a comment, tweet me, or send me an email!

Inna

February 2016 ClassPass Adventures

I still have a couple of days to take classes this week and have a few February classes I really want to write/think about, so that’s where I’m going to start.

What is ClassPass? It’s a fitness studio membership that includes hundreds of studios (in a bunch of different cities/states/countries) instead of just one. You can take as many classes as you want (use the website or app to sign up for classes) but you are limited to three classes per month per studio/brand. Example: Pure Barre has a few studios in the Seattle area and I’m limited to 3 PB classes per month, even if each class is at a different location. I love it because it means my one membership covers three studios next to my apartment and many others that I would normally not visit because I would have to either pay a drop-in fee (ouch!) or keep track of a bunch of passes good for 5-10 classes. Plus, I enjoy learning about different businesses and love that now I get to check out several new-to-me fitness studios every month without having to pay extra for visiting studios in neighborhoods I don’t normally spend time in.

If you’d like to join ClassPass, my Ambassador link makes your first month $25 cheaper! (Click here. :)) If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me (@innab) on Instagram or Twitter.

On to the fun part… class reflections and reviews!

Class: Joe’s Tower Class
Studio: Nancy Wallace Pilates in Bellevue, WA

I love #Pilates so I'm not sure why it took me such a long time to visit @nancy_wallace_pilates (they're next to #BellevueSquare/@bellevuecollection). Finding the studio door took more time than expected because it is somewhat hidden in a parking lot but I eventually spotted it. The receptionist was on the phone when I walked in so the paperwork and stuff also took longer than expected, but the rest of my first visit was good. I've taken a lot of Pilates classes so I was familiar with most of the exercises we did but the routine was definitely more physically challenging than some other more relaxing Pilates classes I've taken recently. #classpass #classpassSEA #classpassSEATTLE #classpassambassador #nancywallacepilates #bellevue #bellevuewa #downtownbellevue #seattlefitness #seattlelife #groupfitness #fitness #yelpseattle #yelpbellevue

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Class: Apparatus Fundamentals
Studio: Kinesia Pilates
Instructor: Christl Marcontell

Thoughts: I discovered this studio several years ago, when they were in a different location in Pioneer Square and I still lived in Seattle. I fell in love with Pilates thanks to my first mat class and started taking their mat Pilates class three times a week. A few months later I was 20 pounds lighter and still in love, but decided to give up my unlimited pass because I was moving from Seattle to Kirkland. In 2014 or 2015 they moved into the Salt Room Yoga studio and I was able to start occasionally taking their classes again because I joined fitmob/ClassPass. In 2016 they got their own space again and I started taking more apparatus classes because they were available and a better fit for my schedule. I still love the classes and Christl is definitely my favorite instructor. I haven’t seen Jordan in several months but also enjoyed her classes because they felt like a challenge but also like a massage. I also occasionally also take Gay’s class and they’re definitely good, but I feel like I click more with the other instructors (and they don’t intimidate me…).
The studio: Their 2016 studio has a retail section in the front, a couple of curtained off changing areas, and a restroom in the back.

Class: Express Group Training
Studio: Serious About Fitness in Redmond, WA

Thoughts: They don’t have group fitness classes but they always manage to kick my butt with the work-outs they have me do. I also get more done than I would going to a gym by myself because there’s a trainer telling me what to do and occasionally checking up on me. I’ve been here twice and they usually have me do some cardio, some weights, and some ab work. The facility has a bathroom, a locker room, and (thankfully) a shower.

Class: Beginner Pole Dancing Workshop
Studio: Divine Movement in Kirkland, WA
Instructor: Suzannah Calvery? Except the scheduled instructor didn’t show up and we had a (wonderful) last-minute person lead the class…

Thoughts: I was in the mood to step outside my comfort zone and try something new, so I was really happy when I spotted this class on the schedule. I have never taken any kind of pole dancing class, however, so I was nervous. I spent a few minutes looking over their (very positive!) Yelp reviews and eventually decided it was definitely time to stop thinking and click the “reserve class” button in the ClassPass app. The beginning of the experience was a bit weird because of the industrial location, the windows you couldn’t look into, and the missing teacher… but thankfully the other instructor who was able to step in at the last minute turned it all around. I loved the ~40-minute Pilates (they called it yoga) style warm-up in the beginning and all the dancing, crawling, etc. we did during the rest of class. It was all very… body positive. Relaxed atmosphere and all that. I was kind of sad when it had to end and I had to leave! I haven’t had a change to take any more of their classes but I am *really* glad they’re on ClassPass and I convinced myself to check out that workshop.

Class: Warm Vinyasa and Yoga Tune Up
Studio: Be One Yoga in Kirkland, WA
Instructor: Thang Nguyen

A bunch of high school students wanted to study with their tutor (aka my sweetie) this evening so I decided to check out a new-to-me #yoga class/studio. I liked both of the evening class options #BeOneYoga had available on @classpass (60-minute warm vinyasa and 90-minute "tune up" pressure point massage yoga, 30-minute break in between) today so I signed up for both. New experience: Staying for the next class at a studio instead of leaving after one class! The classes: I liked getting introduced to a couple new moves in the #vinyasa class (can't remember them now 😔) and enjoyed the class in general. I love that they had cold lavender(?)-scented towels for students at the end of the heated class (handed out during #shavasana to anyone who didn't decline by placing their hand on their chest). The "tune up" class tested my patience (felt bored and wanted to leave every few minutes for 90 minutes) but I am slowly starting to feel the physical benefits of that class. The studio: Nice and clean. I like the women's locker room! Hooray showers. #classpass #classpassSEA #classpassSEATTLE #classpassambassador #yogaclass #yogastudio #kirkland #kirklandwa #seattlefitness #seattlelife #pnwlife #yogalife #k5winter #seattleyoga #kirklandyoga

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Class: Fly 45
Studio: Flywheel Bellevue
Instructor: Mat Koelsch, Asher Dickson

Thoughts: Mat is probably my favorite Flywheel instructor so far but I also recently enjoyed Asher’s class. I looooove Flywheel because it’s really challenging but not as difficult for me as something like running. I love the dark room, the loud music, the instructor guidance. Sometimes I let the instructor guide me and sometimes I do my own thing. Sometimes I walk out exhausted and sometimes I walk out energized. Every time I walk out super sweaty and ready for a shower.
Studio: Big! I love the retail area and frequently check for sales because the items to be pretty expensive. They have 2 showers and I always shower after class.
Bonus: I love their iPhone app! It’s interesting to be able to look at the numbers from my last class and from every other class I’ve taken at Flywheel. So far this is the only ClassPass partner studio app that I’ve downloaded.

Class: Hot Hatha
Studio: We Yoga Co

Thoughts: I don’t know if I’ll ever love Bikram style classes but I love how I feel after. I think the heat has a lot to do with it but the poses are probably also important. The class I took here flew by unusually quickly and left me wanting to take another one soon. Hope I have a good other/second reason to visit the U-District again soon (this time it was a movie screening with Yelp friends).
Studio: Big! Lockers and showers. Adorable studio puppy!! Next to the U-District Trader Joe’s.

Looking forward to checking out some other new classes and studios in March! Looks like the first new experience will be a Vinyasa Flow class at Metier Racing & Coffee

Life Updates! Engaged, ClassPass Ambassador, iPhone 6S, Tahoe.

I guess life got a little bit crazy in September (last post: 9/1)!

The things that come to mind:

1. Nels and I got engaged!!! Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 10.13.11 AM

2. ClassPass asked me to join their new Ambassador team! (Join now and save $25)Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 10.12.30 AM.png

3. I got the new iPhone 6S! This may seem silly but it’s a big thing for someone who loves her phone. ;)

4. Nels and I visited family near Lake Tahoe!Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 10.12.03 AM.png

WHOA!

A lot of other things have happened since, and the biggest is probably the end of my contract with the mobile advertising company that was my main client for the last two and a half years. I’m very thankful for the experience and love the team I worked with, but I feel like the contract ended at the perfect time for me because I’m ready to focus on other projects. Monday, Feb. 29, was my last day and this past week was absolutely crazy. I’m hoping things get a little more peaceful because I wasn’t expecting things to stay at about the same level of crazy when I said good-bye to one of my jobs!

Anyway… a few goals for this blog:

If you’d like to check out what I’m up to today (and chat!), here are a few places where I’m super active: Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat (just started!), and Yelp (mostly check-ins, photos, events… need to start frequently writing reviews again).

fitmob and Classpass!

I’ve been trying to focus much more on health and fitness in recent years, and I think I’ve finally found an exercise program/membership that works for me!

I heard about fitmob and Classpass when they launched in the Seattle area in late 2014 but for some reason didn’t think about them much until late February 2015 (when I decided to pick one and start a trial). I liked that fitmob had a local Instagram account and seemed like a smaller company than Classpass (cool thing if you love helping small businesses and start-ups!), so I decided to create my fitmob account and sign up for a 7am class the next day.

Fitmob didn’t have as many studio partners as Classpass, but it wasn’t a big deal because we had unlimited access to most of the studios (Flywheel had a “once a week” limit). Immediately I set a “five or more classes per week” goal for myself and I am still hitting my goal most weeks. It’s not that hard to reach 5 if you always at least try to find a way to fit 2-3 classes into one day. ;)

I love how fitness class exploration fits so well with my hobby of checking out different local businesses (the Yelp app is one of my favorite apps… and not just because I was a Yelp intern once upon a time!) and posting about them on social media. Also, the location flexibility makes a lot of sense for me because I work remotely and frequently from coffee shops and libraries in different neighborhoods/cities because I don’t want to sit at home all the time (and a few other reasons). It’s easy to take classes next to my apartment early in the morning, but being able to take classes at studios near wherever I happen to be at noon and 5pm make more sense for the rest of the day. It’s also for some reason fun to sneak in a class between work and an event (my favs: tech, start-up, foodie) in whichever neighborhood the event is in! Also, I really like the variety (cycling! HIIT! yoga! different style of yoga! mat pilates! equipment pilates! barre! boot camp! kickboxing!) because it keeps things a bit more interesting.

Other great things…
– The requirement to sign up for classes and the flake/no-show fee actually really help. My (now old) gym had no registration option for classes, so it was much easier for me to talk myself out of waking up early or showing up even if I got home in time to make it to a class.
– I lost 5-10 pounds in my first 1-2 months! This was SUPER exciting because while I’m not close to my goal yet, those were pounds that I had re-gained when I tried the “full-time yoga studio membership” experiment. Pilates 3x a week was so much better for me than yoga 3-5x a week. I haven’t lost much since then, but I haven’t yet done a great job adjusting what and how much I eat/drink. Also, I just recently introduced HIIT and “boot camp” classes.

ANYWAY… the subject mentions Classpass but I said I picked fitmob. What happened? Classpass acquired fitmob a couple months ago and I switched platforms on June 2nd.

How was my first month as a Classpass member? I miss one thing about the fitmob app’s map view, the local Instagram account, and visiting Pure Barre Bellevue ~4 times a week (in part because they were the first to learn my name… feeling of community)… but it was fantastic!! My favorite things: Having access to even more great studios and stalking #classpass on Instagram and Twitter. The “3x a month” studio limit hasn’t been a problem so far because there are so many studio options and I only have so much time to dedicate to classes.

Next post will be about which studios I’ve visited so far. I don’t want to do one post per studio so I’ll probably split them up a bit by location.

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 11.02.14 PM

First class – Bala Yoga in Kirkland, WA

The fitness journey that I don’t really talk about much…

I was just writing my Bala Yoga Yelp review and decided to write a blog post where I can focus more on my thoughts and experiences instead of the studio.

Yoga beginnings: I took my first yoga class at Community Fitness back in 2007 or so. Enjoyed the class and loved the teacher, but I was a college student and probably talked myself out of taking more classes because of the cost or the time required or something. I don’t really remember anymore. In 2009 I found a Groupon deal for an intro class at a different studio (it’s no longer open), so I tried that. It was fine but “life happened” and I didn’t end up making it to the last class in the series (of four?). In 2013 I purchased a class pass for Sutra Yoga because they had a great deal and I lived within walking distance at the time. I enjoyed most of the classes, but let my schedule get in the way again and then moved out of the neighborhood/city.

Late July 2013: I decided to take my first ever Pilates mat class at Kinesia Pilates in Pioneer Square. I loved the first class and ended up deciding to get an unlimited monthly pass. I was determined to stick with it and started attending 2-3 classes per week. By October, I felt pretty great and was down 20-25 pounds. So exciting! In January I got ready to move out of Seattle proper and Pioneer Square got much less convenient, so I stopped taking classes.

March-October 2014: Got a 30-day trial pass and then a 6-month unlimited yoga pass (cheaper per month than the no-contract plan) at Bala Yoga in Kirkland. At first I tried to take yoga classes 4-5 times a week and got pretty frustrated when I would be so tired by the last day that I’d have to spend much of the class in child’s pose. Some days I didn’t make it to the studio because I couldn’t get myself up at 5:30am and then didn’t return home from work/events until after 8pm. The classes were usually pretty emotional for me… plenty moments of: anger, happiness, and calm. It always felt great to reach the end (shavasana!), though, and I usually left the studio feeling happy and satisfied. Quickly learned that sweat wasn’t really great evidence of a great work-out, though: it was a heated room and you could get very sweaty just sitting on your mat. When I got close to the end of my Bala contract, I realized that I really liked the (great) studio, but it wasn’t really lining up with my goals. Evidence: 6 months into yoga, I was 5-10 pounds heavier than when I stopped taking Pilates classes. :(

April 2014: I attended a barre3 Kirkland Yelp event and my legs were super sore for days. May need to do that again!

Spring 2014: Got a deal on a class pass and took a few truBarre classes at The Union Method. I enjoyed how difficult the classes were and the small class size. Didn’t end up continuing because I was already a Bala member and this place was more expensive (because the classes are much smaller?).

Spring 2014: Checked out Embody Health‘s “boot camp” classes. I don’t recommend doing this when you have an unlimited pass anywhere else! ;) I love that they cover nutrition and take before/after photos and measurements. It’s also nice that each session is only 30 minutes because it’s easier to fit them into a busy day. Yoga felt very “healing” after challenging and fast-paced boot camp classes. I was not a fan of lunges and burpees… but mostly I didn’t like that they aren’t up-front about class prices beyond the trial period. When I asked about cost in the beginning, they said it’s a personalized plan and depends on an individual’s needs/goals. When they gave me the cost sheet, I learned that they only really had two options – unlimited month-to-month or a cheaper unlimited pre-paid plan (for 6 months or a year?). They were nice people and it looks like their method works, but I didn’t feel the right fit/connection here like I did with some other businesses/people/methods.

Spring 2014: Downloaded and tested several different free fitness (specifically: step counter) apps on my iPhone 5S. Eventually settled on the Fitbit app and deleted the others. In January (2015) I received the Fitbit Flex in the Popsugar Must Have + Target Special Edition Box (will write a review at some point!), so I started using it instead of the M7 motion-chip that’s in my phone. Side note: Everyone seems to think I’m crazy/odd/confused when I talk about my phone tracking my steps! Anyway… I don’t think I would have made the switch on my own because my phone was doing enough to not make a tracker worth $100+ to me, but it was a great surprise in the (much cheaper) box. I haven’t seen an obvious weight/health difference because of my walking, but I’m happy to know more about my activity and I’m guessing it’s been really good for me to aim for 10,000 steps most days. Best day so far: a little over 26,000 steps! (Another note on that: I work remotely and on my laptop, so I don’t have a commute and my job doesn’t really involve any walking around.)

September 2014: Decided to join Columbia Athletic Club because they’re close to home and have: a swimming pool, group fitness classes (yoga, pilates, zumba, cardio, cycling, and more!), weight training equipment, cardio equipment, a couple hot tubs, a steam room, and a sauna. Plus, they’re open 5am-10:30pm on weekdays, 6am-8pm on weekends. I haven’t quite figured out what I need to get the results I want, but I’m working on it. I’m definitely enjoying having all kinds of options and am pretty sure the steam room helps keep me sane and happy some days. ;)

So that’s basically where I am right now. Didn’t really cover nutrition because I haven’t quite figured out how to speak about that topic yet, but that’s another thing I’m thinking about and frequently discussing with my favorite Chemical Engineer. I recently realized that I don’t drink enough water, so I’ve been aiming for about 100oz a day. I haven’t had the best track record so far (Fitbit app estimates), but I’m drinking much more water than I used to drink.

Parting thoughts: I love being part of a community. I am part of several great communities right now (like the Seattle Yelp community!), but I haven’t quite figured out how to be part of the (local and national) fitness community. Maybe it’s because I don’t yet look like someone who’s really focusing on fitness? Maybe it’s my personality (INFP) and perspective? I don’t know. Bala Yoga members (without saying anything) inspired me to pick up some better fitness clothes (good-bye, old baggy sweatpants and random loose shirts!), so maybe that’ll help. Maybe trying to talk/write/post about it more will also help. Just being someone who is a member and shows up to classes isn’t enough. I really want and need something to “click” already.

Okay. Time for me to get some sleep. Busy week ahead!

Best,
Inna