An earlier titled post (When It’s the End of an Era) might have been an exaggeration, but this one is no lie. Last week, I purchased a Living Social deal that made my last two weeks in town significantly better: 10 fitness classes for $29. Now, that might not sound too exciting to you, but it should if you’re interested in fitness at all. My interest was peaked when I first saw the deal because I’ve been wanting to try yoga classes at a studio for awhile now. But after attending my first class, I realized just how spectacular (again, no exaggeration) this deal was/studio is. Of my own free will, I think that the studio deserves all the praise it can get, so I’ll include specific details about it as you read on.
This Living Social deal was for classes at Dynamic Body, a studio with two locations in Springfield, Missouri. The main location is pretty small and easy to miss, as it’s located off a very busy road in one of many shopping centers. All of the classes I attended were held at this location. But, for certain classes, Dynamic Body also has a second location: it is shared with Dynamic Earth beside MaMa Jean’s Natural Market (my favorite local health food store).
Dynamic Body offers a variety of classes on a fairly regular schedule: five kinds of yoga, barre, tai chi, dance, Pilates, and TRX. Because I was mostly interested in experiencing the yoga classes, the bulk of my 10 discounted classes were yoga. I also took two barre (ballet-inspired) classes. (Teri at A Foodie Stays Fit has written a really helpful post about her first ever barre class, and you can read it here.)
The first class I took at Dynamic Body was actually a barre class. I went to the 5:45 PM class (I also went to a 6 AM class with Jodi), and despite leaving 30 minutes early, the combination of rain, rush hour traffic, and my getting lost made me a few minutes late to class. Here’s where my first bit of praise comes in: I called the studio and spoke to a really helpful receptionist who gave great directions and assured me that I didn’t need to worry at all because the class hadn’t started yet. (I’ve since learned the classes tend to start 5-7 minutes late, which is pretty helpful considering the constant traffic!) When I finally made it, the receptionist was just as friendly in person as she had been on the phone and helped me quickly fill out the first-timer forms and get situated in class. Jodi, the instructor, was just as friendly and made me feel really comfortable. The class was small – only three other girls my age (we were all there on the Living Social deal!) – which proved to be a really great experience because Jodi could help us with our form individually when necessary.
The class was very similar to Teri’s first barre class: core work, arm work, and leg work. We used a small, squishy ball (for thigh work), two small, weighted balls (for upper arm work), and two light weights (for upper and lower arm work). Let me tell you, barre classes are not easy! The reason why the weights are so light (.5-5 pounds – I used 2 pounds) is because there are so many repetitions in movement that your muscles start to burn even with 1-pound weights. But, as Teri writes, just when I thought I couldn’t keep going, Jodi would have us switch movements so that we could keep going. She also played great, energizing music, which really helped me keep going and have fun at the same time. I was definitely sweaty and sore after this class! In all honesty, if I could go to a barre class 2-3 times a week, I really think I’d easily get the kind of fit swimsuit body people go crazy about this time of year.
I also took a number of yoga classes with different instructors. My favorite was the Dynamic Yoga class (8 AM and 4 PM) with Kellie. These classes tended to be small – four to five people – and were pretty difficult for me since I don’t usually practice yoga. Kellie teaches one-hour flow, or vinyasa, yoga classes and is also super friendly and willing to help with individual form. She regularly offers modifications to the poses so that you can adjust what you’re doing according to skill level and desired challenge. She is also very intentional about cultivating what I consider to be a “yoga” mindset/attitude in the room: peace and solitude. As I learned throughout the course of my time at Dynamic Body, your body has days when it’s super flexible and days when it’s just not at all, so sometimes Kellie’s class had me dripping sweat, and sometimes it didn’t. Regardless, it was always challenging and, surprisingly, tended to make me sorer than the barre classes – but I also always left with a smile, lots of calm, and high energy. (Then I’d crash an hour later – ha!) I also tried a mixed-level yoga class, which was not my favorite. They were good classes and helpful, definitely, but I personally preferred the challenge of Kellie’s classes.
This might sound silly, but I am honestly very, very sad to have only discovered Dynamic Body during my last two weeks in town. I think that if I had discovered it earlier, I would have coughed up the money required for a membership and would be much more fit right now. All that to say, now I know that I love the energy that comes from group fitness classes, and I love barre and yoga classes! Hopefully I’ll be able to live somewhere with a local studio when I return from Thailand. 🙂
PS. If you live in Springfield, I definitely recommend that you try a few classes at Dynamic Body! I think that you can get a one-day pass for $15 if you don’t want to commit to a membership right away. The instructors and receptionists are so friendly, and it seems like the studio has a great community atmosphere once you start becoming a little more regular. Plus, it smells great! (Seriously, I felt like I was walking into a spa every time I walked in.) So, go. You’ll be pleased :).