Ok, so you may not think that 2 of my three places would be considered “zen inducing” – but bear with me, it’s about how it makes you feel either in it, after it, and in daily life.
It’s still New Year, a lot of us are on a commitment of some better habits and practices, healthy choices and good intentions. The key is of course, something that will last and not fade away after the initial new year’s motivation. Austin is full of amazing yoga studios and boutique workout places, and they are getting more and more niche and creative – there will be something you and you and you will find and love.
For me, think I’ve found the trifecta, the 3 forms of movement that I feel like I can do long term (and yes I use the word movement rather than exercise, I like the sound of it better, it’s more loving and gentle sounding, like something I would LIKE to do daily). It also helps that all three of these places are with an 11 minute drive from my home and happen to be about 2 minutes or less from each other. And yes, they are all in South Austin.
1. Sukha Yoga
– if you know me at all you know that yoga is my life, my passion, and my balm that gets me through so much. Yoga is plentiful and diverse and there is truly something for all. When I moved to South Austin 3 years ago I needed to find a new yoga “home”. Sukha had been on my radar with a good reputation and gorgeous website. I happened to be introduced to Liz Vartanian one day at a coffee shop and learned that she taught the restorative yoga classes there, I went one night, was delighted with the whimsical eye candy of the studio, left with glitter on my forehead and a new crystal and the rest, as they say, is history. I quickly tried the other classes and found that even I loved every teacher and every class. The owners Mark & Erinn have cultivated a true zen den and loving culture here. Do not miss their classes. The vibe is a beautiful entwinement of creatively structured classes, modifications for every level, yogic philosophy and wisdom, and the delicious cherry on top of the teachers starting and ending each class with the rich sound of the harmonium (google it) and the gift of a mantra to chant as a class. It’s hard to explain, you must try it. They have now opened a second location in East Austin on E 11th so if South Lamar isn’t your jam then try the cute eastside location.
2. FIT Austin
– do you even HIIT? I’ve known the benefits of high intensity interval training for a while and even dabbled in it several long years ago. Frankly, in the past couple of years it has intimidated me as seeming too intense. I tried it at home but then it maybe wasn’t intense enough? or the motivation was lacking. I love a group workout but am not into joining a big gym. Along comes FIT Austin. If it hadn’t been for a friend that told me about it and assured me that all levels were welcome and all workouts scaleable, I would not have given this place a second thought. I’m SO glad I did. It’s a small studio with all group classes that last 45 minutes, that’s a huge bonus IMHO. Every day is different, it’s a full-body workout, it’s fun and doable. The owners Lateef & Jen have created such a community, you want to hang out after with all your peeps and chat. All the trainers are so nice and are highly skilled, they will offer you any modification you may need, with a smile and never a feeling that you are not good enough. That feeling of inclusivity is so important to me in the fitness world. I highly encourage you to check out this gym if you need some motivation to break a sweat and build some muscle. I will see you there!
3. Finally and this is the surprise to me element. The Barre Code
. I’ve taken barre classes before and have always sort of love hated, but never found a groove or location to keep me going. Enter the Barre code. The south location is spitting distance from Sukha and FIT and I was feeling the need to switch things up. I’m a gemini, what can I say, I need constant variety. Personally I through in just one, maybe two barre classes in a week. Barre is so weird, when I’m in the class there are moments where I can’t believe I’m doing this…it’s like the hardest thing EVER and I feel like I will never make it, then suddenly it’s over and I feel like the baddest badass there ever was and cannot wait to go back. Do they do the Harry Potter Obliviate charm on you or something? Anyway, I love the way it makes my muscles feel, I love that each segment is truly over pretty damn quick, and I love that when you are in the class you can’t really think about anything else and then bam it’s over. Barre Code has other locations and lot’s of different times. I DARE you to try it.
Just to throw in a bonus one that I rarely have time to do I must mention dancing. I love dance classes, from Zumba to hip hop. Places I go for this are Corazon Latino, Balance Dance Studio and Melody Dance Fit and if you are into performing I have to plug Sass n Strut
– I may or may not have performed in public to Prince’s Kiss.
And back to the Zen statement – like I said, these places allow me turn my brain off from work for a while, that’s zen, they make me feel good physically and mentally and improve my entire being. I hope you can find that too.
Another huge plus is that each of these places is within 11 minutes of my house and 1 minute of each other – bonus if I wanted to go nuts and attempt a double.
And in case you are wondering how to pull this off financially – I know that is a huge hurdle. All of these places (and many more) except FIT & Sass n Strut are on Class Pass, so for as little as $10 a month you can studio hop and try a bunch of places.
I would love to hear YOUR fave places to move – and if you want to try any of these places with me, hit me up!! I can take a guest to Sukha with my membership so that one would be free.