Written on October 23, 2013 at 10:24 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
I’m quite the traditionalist when it comes to practicing yoga—all I need is my mat, my body and a soft-speaking instructor guiding me through postures in an otherwise quiet room. However, Flow Play, a new yoga class from Equinox that matches each yoga posture with musical soundtracks from around the world, helped me experience the mind-body connection of yoga in an entirely new way.
Co-created by Equinox instructor Derek Beres and three-time Grammy nominated musician Philip Steir, Flow Play is designed for yogis of all levels—especially those looking for a new style of practice. The class takes recent psychological research about the deep connection between listening to music and the body’s physical movement and brings it to life. Each song selected for particular postures helps students focus more purposefully on their pose and elicit a certain physiological response. Indian sitar music, for example, is proven to lower cortisol levels and inspire a state of relaxation, so the DJ plays these tunes during shavasana and other restful poses. Heavy beats, on the other hand, increase the heart rate and inhibit the body’s pain receptors, helping you push through the more difficult components of a workout (think sprinting to the finish line or lifting your maximum weight). So the DJ matches these more intense sounds with more challenging poses like the Vinyasa flow series or warrior postures.
No two classes are the same, because each instructor creates original series of postures and the DJs adjust their playlists accordingly. Flow Play debuted in select clubs in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas earlier this month, and Equinox will continue expanding the class schedules through early 2014. They offer a Vinyasa class focused on energetic and athletic movements as well as a therapeutic Restore class that opens the joints with deep stretching and full breathing techniques. Are you ready to give this musically inspired yoga class a try?
More from FITNESS:
- Yoga Playlist
- We Tried It: Camp David Outdoor Boot Camp Class
- We Tried It: The Ultimate Fitness Experience Workout
Written on September 5, 2013 at 11:23 am , by Lauren Cardarelli
Ever wish your life were a musical? Like, who wouldn’t want to break out into song after defying gravity in your weight training and every other daily razzle dazzle (maybe a little ditty about food, glorious food? I know that comes to mind every time I dig into a big bowl of gruel—er, oatmeal). OK, maybe it’s just me…
It’s no surprise, though, that research has found music to evoke nostalgia and induce happiness. What better a happy place than Broadway and the memories that go along with it? Just think about last time you cozied into the plush seats, the excitement that builds when the orchestra’s overture starts and the curtain begins to rise. Don’t even get me started on the costumes and intricate set designs. (Squeal!) For all of you theater buffs, a show tunes soundtrack can bring you back to those moments—not to mention power you through a grueling sweat sesh. Toe-tappin’ beats with lyrics weaving together themes of strength, passion and individuality will bring a smile to your face and put a pep in your step—I mean, who wouldn’t want to get moving after reminiscing the incredible choreography from “Newsies,” “Footloose” and the like. That’s why we put together a playbill playlist of some of our favorites in honor of Broadway Week. So go ahead, pop in those earbuds and in the great words of “Funny Girl,” no one can “bring around a cloud to rain on [your] parade.”
Now you tell us: What’s your favorite Broadway musical?
Written on July 31, 2013 at 10:22 am , by Colleen Moody
I’m in the early weeks of training for the ING NYC Marathon in November, but my go-to playlist is already getting a little stale during those long weekend runs. Enter Slacker, a music service you can listen to and personalize on any device. The free subscription allows you to create and listen to stations ranging anywhere from Top 40 tunes to DJ-customized ones that are updated weekly. Slacker also has two subscription levels for even more music. The first allows you to have unlimited skips and the ability to download radio stations for $3.99/month. For $9.99/month you can create your own playlists, listen to full albums (aka never have to buy music again) and–my favorite part–download your own playlist or one that’s already made right to your device. You mean I never have to scroll through my music library and piece together a playlist again? Sold.
To sign up for Slacker visit www.slacker.com. Looking for a playlist boost of your own? Below, Slacker’s in-house music guru DJ Parker shares her favorite new songs that are perfect to work up a sweat to.
Written on June 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Ever dream about hanging with a celebrity trainer every week while you get your sweat on? Now you can – just head to Flywheel Sports and look for Brett Hoebel on the schedule (you watched – in awe, we’re sure – his capoeira skills on season 11 of The Biggest Loser). He’ll be teaching at their Los Angeles studios, and making guest appearances in New York City. We scored seats in his debut ride at Flywheel’s Flatiron studio, and couldn’t stop raving about his crazy beats on our walk back to the office. But you know we’re not the type of girls to keep those tunes all to ourselves, so of course we nabbed the playlist before we left. Now get on a bike, blast each song and prepare for a serious dose of sweat.
Written on May 24, 2013 at 9:08 am , by Samantha Shelton
You’ve heard her name for years, listened to her hit songs and likely watched her as a mentor on season 4 of The Voice. But when she’s not in the public eye, Sheryl Crow is volunteering at local food banks to help the 50 million Americans trying to make ends meet. For the second year, Crow teamed up with Feeding America and One A Day’s Nutrition Mission to fight hunger. We caught up with the busy star to find out how she eats healthy herself (while feeding her kids!) and how you can score a trip to NYC to hang with the music star.
You’ve teamed up again with One A Day for the Nutrition Mission. What keeps you coming back?
I just think it’s such a good program and the last I heard, there are nearly 50 million people in America challenged by food insecurity. With this mission, everyone gets meals three times a day. It seems like the work is never done, and this is just a great, easy way to be a part of helping your community. You just buy a multivatimin, which many people already take, and two meals are donated with each purchase. And if you have a story about volunteering at a local food bank, you can share it at nutritionmission.com for the chance to win a grant for your area, plus a trip to NYC to come hang out with me.
So do you have any fave spots in NYC you might take the winner to then?
When my kids are with me we almost always go to the Museum of Natural History. And Central Park, of course.
So how else can people get involved with the Nutrition Mission?
I think that volunteering at a local food bank is always helpful and very eye-opening. It leaves its mark when you see the kinds of people that come in. It’s not necessarily just homeless people. Oftentimes it’s a mom who has three or four kids, and she works but just can’t make ends meet. One of the problems that we see with food insecurity is that people don’t talk about it; they’re embarrassed. One day I went to school with my little boy, who’s in Pre-K, and we had to go do a morning program. By 9am I was like, “Where’s the snack?” These kids who are affected by food insecurity walk in and haven’t had a good morning meal and by 9 or 10 they really need something. And out of the 50 million people who are affected, 16 million are kids. It’s a problem we can all help with.
Written on September 7, 2012 at 8:41 am , by Karla Walsh
Actress and singer Adrienne Bailon is known for her former role on The Cheetah Girls, for being a founding member of the music group 3LW (remember “Playas Gon’ Play“?) and today for her reality show Empire Girls. Now, in addition to her series that “focuses on friendship and following your dreams rather than fighting,” according to Bailon, she is recording a solo album, working on an upcoming film and is in talks to expand into the fashion world.
Bailon recently teamed up with Lady Foot Locker to celebrate their Fashionably Fit “refresh.” The campaign aims to make stores brighter, cheerier and filled with bolder clothing and different music. We spoke with Bailon before an event in Chicago to find out her top five tips to look stylish while sweating.
- Invest in quality clothing. “You feel better when you look better while exercising. I get inspired to go to the gym if I feel good in my workout clothes.”
- Save time with multitasking wardrobe items. “My go-to outfit is capri pants with a bright top and Nike sneakers. The gym can really feel like a fashion show with the vibrant colors on the racks now! What I love most is that if I make smart fashion choices, I can throw on a hoodie and meet my girls for brunch right after.”
- Aim to be your best you.“My goal is to have the body of my dreams by age 30, but that’s strong and toned, not skinny.”
- Make the most of today. “I get up at 5 a.m. to hit the treadmill and don’t stop working toward my goals—in all areas of life—until I hit the pillow. There are so many things I want to accomplish and I don’t want to have any regrets!”
- Find a role model. “If I could join any other celebrity in the gym, it would be Beyonce. She’s extremely focused, so I know I would try hard to keep up with her. I wouldn’t be messing around with Instagram, that’s for sure! Even when I’m working out solo, her music motivates me.”
Now tell us: What is your favorite fitness outfit?
Written on March 27, 2012 at 9:32 am , by Karla Walsh
When you see Madonna on a talk show this week promoting her new album MDNA (out today!) or during one of the stops on her world tour, which kicks off on May 29, you’ll be checking out moves choreographed by former Broadway dancer Nicole Winhoffer. She appeared in shows like Wicked and 42nd Street, among others, before joining the Material Girl for her Sticky and Sweet Tour in 2009. Winhoffer, who is also a personal trainer, now works in the gym with Madonna six days a week to ensure that she’s ready for her grueling performances.
We caught up with Winhoffer to take a peek behind the scenes and to learn more about how everyone can train just like the amazing 53-year-old pop star!
If our readers could steal one trick from your work with Madonna, what would that be?
Body awareness. One must engage their mind while performing their exercises. Time and time again, I see people reading papers or watching TV while they work out. This might bring about injury and if the mind is not connected to the body, you can’t exert the proper amounts of energy needed to gain the desired results.
You were in Indianapolis to help Madonna prepare for the Super Bowl and are now gearing up to go on tour with her. How do you prepare for each performance?
Right before the show, we warm-up in her dressing room. We complete active hamstring stretch sequences as well as other stretches, ensure joint mobility by performing jumps on the ground and on trampolines and do ab work. As a result, her body is connected, warm and ready for the performance.
Written on February 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is filled with love and joy, and what’s better than showing yourself a little of the good stuff? Fitting in a workout on a holiday is tough, so we’ve got the tunes to get you in the festive spirit while torching those unwanted calories. Download these upbeat tracks today, courtesy of SoulCycle instructor Danny Kopel, and be prepared to immerse yourself in a full-blown love-fest.
- “Always Be My Baby,” Mariah Carey
- “Somebody to Love (House Trip Remix),” Justin Bieber, featuring Usher
- “LoveGame,” Lady Gaga
- “Bad Romance,” Lady Gaga
- “Teenage Dream (DJ MegaMan & Panic City Remix),” Katy Perry
- “Heartbreaker (Wolfgang Gartner Remix),” MSTRKRFT
- “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart,” Alicia Keys
- “Heavy Metal Lover,” Lady Gaga
- “We Found Love,” Rihanna, featuring Calvin Harris
- “I Will Always Love You,” Whitney Houston
Want more SoulCycle? Don’t forget about their SoulSingles ride on Thursday!
Now tell us: What’s your favorite love song?
Written on January 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm , by Karla Walsh
We’re about three full weeks in to the new year—how are your healthy living resolutions going? The folks behind the Meatless Monday campaign, which aim to brand Mondays as healthy in a variety of ways, are determined to keep you health-focused and on track with your resolutions long past January.
Recent research has found that most people view Monday as a fresh start and often vow, on that day, to start a diet, join a gym or put out the cigarettes for good. Plus starting early is a kick in the pants to make healthier choices all week!
So at the start of each week, you can get a new Healthy Monday motivation tip that focuses on a different aspect of health, from tricks to add more variety to your diet to how to create a mood-boosting music playlist.
FITNESS editors are constantly updating our Pinterest page with ideas and inspiration too! Check out our 2012 Fitness Resolutions and Goals board to find out how to achieve anything from learning to surf to getting more comfortable in the kitchen.
Now tell us: How are you doing on your resolutions? Have they become a habit?
Written on October 10, 2011 at 10:21 am , by Samantha Shelton
Have you ever gone to a workout not really in the mood to sweat, but knowing it’s something you need to cross off your to-do list? That’s how I felt Tuesday when I headed to SoulCycle for my weekly spin session. I was excited because it was a themed ride, which are always fun, but after a less-than-stellar weekend, my head wasn’t in the game.
That all changed the moment I walked through the doors of the Union Square studio in New York City. The front desk was decorated with photos of Madonna and the staff was dressed in cute tanks that splashed her name across the front, long pearl necklaces and fingerless black gloves that instantly made me think of the star’s style. The first of many smiles spread across my face and I knew I was in for a wild ride.
MB taught this themed ride and boy, does she know how to get a crowd pumped up! We walked over to our bikes, only to realize we were all gifted with the same tank the staffers were wearing. Score! I instantly changed to channel my inner Material Girl.
A DJ was set up in the corner to keep our tunes flowing, one Madonna chart-topper playing after the next. MB took us through a killer workout, constantly varying between first, second and third positions, tap backs, hills and upper body strength work with light dumbbells. Sweat was dripping down my forearms and my tank was soaked halfway through the class, but the music and energy kept us all going strong!
In the end, we had a little dance party to just embrace the classic tunes of the marvelous musical icon. Everyone expressed themselves (pun intended) in their own unique way and left feeling empowered and invigorated. Not bad when I thought I was going to get a mediocre workout, huh? I should have known better. I never get a mediocre workout when I’m at SoulCycle.
For your Music Monday playlist filled with tunes from the Madonna ride, Read more