What do you get when you blend Vinyasa with a cardio jam sesh? Erin Jacques’ hardcore workout mash-up: SLT Yoga, featured in our Pumped Up Poses Express Workout. Get ready to chaturanga your way to a stronger, leaner bod by incorporating strength training and ploymetric elements into your typical flow!
Fitness has fueled the modern yogi’s career for over fifteen years. After college, Erin landed a job with HBO/Time Warner, spearheading their corporate fitness program. She then moved on to working with Exhale Spa, leading the Core Fusion teacher training and becoming their National Yoga Director. Now, Erin is the cofounder of Manhattan’s first music-focused yoga studio, SLT Yoga (Strengthen, Lengthen and Tunes,) where she created the kick-ass Shred class. Holy sweat! The passionate self-acclaimed part DJ, part marathoner is known for her expertise and dynamic, athletic twist to a spiritual experience. We asked Erin about the best yoga moves for runners, the number one yogi mistake and her motivation secrets. Here’s what the Scrabble-lover had to say…and more!
How did you fall in love with yoga?
I was a competitive runner in college and soon got addicted to marathons. So initially I really needed something to help me stretch, unwind and not be so competitive. I remember I couldn’t even touch my toes.
When did you know that you not only wanted to practice yoga, but teach it as well?
Since I have been in the fitness industry for over 15 years, I always knew yoga would be something I could incorporate into my classes and trainings. So I went ahead and completed the certifications to have that under my belt. As I got deeper into my yoga practice, I wanted to broaden my “knowledge” of the practice. I was living in Birmingham, Michigan and studied under Jonny Kest. I actually resisted teaching “yoga” for a while because I selfishly didn’t want it to interfere with my practice. [NOTE: Jonny is the founder of Michigan-based Center for Yoga known for a compassionate, disciplined teaching style.]
Why should we be combining yoga moves with fast-paced cardio routines or bursts?
I have been teaching classes since when STEP aerobics was HOT. I have always been fascinated by how the body moves and realizing it doesn’t take much to get the heart rate up…using ones body as resistance, incorporating an emphasis on breath and creating certain sequences (choreographing) is essentially what yoga is. So why can’t we use yoga poses and moves to build up a nice cardio pace using breath to heat up the body and weights as added resistance to boost the intensity of a class? We can! Read more
It’s hard to stay on top of all the fitness trends out on the market these days, especially here in NYC. But when we heard about the latest studio to open up, SLT (Strengthen, Lengthen, and Tone) we had to test the hybrid routine out. Started by fitness fanatic and co-founder of Vital Juice Amanda Freeman, the 50-minute class does exactly what it says it does— strengthens, lengthens, and tones. Incorporating a mix of Pilates, cardio, and strength training, the entire class is done on a Megaformer (a jazzed up version of a Pilates’ Reformer) to give you a full body burn that will actually make your muscles shake.
Classes are small, with a max capacity of ten students (for those feeling lazy be warned—slacking off is not an option!). Using resistance bands for your legs and arms and counter-resistant springs to target your core, moves are done in slow and controlled motions to elongate muscles, boost metabolism, and burn more fat. For those who love Pilates but leave class feeling like they need a little more oomph in their workout, this routine is for you. So far SLT is only available in NYC, but the fitness program it follows, SPX, is available nationwide. Non-New Yorkers should visit spxfitness.com for more information on the program.
SLT is located on 37 West 57th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues.). For more information and a class schedule, visit sltnyc.com.