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
For someone who’s gotten used to the nonstop sounds of NYC, doing a yoga class in complete silence is, well, a foreign concept. Which is why I was glad to hear that SLT Yoga officially opened their doors in NYC this May. The offspring of Pilates-based SLT (Strengthen Lengthen and Tone) combines Vinyasa yoga with popular tunes to sustain and enhance your energy throughout the hour-long routine. I worked up a sweat while giving my muscles a much-needed stretch session and my mind a feel-good recharge.
SLT co-founder Erin Jacques, who led our class, shared her playlist so you can move to the music on your own mats.
- “Changes“, Tupac
- “Good Day,” Greg Street Presents Nappy Roots
- “What Makes You Beautiful,” One Direction
- “Payphone,” Maroon 5
- “Kush,” Dr. Dre, featuring Snoop Dogg and Akon
- “We Built This City,” Starship
- “Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys
- “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem),” Jay-Z
- “Never Forget You,” Lupe Fiasco, featuring John Legend
- “Your Love,” Nicki Minaj
- “Rocketeer,” Far East Movement
- “Slice,” Five for Fighting
- “Empty,” Ray LaMontagne
Tell us: Do you prefer yoga with complete silence or need a soundtrack to move with?