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 February 12, 2013 at 9:46 am , by Jenna Autuori
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