Non-Running Workouts in Boston

Next weekend is the Boston Marathon which is awesome if you’re a runner or like eating brunch while watching people run. Boston becomes overtaken by marathon craziness during the month of April, but Boston has a lot more to offer than just pounding the pavement.

So what’s there to do if running along the Charles sounds like torture? Here are some of my favorite non-running workouts in Boston.

FlyBarre

The great minds and bodies at FlyWheel Sports have recently brought FlyBarre classes to Boston’s FlyWheel studio in Back Bay’s Prudential Center.

I had the opportunity (hosted) to try out one of these high energy classes and it kicked my butt! FlyBarre classes are a blend of light weight training and core exercises wrapped together in relatively easy-to-follow dance moves that, coupled with the smile and enthusiasm of the instructors, makes the 45 or 60 minute class fly by. You’ll almost forget how hard you worked…until the ab soreness kicks in the next day!

flybarre boston back bay

Photo courtesy FlyWheel Sports

Back Bay Yoga

Yoga is my all time favorite exercise and Back Bay Yoga is my favorite studio in Boston. Aside from the fact that it’s close to my apartment, the awesome teachers like Renee LaBlanc and Caitlyn Graham Visconte will have you sweating your way to zen for an hour and a half. Yoga is my go-to for non-weight training workouts.

Back Bay yoga classes

Image credit Back Bay Yoga

Be Gritsy

If you want to get out of a studio, check out Be Gritsy. The movement teams up with Boston fitness instructors to create out of studio experiences around the city. With yoga, bootcamp, and some (ugh) running thrown in for good measure, Be Gritsy classes pop up all year throughout different locations in Boston.

be gritsy boston

Photo credit Be Gritsy

So if you’re looking for something to do other than running in circles pretending you’re Shalane Flanagan, check out these awesome non-running workouts in Boston.

Boston Yoga Mala

This weekend I did something insanely awesome – I went to a Yoga Mala. The first annual Boston Yoga Mala at the Boston Button Factory.

boston yoga mala

For those unfamiliar, a yoga mala is something crazy people do 108 sun salutations performed in a group. Yoga malas are done all over the world, often coinciding with the changing of the seasons. This yoga mala was for the Spring Equinox. While most normal people were getting their Easter baskets ready, I spent a casual 3 hours doing back bends, downward dogs, and yogi push ups. No biggie.

sun salutation a and b

Source: yogafoundations.com

Until a few months ago, I had never heard of a yoga mala. As far as I’m aware, Boston has never had a yoga mala before – at least not one independent from a yoga studio. Carrie Bresnick, a Boston area native, set out to change that.

Having spent a few years in hippy crunchy Los Angeles where she participated in yoga malas, Bresnick had a vision to host a yoga mala back in her hometown. An idea quickly turned into a Facebook page with invitations sent to friends, family, and anyone in town who had posted a selfie on a yoga mat on Facebook. Obviously, an invitation to the Boston Yoga Mala Facebook Page showed up in my notifications.

Likely caught after an inspiring yoga class or on a caffeine high, I signed up, blissfully ignorant to how strenuous yet transformative a yoga mala could be. Someone who puts 108% of herself into everything, I took the idea of a yoga mala in stride, assuming at best it would be awesome and at worst I’d get a good workout. So…how was it?

The Boston Yoga Mala was great! Despite the fact that my arms are so sore that I’m struggling to type, I would do it again. Set in the awesomely historic Boston Button Factory, Bresnick’s first hosted yoga mala was a success. The turnout was good for an inaugural event – about 20 participants.

boston yoga mala

Upon entering the Boston Button Factory, Bresnick greeted everyone with a warm smile, a bottle of water, and a small towel. The mala was co-led by Bresnick and Paula Passanisi, a forest yoga instructor from the The Yoga Joy Studio, in Gloucester. The 108 sun salutations were a mix of versions A and B, making the flow interesting and challenging.

Broken into 12 sets of 9 rounds of salutations, Bresnick and Passanisi gave participants an intention for each set. Intentions give you something to focus on during your practice – a friendly reminder of why you’re on your mat, what brought you to it, and what you hope to get out of the practice.

After almost 3 hours, we had completed 108 sun salutations at the Boston Yoga Mala and welcomed in the Spring…or at least the balmy 30 degree weather known as Spring in Boston. Although I’m sore, it was an amazing experience that I’m looking forward to doing again. Bresnick has plans to  host more yoga malas in the future – likely once a season. If you’re into yoga and challenging yourself, keep an eye out for events.

Namaste.

I’m Not a Marathon Runner

Woohoo, it’s Spring! Which can only mean one thing in Boston–people are running!  Marathon aside, this city has more freaking runners than I’ve ever seen.  However, considering it’s two weeks before the Boston Marathon, there are even more runners, or people being inspired to run, all over the city.  Present company included.  Yesterday, I got my butt off the couch and decided to lace up my dusty sneakers and put one foot in front of the other.
It also hit a balmy 50 degrees so I broke out the one t-shirt that Lululemon makes that doesn’t show off any boob and headed out to pound the pavement.  However, since 50 degrees isn’t t-shirt weather and I’m as stubborn as a mule who didn’t want to go back inside and change, I was freezing…but took a selfie anyway to prove that I went running, damnit!

Look at me, so happy and freezing…rocking a camo hat like a badass in my snooty neighborhood!  But I ran, see?  Proof!

This resulted in my first run of the season feeling like death.  Cold, slow, feeling like I was going to pass out yet being lapped by everyone else out there tapering for the marathon.  I felt my lungs start to burn halfway through my 1 mile run.  With every step my legs scorned me, “fat ass…screw you…stop eating…gonna die…so tired…please walk…no really…just walk”.  I tasted blood from my hemorrhaging lungs and ran the fastest 12 minute mile I’ve ever run.  
It’s probably a good thing I’m not dramatic because then you wouldn’t believe that I spent the next hour coughing like I’m some anti-vaxing tree hugger with pertussis.  Strangely enough these were the same symptoms that plagued me when I sprinted 5 blocks two weeks ago and has led me to believe that Dr. Google is always right and that I either have exercised-induced asthma, cancer, or a fat ass.
So…happy Spring!  Happy running season! Happy almost Marathon weekend! If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in the yoga studio stretching the shin splints I undoubtedly gave myself.

my butt better look good in a bikini

So I’ve been on a bit of an athletic kick lately. More like an, I finally found some workout clothes that hide my cellulite and I’m rejoicing by sweatin’ to the oldies like a wildebeest, kick. Same difference.
Accordingly, I spent the majority of this weekend being active.  It was awesome, but if I don’t have a Brazilian model’s butt by the time bikini season rolls around I might have a nervous breakdown. Kidding, sort of.
Last week was rough and by Friday afternoon I was in a craptastic mood.  I needed some cheering up and some time for myself so I signed up for an hour and a half class at Back Bay Yoga. It was a Vinyasa class, was awesome and got me out of my funk.
I was happy to go to bed lighter because I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning for a winter adventure with my girlfriends from law school.  We had decided to do something different and since none of us are great skiers and one of us (cough cough, me) has cadaver where her ACL should be, we opted for a more low key winter sport–snowshoeing.  There’s a cross country (aka Nordic) skiing and snowshoe track in Weston, aptly named the Weston Ski Track, which is only a few minutes outside of Boston.  We piled into the car with enough gear for a weekend in the mountains and drove 15 minutes to a golf course covered in snow.  Literally.
We snowshoed our way along the Coyote Trail, which was thankfully lacking in coyotes.  Snowshoeing is a loud activity, with all of the crunching of snow, but we’re a loud bunch and were able to catch up telling stories and laughing and likely annoying anyone who was out there for a peaceful day on the track. I also invented snowshoe yoga (patent pending).

By Saturday evening my legs were aching so I turned in early because Sunday was another early day of exercise!
I’ve posted about Sweetgreen Passport classes that my friend Lisa and I greedily sign up for every time a new one comes out.  Sunday was no exception, as we joined 6 other people for a free yoga class at OMBE Yoga in Back Bay.  I’d never been there and the class was great. The instructor helped me get into my first wheel pose, which was super exciting.  Since then I’ve done it once in another class–go me!  It turns out a wheel pose is just like those back bends we used to go in elementary school, just slower, because now we’re old and things don’t bend how they used to.
After class, Rachel, our Sweetgreen ambassador took us back to the restaurant for soup samples and embarrassing photos.  Search Twitter for one of me looking souper (haha, get it?) awkward holding up soup for a picture.

I took advantage of being at Sweetgreen to have my first and last salad of the month.  I keep trying but they’re just not my thing–unless they’re at Sweetgreen.  I chowed down on the Chic P salad, which was amazeballs. Yes, this is what I look like while eating salad and why I’d never order one on a date. That, and because dudes like girls who eat burgers…and because I like burgers.

In continuation of my weekend of moving around, I walked to Cambridge for my intramural volleyball league then played 8 games of volleyball.  My arms are bruised and my legs are sore but I think we won some games (apparently we keep score?).   And now I’m beat.  

things i shouldn’t admit on the internet

Lately I’ve felt uninspired to post.  I do the whole go to work, pretend to go to the gym, grab drinks with friends, and spend too many weekends on the couch wasting time on the internet thing.  Life is routine, but not boring, but still seemingly not interesting enough to write about.  As such, I thought of none other than a post about things that I probably shouldn’t admit on the internet.

I’m horrible at laundry.
I have a coin operated washer and dryer, little time despite the aforementioned time wasted on the couch surfing the internet, and I’m too cheap to pay for a Laundry Service. I have about 85 pairs of underwear, no joke, so I usually wait until I’m down to 30 pairs before deciding to do laundry.  When I finally get around to doing laundry, I leave it in a pile on my chair for weeks until I’m looking for something I washed a month ago.  Enter Downy Winkle Release.  It makes clothes fresh in a snap and eliminates the need for ironing.  Aside from mascara, it’s probably my favorite product.  
My favorite shoes are from Payless.
These shoes took off this year and were deemed as “The Most Comfortable Flat Ever” by cheap people everywhere.  They’re also the smelliest shoes ever, but that part isn’t as well advertised.
I will never do this workout. 
But I will pin the crap out of it so that people think I will…or in case one day I miraculously find 4 minutes to jump around like an idiot in the privacy of my own home.  Which will probably be tomorrow because now I just admitted that I’m a lazy bum who can’t devote 4 minutes to cardio.  I will also never look like this, but most people won’t so I’m ok with that one.

I dislike cats.
Sorry cat lovers.  I’ll still be entertained by gifs and pathetic cats wearing sweaters, but as pets, they’re just not for me.  I realize this is Internet Taboo 101 because “zomg! squee! cats!” but it’s not like I’m signing up to kick a kitten or anything.  Chill out.
I own a Snuggie.
Not just any Snuggie, it’s a Real Tree camouflage Snuggie.  It wasn’t a gift either.  I bought this puppy myself, because I wanted it…and I think it’s awesome.
My friends think I need help.
If you’ve read this post in its entirety, you’re probably one of them.