Brooklyn Bodyburn’s Second Location: The Sweaty New Fitness Destination

It’s not exactly like I’ve been avoiding going to check out Brooklyn Bodyburn but until it opened in Cobble Hill last week, I’d never made it to a class. The original studio opened in Williamsburg last year to rave reviews but it was a pain to get to from my part of Brooklyn. However, the new studio is super convenient and finally, all of my excuses for not getting my butt over to check out Tracy Carlinksy’s studio flew out of the window.

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The studio is a Lagree Fitness™studio and Tracy was quick to point out that this was NOT a Pilates class…which, I appreciated. The new Cobble Hill studio is equipped with the very latest version of the machine, the M3S, which is the newest, extra large souped-up version of the Megaformer.

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For the opening weekend, the new studio hosted a special Lululemon and friends Bodyburn class. The basics of the workout is that the movements are slow but the transitions are fast and as Tracy went over the M3S at the beginning of class, I could already tell this class was going to be a lot more challenging than I had anticipated –there were a lot of moving parts to contend with!

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I have a bunch of friends who’ve been raving about it and I finally get why. 10 minutes into this class, my muscles were shaking and I was dripping in sweat. Our crew was filled with fitness fiends – CrossFitters, Dancers, Barre addicts and Triathletes and not one of us had an easy time with this one… which was slightly comforting, considering I was dying. Tracy’s cues were spot-on and she gave a lot of hands-on corrections that were really helpful – especially for a class filled with people who had almost no experience on the Megaformers.

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The machine is made up of a large main platform that is spring loaded with two stationary platforms on either end to change how you balance on your weight while making the carriage move. The biggest surprise for me given my experience on the traditional Pilates Reformer, is that on the Megaformer there weren’t any moves where you are on your back – at several points during the class this was a fact that made me very sad. There were planks, pikes and pushups – sometimes with your hand on the stationary platforms, sometimes with your hands out on the moving carriage.

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The twisting pikes were my favorite – awesome and super challenging but I could see getting good at them. The series that made me want to cry, though, was the leg section in the middle. Occasionally, the lunges would be done with the front foot planted on the solid platform and the back foot pushing out the moving carriage to pulse. Then, we ran to the back of the machine so that our front foot was the one pushing out to pulse.

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In both positions, Tracy ran around grabbing our knees to make sure that they were held in the right position and didn’t launch over our toes, which would be a recipe for knee disaster. She was a stickler for form, which I love… but occasionally, as she held my knee, I really wanted to burst out crying because it was so damn hard. At one point, I had to hop off my machine and grab a towel since I thought I was going to slide off the platform because I was so very, very sweaty.  Note to self: next time, grab the towel before heading to the machine!

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The following day, sitting was comically painful. I don’t think I’ve gotten my ass handed to me that badly in a long time… I can’t wait to go back.

 

photos by Eric Stafford, Stafford Sports Media for FBS

THE GOOD, THE BAD &THE UNFORTUNATE OF FREE YOGA

I love Lululemon’s free classes that they offer at all of their locations. In the best cases you find teachers you LOVE and can seek out again, and in the worst cases you spend an hour with a teacher you never, ever want to take again.  The worst cases are still pretty good though, since Lulu uses teachers that someone there has taken and loves. So even if they aren’t your cup of tea, they are almost always pretty solid. OH and yeah, they are FREE. At least during a free bad class I am not spending my whole time being pissed about the money I spent to try someone out. Which leads to this: I hated today’s class at Lululemon Brooklyn.

The Shala Yoga House opened a new yoga studio in Brooklyn, but it is really pricey. It is an offshoot of a beloved Manhattan studio that I had been hearing raves about for years.  So when I heard about the free Ashtanga class lead by Shala BK today at Lulu, I knew I had to go. I love a hard, challenging yoga class and Ashtanga classes always fit that bill, but I knew I was in trouble from the moment this class started. I am not very chant-y. A couple of ohms is totally fine, but much more then that I am just not into. At the very start of this class we were told we were going to start with ohms and a “Call and Response”, all I could think was damn. That Call and Response thing? A Long Sanskrit chant that went on forever. Then when we finally moved into the poses, she did them all with their “proper” names. Ugh. I really don’t do enough yoga to know what a chair pose is, unless you actually say chair pose. Sorry. I am just not yoga cool like that. I hate the wholier-then-thou vibe of thinking that anyone who doesn’t know the proper name just isn’t yogi enough. Luckily, we did every sequence 5 times so I was only clueless for the first pass. The good part though was she did some great really physical corrections – I love having my hips pushed down during downward dog and then in shoulder stand she pulled up my feet allowing me to get into a deeper expression of it then I have ever managed before. So great but then there was more chanting. So MUCH Chanting. Seriously, how do you chant that much in only an hour?? It was a good hard class just not remotely for me. I can see why people love this style of teaching, it makes you feel like a part of something special, however it makes me feel like banging my head against the floor.

After, I meet up with the fella and we went out for a seriously amazing, fresh and cheap burrito! I would have chanted for THAT.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to.