les mills bodybalance™ class

I rarely wake up before noon on weekends as sleeping is my #1 hobby. But today, I woke at 9am to attend a Les Mills BODYBALANCE™ class at 10am at the InShape Health Club where I just signed up to be a member. The picture on the left was taken from the official Les Mills website where you can read up more on the various fitness programs you can sign up for.

From the website:

Les Mills BODYBALANCE™ is the Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates workout that leaves you feeling long, strong, centered and calm. It’s your personal time out from the stress and strains of daily life – a 55-minute group exercise-to-music class that enhances your physical and mental well-being.

- Improve your joint flexibility and range of movement
- Increase your core strength
- Improve your cardio-vascular function
- Burn calories
- Reduce your stress levels
- Provide a lasting sense of well-being and calm
- Focus your mind and raise your level of consciousness through controlled breathing

The Hokkien Aeroplane Housemate (HAH) and I were early so she went on the treadmill while I went on the elliptical trainer for 15min while waiting for the class to start. At 10am sharp, about 12-15 people including HAH and myself went into the exercise room and got ready. I had no previous experience in attending any such classes, never did yoga or pilates in my life, and had only recently started exercising again after years of lazing around, hence I was understandably quite nervous and afraid I wouldn't be able to keep up with the instructor.

We first started with some Tai Chi warm up. It was a breeze.

Then we did some simple yoga poses but I didn't really pay attention to the names of these poses. I was focusing more on keeping up with what the instructor was doing although I do remember a pose called the Shiva Salutation mainly because Shiva is one of the recurring summons in the Final Fantasy (VII I think?) game, hehe. I had a bit of difficulty with some of the poses on balances and twists. Once I lost balance and kinda hopped around a bit to regain my balance, which was really embarrassing as all the others in the class seemed to know what they were doing and were all coping very well.

After about 20min or so, it just got tougher and tougher. The swan pose nearly killed me. I swear I could hear my old rusty bones crack and I probably looked more like a fat clumsy duck instead of a graceful swan.

The pilates moves afterwards really placed a great deal of emphasis on the abdominals. This part was manageable and I kept picturing myself regaining my fabulously flat and toned abs while enduring through the moves.

We ended the session with about 5-10min of meditation where all of us laid flat on our yoga mats (HAH and I used my two camping mats instead as we didn't want to invest in proper yoga mats - they are expensive here! - until we are sure we'll be doing this frequently) with our eyes closed and simply rested and did deep controlled breathing against the soothing music in the background.

Controlled, deep and coordinated breathing was an essential part of the entire session. Although some of the difficult moves left me panting a bit (mostly due to the nervousness at trying to keep up), I actually felt relaxed at the end of the class after the meditation. So did HAH. It did take me a while though to stop my mind from wandering to random thoughts like "what should I have for breakfast later?" and "why was my dream last night so bizzare?" and really focus on the breathing.

We enjoyed the session and are likely to attend it regularly from now on. So we will be on the lookout for affordable yoga mats now. Btw, I felt so refreshed after the class today that I went totally crazily hyper during our karaoke session afterwards. Looks like resuming my exercise regime is really energising me eh?

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