I haven’t had a gym membership in eight months, but I workout every day. By doing what I call the “Groupon Gym Diet,” I’m able to mix up my workouts—10 Crossfit classes, 10 spinning classes, 10 Zumba classes, 10 Pilates classes ... you get the idea. I use them interchangeably so my weekday workouts are rarely repeated twice. I don’t know if I’m saving money, but I love the variety.
My latest daily deal conquest is something I’ve been searching for in our area for some time: suspension yoga. I tried the similar anti-gravity yoga (aka aerial yoga), in New York and loved it. Using the antigravity hammock is surprisingly easy. If you don’t believe me, there’s a YouTube video of Sherri Shepherd’s pre-Dancing with the Stars body using it with ease on “The View.” But what’s great about suspension yoga is that the hammock has handles for your hands and feet, allowing for greater tension and more access to fun poses. It’s the best kind of workout; one that’s challenging, yet playful.
Teacher Heidi Decher has been practicing yoga for more than 15 years and is a big fan of the suspension method. She says that it provides all the traditional health benefits of yoga with some added advantages. “There are so many health benefits, like improved brain function and blood circulation, simulation of the lymphatic system, and improved immune and digestive functions, just to name a few,” Decher says. “Spinal traction helps with realignment and spinal mobility, all of which helps strengthen the nervous system. When the spine is healthy, strong, and supple, the rest of the body will function properly.”
This form of yoga is particularly helpful for people that sit at a desk all day because decompression of the spine helps alleviate back pain. Decher’s class starts with a gentle sun salutation, then moves into stretching and strengthening followed by inversions, which include forward bends, back bends and balancing postures. She uses many familiar yoga poses that are adapted to the swing. “I follow specific sequencing as in traditional yoga, but change postures within the sequence to keep variety and interest,” she says.
Decher teaches at 31 Ten Fitness and Pilates (3114 N. Federal Highway; 954/532-3497; 31tenfitnessandpilates.com) in Lighthouse Point. New classes will be added to the schedule in the coming weeks. Visit the website or call for prices, specials and more information.