“Do you like to dancey-dance? Yes, I wore my party pants.”
-German Sparkle Party, by the Something Experience
We know many people around Canada have body art of some sort. However, this bodyART has nothing to do with your tattoos. It’s a workout that celebrates the body as if it were a piece of art.
Confused? Stay with us. This workout has been trending in New York and Europe for years, but it has just made its way to Canada. After a particularly sweaty session, one participant declared: “I can’t wait to see people’s reactions when they discover this! It is amazing!”
Created by Robert Steinbecker, a gymnast and dancer from Switzerland, you don’t need shoes for this workout but you will want your yoga mat. Here’s what else you need to know:
1. There are yoga elements, but this isn’t yoga. Some of the stretches may look a little familiar, but there are massive deviations, such as the fact that you don’t ever fold over your legs with straight legs. You’ll also be moving at a much faster pace than any vinyasa class. Plus, at some point of the class you’ll be saying sayonara to your yoga mat so you can move more freely.
2. This class is about extending your energy. Whether it’s a power cardio move or a dance-inspired arm motion, you’re to keep fluid, extended lines in your body. This intention makes grueling exercises like squats and pushups seem (almost) meditative.
3. It’s all about the music. With Steinbecker behind the whole enterprise, Europop isn’t out of the equation but expect great bass and drums to propel you into everything from African inspired dance moves to squats with Latin flavour. Even savasana may have a little jazz (and with this workout, you’ll be glad for the final relaxation).
4. Some of the moves aren’t pleasant for sensitive knees. There’s a movement that goes from wide-kneed child’s pose into small backbend, keeping the knees wide. Either put your knees closer together or double up on your mats if you think your joints will be unimpressed.
5. Wait for the 2-minute segments. You’ll be given an exercise to do for 2 minutes and then you’ll freeze a movement for 30 seconds. From plank mountain climbers to standing twists, the motions match the music and they are hard. Take it down a notch if you need to, especially when you’re just getting started. Prepare to feel the burn and get your heart rate up.
BodyART will be available at Moksha Yoga Uptown in Toronto by this September. Stay tuned for other Canada-wide locations!