That that don't kill me, can only make me stronger. I need you to hurry up now, cause I can't wait much longer. Kanye West, Stronger

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bikram or Bust

I still haven't gotten to try Bikram. For the last three days, I have been making excuses (some legit, some not so much) for why I couldn't go, but tomorrow is the day!

I am excited to finally give it a try! Right now I am to yoga what Elizabeth Gilbert is to meditation. I want to like it, I try to like it, but I often find myself wandering off and missing the whole point. However, I think the intensity of Bikram might be right up my alley. Just for a quick wrap I did enjoy the three classes I took at Laughing Lotus. I highly recommend Edward as an instructor. He would be like, "exhale into chutarunga", you know if you're into that sort of thing." Plus they have great tea and Newman's cookies waiting for you after class.

I have noticed a bunch of yoga studios have a 30 day challenge, where you sign up to attend 30 days of classes in a row. I don't think I could manage to find time every day to go to a scheduled class. Has anyone tried it?

There seems to be a surge in articles about Yoga for Weight Loss this month.

Women's Health has an at home yoga workout, check out Om Alone

Fitness magazine has a yoga for weight loss online video. I tried it out. It was pretty fun and easy to follow, although an hour is too long for my computer to last for online videos. If you can't view it you might have to sign in first, so try this link.

Short on time? Try the Women's health Fry Fat on the Mat workout: Crush Calories with heart-revving yoga.

The debate seems to be out on whether yoga is effective for weight-loss. I mean I think Gwyneth's great genes and personal macrobiotic chef had as much to do with her figure as Jivamukti, but who knows.

While I may totally get the yoga thing yet, I do like feeling long and limber. It seems to balance my mood quite nicely--and that's worth more than a few pounds + or -.

In honor of Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I would like to encourage people have dialogue on the comments this week. If you need support or have questions or a loved one suffering from an ED or you just find yourself spending too much time worrying about food or weight, we are all here to help. Also please check out my link on the right to Geneen Roth's articles.


Sam said...

Hi, on Kath's blog someone mentioned ipod fitness. Have you ever done on of those type of workouts....I think there is another company too. I am not really familar with them and whether they are actually good or not, but I figured you would be the person to ask :)

Also, do you have a favorite snack bar? Like the gnu bars, nectar bars, etc. Can't wait to hear your take on yoga. Do you think it is sufficient for strength training?

Rebecca said...

What is the gym card or pass you have mentioned? Is that something you think other cities have?

Melissa said...

Hi Sam!

Several of my friend's love podrunner which is a free music subscription on itunes. Just type in podrunner to the search and it is DJ Steve Boyett. I haven't tried them because they seem a little techno for me, but they are FREE! They are now doing an interval series.

My favorite itunes workout is Master the Treadmill with OKGO. I love it.

In the new Shape, Ali Larter says she swears by the Nike+ Original run. It looked pretty good.

I have a lot to say about my Bikram experience, so as soon as I have time to post about it I will. I don't think it was enough for strength training, although I find certain isometric based classes such as Cardio Barre, Physique 57 and Core Fusion are.

Snack bar fav's

Lara Cherry Pie! Then Apple Pie and then Chocolate Mole.

GNU Cinnamon Raisin and Chocolate Brownie

Kashi TLC Chewy Peanut Butter!

Finally, Kashi Crunchy Chocolate Caramel.

Melissa said...

Hi Rebecca,

It is called the Fitness/Yoga/Pilates Passbook. It is put out by the American Health and Fitness Alliance. It is the greatest deal ever and offered in NYC, Chicago, Houston and LA. Here is the website:

Rebecca said...

Thanks......unfortunately, I am not in any of those cities but it sounds like an amazing deal!

I am thinking of either getting shape or real simple, I know they are not related. I tried self and found it to be kinda fluff. Do you like Shape? Or is it similar to self? I also heard real simple isn't that great either :(

Melissa said...

Hi Rebecca,

First off let me say that I am OBSESSED with magazines! I probably have at least 200 in my room right now, and I try to recycle regularly. If I had time, I would spend hours curled up in Barnes and Nobles just reading magazines. (I was a print journalism major with a concentration in magazines. I also had a major in history (concentrations spanish and colonial american) and minor in English)

I subscribe to lots of magazines because it is so much cheaper than buying them off the newstand. Shape is $4 a pop or about $15 for the year/12 issues.

Back to your question.
Many fitness magazines do overlap and repeat the same info over and over, so it's not necessary to get them all!

As far as health and fitness, I like Women's Health because it is put out by Rodale which takes proper research and reporting very seriously, so I trust their information. Women's Health tends to have less fluff, although lately it seems to be seeping in.

Fitness is also really jammed packed with workouts, playlists, and tips, and I find the workouts are actually possible.

Shape has way too much focus on clothing and beauty products for a health magazine, but it has a celeb focus, if you are into that kind of thing.

Self was my favorite magazine forever. I had the best internship there ever! This issue is one of the best in the last year. So I like Self. It is about an all over healthy lifestyle, mind, body and soul, and happiness.

I never could get into Real Simple. I am more of a ReadyMade kind of girl. ReadyMade has nothing to do with health. I actually prefer Good Housekeeping to Real Simple, sometimes I am an old soul.

Here is what I subscribe to:

New York Magazine
Time Out New York
The Economist
Women's Health

My roommates get: Martha Stewart Living, Vogue, Details, Entertainment Weekly, GQ and W.

I have totally weaned myself off of all the tabloids--Life and Style, etc. So if anyone is addicted it is possible.

Rebecca said...

Thanks so much :)

In the post where you showed the food you ate you said that you wouldn't mind if a reader sent you an email about a few nutritional things (I realize you are not an rd, but you seem to have a good and realistic take on things). Could I get your email address? I won't have time to send anything until later today because I am about to run off to class. Have a good day!

Jill said...

Hi, I was reading some of your older reviews- the one about physique 57. That does look like a really really difficult workout (I watched their websites video clip). Two questions, it looks like the type of exercise that if you are not in very good shape and flexible it won't benefit you because you won't be able to do most of the moves. It also looks hard on the joints?

Second question is, I don't have a core fusion or physique 57 in a city near me. Are these classes similar to calisthenics? I have always resisted calisthenics because the videos look boring. Thanks!

Melissa said...


Since you don't live in NYC, I will start out by saying that it is based on the Lotte Burke method, so you can find her videos and possibly Lotte Burke inspired classes than will be similar.

Physique is the hardest workout I have ever done. I would suggest that people truly out of shape try the Mat 57 class first. The studio requires that you take the beginner level 5 times before moving on, so if you want to challenge yourself you can start with the Physique 57 class.

Despite the intensity, it is not hard on the joints at all, although flexibility is necessary for some moves. After a few classes things get better.

It is isometrically based, so it is very high-paced plies and squats and very unique ab exercises. It combines strength, ballet and pilates using weights and resistance balls set to really fast music. Nothing boring about it!

I believe Cardio Barre is similiar and you can purchase the dvd at

An instructor at Physique also has a video called Balocity out, which is available online.

Melissa said...

Hi Rebecca,

I created a gmail account, so that readers can email me at

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