By Amanda Zurita
Wondering where to shape up in Seattle? Our wedding workouts series tests out some of the city’s hottest (and hardest) fitness classes.
For the month of March we’ve paired up with ClassPass, a new service offering an unlimited selection of fitness classes at over 40 studios in the Seattle area for $79 to $99 per month. And we’re definitely easing into our first four weeks. With so many options to choose from, we tested out a couple new yoga offerings before diving into kettlebell courses or any killer Crossfit.
Admittedly, yoga is not a calorie-torching, boot-camp level workout regime—but when it comes to the frenzy around wedding planning and just everyday stress, the calming effects of an hour-long yoga session can’t be beat. Two of the city’s newest options, Levitas Studio and Strala Seattle, both offer upper-level classes that focus on toning and strength training. Combine those with a little cardio and you’ll end up healthy, svelte, and centered.
Check out our experience with both of the latest studios, below.
Before I even start, can I just say that the Strala Seattle just might be the most unexpectedly lovely studio in Seattle? The light-filled Interbay space hosts between two and six classes a day in a variety of intensities and focuses, including the muscle-building Strong class, soothing Relax class, and quick-moving Energize option.
The “Strala” method (strala meaning “to radiate light” in Swedish) focuses more on movement than sitting perfectly in a yoga pose. Classes are pretty laid-back, with good music and smiley instructors. I took a Basics and an Energize class over the last couple weeks and, not being a pro-yogi by any means, was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable each session felt. No one comes to correct your down dog or shames you when falling out of crow. Instead, students are encouraged to move in and out of positions in ways that feel good and personal.
That being said, it’s definitely a workout—albeit a more self-motivated one. The Energize class left me peppy but sore on day two. Personally, I’m hooked. But if you’re the type that needs strong motivation, a more regimented studio might better fit your speed.
New members can sign up for their first month of classes for $80. ClassPass offers the studio’s full range of weekly sessions.
I’ll go ahead and admit that I first encountered aerial yoga on an episode of Real Housewives (was it NYC or the OC?) and was intrigued from the get-go. The new yoga style, also called antigravity yoga, came to Seattle about a year ago in Fremont’s Levitas Studio.
Attendees utilize a silk hammock, hung hip-height from the floor, in hour-long sessions that involve a series of stretches, strength exercises, and a lot of hanging upside-down. These sort of inversions function to release stress and pressure from the spine and joints, alongside other benefits like a refreshed circulatory system and increased agility.
I started off with an Antigravity Basics class, in which I was warned I would feel weird and off (check), but that the second class is completely unlike the first. By session number two I skipped to an all-levels class (note: they suggest you take three basics classes before moving up…I must have missed that memo) where I did feel more comfortable in the hammock and more at ease with my feet in the air.
The classes definitely test your core, arm, and leg strength. My favorite aspects are as follows:
1. Stretching. Using the hammock to stretch took away the normal pressure on my back, and I was able to go deeper into stretches and remain there more comfortably.
2. Savasana, a.k.a. peacefully laying in a hammock for the final few minutes of class.
It isn’t for anyone who gets easily lightheaded, nor for people who are scared of heights—but antigravity classes at Levitas are a nice shakeup to a normal routine.
One month of unlimited classes starts at $99. ClassPass offers a pared-down number of sessions each week.