Monday, December 3, 2007

First week off to a great start

By Audarshia Townsend

With my hectic holiday schedule of dinners, parties and other indulgences, I knew I had to do something to stave off gaining weight. I’m not trying to looking chunky in my slinky little New Year’s Eve dress, so I decided to sign up for Exhale Spa’s first-ever Holiday Buddha Camp (through Jan. 1), an intensive five-week workout program that includes Core Fusion and yoga classes.

My plan is to take on at least three classes a week, and combine that with my usual daily power walks. Last week, I took my first three classes of Core Fusion, an hour-long class combining yoga techniques, Pilates, dance and light weight training. I was like, “Oh, this is only an hour. This’ll be no big thing.” Boy, was I wrong. That first class almost killed me, and even though instructor Lisa told me to go at my own pace, my more advanced classmates inspired me to step it up a few notches.

The second day of class was even more brutal (especially with the pain in my legs from the day before still fresh), with another instructor having us work muscles I didn’t even know I had. Core Fusion is most awesome because after each intense technique, from using the weights to positions on the dancer’s bar, you do stretching poses that ultimately result in a long, lean appearance.

After the third class, I even felt myself standing a little taller and feeling a little lighter. And even though I’m not one of those people who obsess over my weight, I could tell that I lost a few pounds by the way my clothes fit. A few inches on my waist, a little jiggle from my arms, some meat from my thighs and some junk in my trunk were suddenly history.

I’ll check back in this Friday to see if I can fit back into my “skinniest” jeans!

Exhale Spa: $24 for individual Core Fusion classes; $20 for individual yoga classes. 945 N. State St., 312-753-6500.