Confessions of a (freshly-minted) Spynga-holic

I wish I could blame my recent gluttony on the holidays, but really I’ve never needed an excuse to overindulge in cookies. Needing the extra push to get back in line with a healthy routine, the Dare To Do 30 challenge at Toronto’s Spynga’s (spynga.com) seemed like the perfect fit. The four-week program includes unlimited yoga and spinning classes along with group meetings with Dr. David Macklin (drdavidmacklin.com) to address nutrition and lifestyle changes. Spynga offers a variety of classes, and I was excited to push myself back into shape with the studio’s unique approach to exercise. Here’s what I tried:

Power Hour Cycle Flow: I was initially intimidated to try spinning—something I’ve never tackled for fear of its intensity. The instructor calmed my nerves by offering words of encouragement and tips for the ride. With some high-intensity tunes and softer ballads for cool-down intervals, this class was totally manageable, no matter how long you’ve been out of the saddle. The class scooted by surprisingly quickly, becoming one of my new favourite cardio workouts.

Vinyasa Flow: I’ve been a loyal yogi for a few years now, but lately I keep finding myself skipping over this priority. For those who argue yoga isn’t an intense workout, know that my arms were shaking from more high plank than they could handle, and my heart rate soared each time I flowed through the poses. The session was challenging yet relaxing, finishing with a welcome moment of meditation and reflection.

Spynga Flow: I was excited to tackle the studio’s signature Spynga class, a pairing of calorie-busting cycling and restorative yoga. The instructor blasted the tunes and shouted orders while I pushed through to tap up the resistance on my bike. After building up a sweat with 25 minutes of cycling, we moved to the mat for the further challenge of yoga. Designed to create the ideal balanced routine, you’ll burn about 700 calories a session (!) while warding off stiffness and stress, and soothing the mind and body.

Next up: Yin Yoga Flow, Circuit Cycle Flow, Hot Power Hour Yoga