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Class Review: Yoga Dance Party at Drishtiq Yoga

Mary here. By Saturday of every week, I don't just want cardio. I NEED cardio. So, it takes a lot to get me out of the gym or off the sidewalk. It takes a physical challenge, and DRISHTIQ Yoga's Yoga Dance Party offered just that. The promise of two and a half hours of full body workout in a heated room was too tempting to pass up. So, I grabbed my mat and a not-at-all unwilling non-yogi partner and headed off.

Full disclosure: I'd had a class with the teacher, Jill Greek, a while ago and loved every sweat-inducing minute. I know power yoga and hot yoga don't tick everybody's boxes, but they do tick mine. I'm not a bend-and-breathe yogi (my students can tell you that). I couldn't wait to see what she'd do with adding the freedom of dance to a powerful practice.

Yoga is one of the few classes where you can really be "taught." Jill's a great teacher and good reminder that if you don't feel taught, you need another teacher. Her correction on elbow placement stopped me from being a wall-hugger in Headstand and got me off the wall with freedom--at least when I wasn't in the middle of the dance. This class was as much dance as yoga (check out the video above. I'm on the left in the back). We learned a yoga flow to one song and rehearsed it just like dance choreo, with a (very) few breaks. By the end, we were all not only more in sync with each other and the music, but about 1,000 Chaturangas later, totally worked out.

Whether the Zen of yoga appeals to you or not, working with body resistance offers a kind a strength training that isolation work and weight can't replace. It gives you a chance to work in full range of motion, from extension to contraction. It also recruits your WHOLE body, not just big muscles but smaller stabilizer muscles--no cheating your way through on your "wheelhouse" strength, whether that's quads or biceps. Everything has to work together, especially at any kind of speed. Isolation work has its place, but I need to balance that with movements that make all the muscles in my body work at the same time. It's also good for as tool for building muscular (as opposed to cardio) stamina.

One word to the wise: this isn't on the regular schedule--it is a workshop that they offer periodically. So, unless you want to start a petition--which might be a good idea--you'll have to hold on for the next one. But, it's worth the wait!

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