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Jul 28, 2013

From Scared to Savvy: My First Group Fitness Class

Outdoor Yoga

Every time I walk by a group fitness class in action, it looks intense. There always seems to be kicking, rapid spinning, or some sort of motion that looks like it could easily pull a hamstring. At the beginning of every semester, I pull out the UREC program guides and think to myself that this is the year that I’m going to suck it up and do it.

Five semesters later, I finally did.

It wasn’t hard to sign up; that was never the problem. UREC made it incredibly easy to register for Yogalates, which is offered for free, like most UREC programs. All I had to do was go to their web site and click “register for a group fitness class.” From there, it was a piece of cake.

Wearing lime green spandex shorts and a dri-FIT shirt, I nervously approached the group fitness studio. The class had to pick out yoga mats and exercise blocks, which were free to use.

Glancing around, in my mind, everyone looked like a yoga pro. But that wasn’t the case. When the instructor, Meredith Kozikowski, asked everyone if they had tried a class like this before, most said no. To my relief, this was a no-judgment zone. My visions of wobbling around and being made fun of were instantly erased.

Meredith led the class in a pace that wasn’t hard to keep up with. For some of the tougher exercises, like the ab-blasts, Meredith offered several options varying in levels of difficulty. Once she showed us how to do something, she let everyone go at his or her own pace.

Before we knew it, we were transitioning from the beginner’s child’s pose to the more demanding warrior pose. If someone was struggling with a pose, Meredith made sure that her mic was facing away so she could discreetly help that person. The class was relaxing, but it was definitely a workout. I left feeling refreshed, and my back’s never felt better.

Throughout the semester, group fitness classes gradually get more difficult to keep everyone’s bodies from getting “bored.”

Most classes are open to all fitness levels, and participants can go at their own paces.

Group fitness classes aren’t as scary as they look.

I’m hooked.

- Heather Butterworth