WOW: Yoga with the Dolphins

I don’t think I mentioned it to you guys yet…. but I spent last weekend in LAS VEGAS!  It was my sister-in-law’s birthday, and my brother decided to whisk her away for a weekend in Sin City.

Chandelier Bar Jason and Beth | No Thanks to Cake

Because I’m just a short two hour flight away… they invited me to join them.  I’m always game for a trip to Vegas, and these two are so fun that I thought it would be a great time.

When we were planning where to stay, Jason and Beth chose The Mirage because it had a beautiful pool and it was in the middle of the strip, close to where they wanted to be.

Before this trip, I had never even set foot in the Mirage so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  However, I never would have expected to find what I did on their website….

Yoga with the Dolphins Mirage | No Thanks to Cake

Check out that sign on the bottom right of the wall above… you’re reading it right.    The mirage offers YOGA WITH THE DOLPHINS.  Seriously.

Originally, I had looked to see if there was a gym available for use and found this gem.  I called the hotel the week before and made arrangements to be a part of this very special class.

We met at the spa before the class, and the instructor Willow walked us through the property and to the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat.

WOW:  Yoga with the Dolphins | No Thanks to Cake

As the group walked back into the habitat area, I was amazed by how beautiful everything was.

WOW Dolphin Yoga Mirage | No Thanks to Cake

It’s strange to see this type of habitat in Vegas.  After all, it’s usually all glitz and glitter and cocktails… and here I was in this serene pool area with the most beautiful of animals.

WOW Dolphin Yoga Mirage | No Thanks to Cake

Willow told us a little about the dolphins during our trek to the habitat.  The animals live quite the pampered lifestyle with personal trainers to work them out every day and staff that just adores them.  They also get to swim around a beautiful yoga practice three times a week… including my class this weekend.

When we arrived in the classroom, there were mats and towels set up for everyone to use as well as a bottle of water placed at each station.  Most of us were paying VERY little attention to the setup, as we were surrounded by these beautiful dolphins.

WOW Dolphin Yoga Mirage | No Thanks to Cake

The room itself had three large windows into the dolphin tanks, and our friends were swimming around us like crazy… saying hello in the windows and being playful with one another.

As the class got started, I had a hard time focusing on the poses as I was fascinated by the dolphins.  Willow warned us at the beginning that she would be offended if we were looking away.

WOW Dolphin Yoga Mirage | No Thanks to Cake

This picture above was actually taken from my mat.  UNBELIEVABLE view… like none other.

The class itself was really good.  It was a little more yoga than what I expected on a Saturday morning in Las Vegas, but it was just the right amount of exertion peppered with sun salutations and asanas, and of course, a few moments spent in “Dolphin” pose.

After class, I felt absolutely refreshed and empowered.

WOW Yoga with the Dolphins Mirage | No Thanks to Cake

I felt empowered because yoga always feeds my soul, and also because I was doing something fantastic for my mind and body while in the most indulgent city in the world.  There’s something empowering about that… it’s all about choice.

WOW Yoga with the Dolphins Mirage | No Thanks to Cake

If you’re in Vegas anytime soon, I HIGHLY recommend this class.  It’s just an amazing experience, one that I don’t know if you’ll have anywhere else.

The class is kept quite small because the room has limited space, and they only hold these sessions Friday-Sunday.  If you’re going to Vegas, call ahead to make sure you reserve your spot. The fee for the class is $50, and it includes an all-day pass to the spa area giving you access to the sauna, steam room, and hot tub area.  Let me assure you… worth every penny!  Such a cool experience.

Have you done any cool workouts while in Vegas?

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WOW: Pound Fitness

You heard me right.  I said POUND.

If you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about… you’re not alone.

The last day of FitSocial kicked off with a Pound Fitness class.  When I first saw the name, I instantly assumed it was like boot camp or something and didn’t give it a second thought… UNTIL several of my new blogger gal pals insisted I join them.

WOW:  Pound Fitness | No Thanks to Cake

What is Pound Fitness?

The ladies were all excited to take it because it was a BRAND-NEW type of fitness class that they had never experienced.  And, it was taught with weighted drumsticks.

Pound Fitness | No Thanks to Cake

From the Pound website, here’s a description of the class:

“Pound is a full-body cardio jam session, combining light resistance with constant simulated drumming. The workout fuses cardio, Pilates, isometric movements, plyometrics and Isometric poses into a 45-minute series. Burn between 600 and 900 calories per hour, strengthen and sculpt infrequently used muscles, and drum your way to a leaner, slimmer physique – all while rocking out to your favorite music!”

Source:  Fitsugar.com

Source: Fitsugar.com

The class was at 7:30am, which is always a stretch for me.  Nonetheless, the tweets started early… reminding everyone not to miss the class.  I had committed to going, so I was in.  That doesn’t mean I wasn’t nervous about it…

When I arrived at the Anschutz Wellness Center, I was excited to have a chance to take a class here.  The facility is just GORGEOUS and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.

Anschutz Wellness Center | No Thanks to Cake

When I walked into class, I was greeted by a barefoot Melissa Towey (instructor extraordinaire) who handed me my own set of neon green Ripstix and encouraged me to pick up a mat.  And then there was cheering… cheering from new from my new friends Jill and Melissa, who were excited that I made it to class.

True Story:  I confessed to both of them the day before that I “didn’t really like working out but I know that I have to do it in order to maintain my weight, so I power through it…”  One of those confessions that you don’t hear much at a conference like this… But is my reality.  While I love my yoga, getting to the gym for cardio can be a struggle sometimes, even three years later.

I found my spot in class near the back and set up my station.

Pound Drumsticks | No Thanks to Cake

The fact that I had a mat was a little comforting to me.  Yoga being my dearest of fitness loves, it gave me hope that there would be some yoga-like activity.  Oh, how wrong I was… The mats were primarily used as a sound buffer when we were beating our sticks on the ground.  Interesting…

Pound Fitness | No Thanks to Cake

As Melissa set up the class, she ran us through a few of the general principles and set our expectations.  There would be lunges, there would be squats, and there would be ab work.  She also warned us that the 1/4 lb. drumsticks would be more impacting that we anticipated… she was right!

Pound Fitness | No Thanks to Cake

These pictures don’t do the class justice by any means, but I wanted to catch a few pics of what was happening during this 45-minute class.

Pound Fitness | No Thanks to Cake

Here’s a video of the Pound basics that you might be interested in.  It gives a better idea of what we were doing.  INTENSE!

Did I enjoy the class?  Hmmm… I’m definitely glad I went!

Pound Fitness | No Thanks to Cake

I always love trying something new.  The squats did leave me quite sore afterwards though (OUCH!) and my lower back took a beating during the class which I didn’t anticipate.  Also, my drumming abilities are a little rough… but gave me a good laugh as I was tapping my sticks offbeat to the music.  Overall, it was a great workout and helped me get my sweat on during a weekend of mostly sitting.

And… what’s more fun than working out with this group of fabulous people?

Pound Fitness FitSocial | No Thanks to Cake

Have you ever taken a Pound Fitness class?  To find a class near you, click here.

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WOW: One Weekend, Two 5Ks

Setting an alarm on the weekends is just gross, but when you have to set it to catch up with friends, it’s sort of okay.

On both days this past weekend, I was waking up not only to visit with some of my favorite people, but to go on a 3-mile walk!

5K #1:  Sloan’s Lake

I made plans to meet up with the lovely Tiffany on Saturday morning.  We met at the beautiful Sloan’s Lake in Edgewater to go for a walk.  Neither one of us had ever walked around the lake, but we’d both admired how pretty it was.

It was a super-hot morning… and we walked our hineys off!

Along the way, we had a chance to see great views of the mountains and an awesome view of the Denver skyline!  This lake is definitely one that I’d want to walk around again.  It clocked in just under 3 miles, and for purposes of this post, I’ll call it a 5K.

After the walk, Tiffany had suggested we grab a bite to eat so we could visit additionally.  Per my post on Monday, I derailed the idea of brunch and substituted it with a lunch for two at Subway.  PERFECT!

The great news:  She was totally cool with Subway… most of my friends are!  But this positive reinforcement of what I’m trying to do is just another thing I love about this girl.  We had SUCH a good time catching up over a Veggie Delite…  

5K #2:  Espirit de She – Cherry Creek Arts Festival 5K

On Sunday morning, I had to set my alarm again but this time I was heading to an official 5K in Cherry Creek!  The Espirit de She is sponsored by Athleta (one of my favorite brands) and Lifetime Fitness.  It’s part of the annual Cherry Creek Arts Festival, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it!

Athleta’s brand motto “Power to the She” is one that resonates with me… and their work with Girls on the Run really helps to build healthy lifestyle awareness and confidence in young girls.  I couldn’t resist participating, and when my friend Bev agreed to walk it with me, I was sold!

In a sea of runners, Bev and I walked the race and did so powering through the wicked heat that is July in Denver.

Now, here’s my favorite part of the 5K:  How about at the very bottom of our race bibs there were two tickets for the Bubbly Bar??  Yep, you heard me right… we got to finish the race with two glasses of bubbly.  Thinking that this would be a lovely addition to Jodi’s Race next year… I know Team Bev would get behind it!

Two great days, two great walks, and with two amazing women… It’s summer, get out there and get moving!

Have you done any 5Ks this summer?  How are you enjoying the great outdoors this season?

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WOW: Fitbloggin Fitspiration

Tomorrow at this time, I’ll be on a plane en route to Portland for my favorite blogging conference of the year:  Fitbloggin!

I had an absolute, freakin’ blast last year connecting with people who were, well, “my people.”  This is a phrase that I’ve started using more and more as I’ve been meeting more and more of said people.  You know the kind of folks that you just click with.  That you can be 100% yourself with.  That you feel like you’ve known for a million years… and they just GET you!

The great part about Fitbloggin’ is that most of the men and women who attend have gone through serious weight loss transformation, or are on the verge of doing so.  Nothing helps a former fat girl feel more comfortable than being around people who understand what it feels like… and frankly, nothing gets that same girl (me) more inspired than hearing their stories of how they did it!

Over the next few days, I’ll have a chance to attend sessions about how to make this little blog a little better than it is today, about how to engage readers through social media (yes, jedi mind tricks), and how to promote myself to companies for profit and/or partnership, but this isn’t the reason that I go to Fitbloggin.

I attend Fitbloggin to be INSPIRED!

While I don’t plan to walk out a burpee lovin, boot camp leading Crossfitter, I do expect to learn a little more about pushing my physical limits.

I have the chance to attend new classes that I’ve never been to before and learn from instructors I’ve never taken a class with.  I’m excited to try these new techniques… and I hope to maybe, just maybe, fall in love with one of them enough to make them part of my regular practice.

Here’s what I have lined up for this trip from an exercise perspective:

JumpSport Trampoline Fitness Class

This class is half trampoline class / half bootcamp style class… and from what Lauren has told me it’s an amazing workout.  I snuck in last year to take the pictures you see below.  Ashley was more than willing to pose for me, but I think that was also somehow part of the workout.

Hmm… I’m a little nervous about this one.  Not gonna lie.  Just hoping I can make it through the class and walk the next day.

Zumba with Sue & Sam

OMG… This is a class that I am the most excited about!  I completely loved the class last year and the reason it was as amazing was the three ladies pictured below:  Sam and Sue, and Hilary for wanting to try it!

Note the sweat… That’s LOVE pouring out of my body for this class.  I can’t wait to get back in there this year!  There’s a Reebok Cardio Dance class the same day, but I think I’ll save my moves for Sam and Sue…

I haven’t quite yet found the right class in Denver, but another session with Sue and Sam may just be the ticket for me to start looking again.

Yoga

Sweatpink is hosting a yoga class that I’ll be taking on Saturday morning at 6am.  Yep, I said 6am… for me, yoga is worth waking up.  We’ll get some sun salutations flowing and the day will be wonderful.  Can’t wait to get on the mat with my Fitbloggin friends.

What else?

I’m not sure.  I’ll decide on more once I get there, but I think this is a good start.  Mostly though, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be around people who are working hard to take excellent care of their bodies and to share ideas and stories.

I love sitting at a new table and finding out that the woman across from me lost 100 lbs or that the trainer in the room worked his way into being fit, and got there all because of hard work and dedication.

I’m honored to be a part of this community…. and this year, folks… I need you.  I need you to motivate me, to inspire me, and I can’t think of a better place to regain my excitement for working out!  Let’s do this!

Have you ever tried the Jumpsport style training?  If not, what’s your favorite workout?

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