The Workout: Mega Yoga Flow at Boco Fit, 2100 Pearl St., unit C, Boulder, 720-441-4450, bocofitness.com
Instructor: Amy Dalton, of Boulder, who is a certified Lagree Fitness instructor and also a certified yoga instructor at CorePower. She created Mega Yoga Flow and launched it this month.
What is the workout? A combination of Vinyasa yoga on the M3 Megaformer machine with Lagree Fitness exercises.
Lagree Fitness is considered "Pilates on crack," because it also trains core, balance, flexibility, strength and endurance on machines that resemble Pilates Reformer machines — except they are bigger, with more springs (which allows for more weight), with a back platform and an assortment of different moves.
This new class adds a simple and slow yoga flow into the Megaformer training.
Classes typically warm up with yoga, then move into Lagree Method and then wind down the body with yoga.
What's different? Boco Fit is the only studio in Boulder County to offer Lagree Fitness on the Megaformer and the only studio in the world offering Mega Yoga Flow. Yet. The studio expects other studios to pick it up quickly, and Dalton wants to teach it to other Lagree instructors with yoga backgrounds.
"Yoga helps bring greater awareness to Lagree, by breathing, focusing on staying in the moment," Dalton says. "One of my desires is to help people find real, deep awareness in their bodies, regardless of what they're doing, whether that's training hard physically or walking down the street. There is a subtle shift when you start slowing down and working with the breath more."
Cost: $15 for first-time clients.
Level: The class can be modified for all levels, from beginners to advanced athletes. You can adjust the difficulty by your body placement on the machine, speed and spring level.
Lagree Fitness is challenging because there is no break and the machines keep constant tension on your muscles. I found it an eight on a 10-point scale of difficulty. Just when I thought my muscles were going to quit, we were done with the Lagree portion and moved into a much-needed yoga cool-down.
Although this class is super tough, the yoga warms up your body for it and makes it more approachable for newbies; even if you struggle with the machine work (I did a bit), the yoga components will leave you still feeling successful. Then, after such a challenging class, it almost seems imperative to have the slow stretching and a short meditation at the end. I've done Lagree without yoga, but now I wonder how.
What to prepare: Comfortable yoga clothes and grippy socks (required to keep the machines clean and to help your feet grip on the machine for safety). You can borrow or buy socks, if you don't have any. Cool, filtered water and all equipment provided
Muscles worked: Everywhere, especially, your core. I also felt it a lot in my inner thighs.
What I loved:Boco Fit is one of the friendliest studios in the county, while the space still feels boutiquey and high-end. It's a non-intimidating space to get an elite workout that you can't get anywhere else — literally.
The bottom line is: The machines are incredibly effective and challenging, and adding in the yoga provides another excuse to take a class here. The strength components of class will improve your yoga, and the yoga will improve your strength-training. It's an intelligent, logical fusion.
What I didn't like: Doing yoga while balancing on a machine takes some getting used to. On one side, you can use the handles to help your balance, which is really helpful. But even with grippy socks, I found myself slipping and more unstable than when I do traditional yoga. It's good that the flow is slow. If you have balance challenges, you might want to take the yoga portion of class to the floor, though.
How I felt after the class: Mentally: Impressed. Physically: My muscles were maxed out. I haven't pushed them that hard in a long time, in part because the exercises were packaged into manageable, bite-sized chunks. Very sneaky! My inner thighs were sore for days.