On Tuesday morning I went to my first Body Balance class. For a while, I have been meaning to add a dedicated stretching/flexibility session into my workout routine and I think I have found the one, first time lucky.
Les Mills Body Balance (called Body Flow in the USA for copyright reasons) is a yoga, pilates and t'ai chi-inspired workout. It is said to:
build flexibility and strength and leaves you feeling centered and calm. Controlled breathing, concentration and a carefully structured series of stretches, moves and poses to music create a holistic workout that brings the body into a state of harmony and balance.
The class comprises of ten different tracks including a T'ai Chi-style warm up (which didn't feel as silly as I thought it would!), yoga sun salutations, a balance track, core workouts (these were challenging) and relaxation/meditation to finish. The full tracklist can be found here on the website. I loved that I could focus on my breathing technique as well.
After the class, I felt really calm and like I had done something really worthwhile for myself. What I liked about the class is that it teaches focus and forced me to concentrate on the present (or I would literally end up on the floor) whereas I usually have about 20 other thoughts going around in my head at a time, planning all of the things I have to do later that day/week/month. I was also much better at it than I thought I'd be (no falling over!) which may be partly because I followed the 'learn the moves' video clips on the website before I went so that I didn't feel too far out of my depth.
I found that the 55 minute class seemed to go really quickly even though I didn't feel as if I was holding poses for very long.
If you think that this class is going to be full of hippies or elderly people (guilty!) I dare you to go and prove yourself wrong. I will definitely be going back as this is exactly what I needed to add to my workout schedule and it's a great stress-reliever!