Even we realize that life can’t always be big one big party. Sometimes we need to take a few steps away from the punchbowl in order to prioritize our health and well-being. With the festivities of the holidays behind us, it was time to rid our bodies of those toxins that have plagued us every weekend since we made our 2012 resolutions.
On Saturday, Charleston Ride hosted a Spinning 101 class for anyone looking for a new fitness routine in the new year. At 10 a.m. on most weekends, we’re usually sleeping in or planning brunch, but on that day, we climbed the three flights of stairs to Charleston Ride, one of the few licensed spinning studios in the area. Yes, we were out of breath by the time we got there. The class was packed with newbies excited to learn a new workout and start sweating. The industrial, exposed-brick studio was filled with Spinner bikes and large projection screens. Instructor Rebecca Young showed us how to use the equipment properly and all the moves we would use in class. The workout was fairly simple to execute because it stays true to what can be done on a real bike, unlike some other indoor cycling classes that have their students doing crazy push-ups on the equipment. We cycled to some pop music and got our heart rate up while Young’s positive affirmations encouraged the entire class. Afterward we were reminded that the first class at Charleston Ride is free for locals.
On Monday night, we continued our resolution with a barre class, one of the most popular new forms of exercise in the Lowcountry. For anyone who took ballet lessons as a child, the handrail movements are a familiar source of fun and torture. The City of Charleston offers Raising the Barre classes every Monday and Wednesday at the Hazel Parker Playground. The whitewashed room with antique trophies locked away in glass cases is reminiscent of a middle school gymnasium. While warming up, students caught views of South of Broad mansions from the front windows. We found it particularly amusing when a few tourists stopped to see what we were up to through the glass. Instructors Nicole Pridgen and Kate Davis made the moves look easy, but our legs were shaking with strain within the first few minutes of class. We also discovered the hell that is the plank position — for what seemed like an eternity, we hovered over the ground cursing every hamburger and holiday cookie consumed in December. Barre concentrates on all of the muscles, but many devotees target their thighs or buns. Think of the last time you saw a ballerina in tights — they always look incredible.
After all that exercise, we wanted to take a break and work up a sweat with minimal effort. Seeking Indigo, at 445 King Street, houses a detox center for those looking for a tranquil way to ease into their 2013 resolutions. We’ve shopped at the store, but never knew about the peaceful hideout in the back of the space. We decided to try the infrared sauna to rid us of our lingering impurities. These saunas are said to heat the body from the inside out and are gentler than the traditional bath house type rooms. New-age pan flute music played as we were led through the darkly lit space to the small, wooden sauna. Still not knowing what to expect, we disrobed and sat on the bench. We can barely go five minutes without checking our phone, so we weren’t sure if we could relax in the heated dark space for 30 minutes. Eventually, the heat lulled us into a meditative state and we were able to purge all worries, sweating out our toxins.
Here’s to a new, healthy start in 2013 — until next weekend.