Not all yoga is created equal. When we headed uptown on a blistering cold Tuesday evening, none of us knew how quickly SLT’s Shred Yoga class would heat us up. We entered the chic studio and gathered the essentials — a mat, blocks, dumbbells, and gliders (more on those to come!) — before embarking on one of the more challenging workouts the team has done. Our instructor Erin forewarned us that she was going to kick our butts, and we soon learned she does not tell a lie.
The cardio-based class combined elements of strength training and plyometrics, and of course yoga. Erin explained that while the moves would be faster and more vigorous than a typical yoga class, it was still possible to find that yogi rhythm and flow as we went from one move to the next.
The foundations of yoga were evident, although we seemed to return to plank pose more often than down dog, and there was only one (very brief) child pose throughout the hour-long class. We swiftly moved from forward bend to chaturanga, down dog, and various lunge exercises, before grabbing our two- to three-pound weights and heading into warrior II to do various arm movements. After barely catching our breath, we were on to push-ups and mountain climbers (our feet on gliders, sliding our knees to and from our chest). At this point, we were definitely feeling the fire in our abs, triceps, and quads.
Then it was time to slow things down a bit, getting on our hands and knees for some isometric exercises. Initially, the micro-movements seemed like a break from burpees and power vinyasas, but once again our physical and mental strength was put to the test as our glutes literally felt like they were burning. (Greatist’s own Sophie Breene may have turned to me to say, “Help…my butt is on fire!”)
Although this class had “yoga” in the title, SLT’s core philosophy (strengthen, lengthen, tone) took priority over any notions of “zen.” Long story short: If you’re looking for a challenging cardio class that mixes in a hefty amount of strength work, SLT’s shred class is the place to go. If you want something a bit more relaxing, a restorative yoga class may be a better option.
To learn more about SLT or to try out a class for yourself, visit sltnyc.com.
Have a favorite cardio or yoga class? Let us know in the comments below or tweet the author @lschwech.