Try these offbeat studio workouts this monsoon
From dancing in the dark to flying high with bungee leaps, let these monsoon months lead you to an unusual studio workout
The next few months can be problematic for cyclists, runners, boot-camp recruits and other champions of outdoor fitness. The few unfazed by damp socks and unwanted splashing might rain-proof their runs with moisture-wicking gear or even sign up for a monsoon trek to burn calories amidst freshly washed hills and gurgling streams. But for the rain-averse looking to shift their workout indoors, the monsoon marks a good time to sample offbeat studio workouts; here are three alternatives to start with:
1. Be a dancer in the dark
No Lights No Lycra (NLNL) is a global fitness movement that encourages you to dance like no one’s watching by making sure that no one’s watching. Think of it as a free-movement dance class with no lights, no mirrors, no eight-count choreography to fuss over, and most importantly, no judgement. It’s a mid-week, hour-long cardio workout that welcomes everyone from dance enthusiasts to those with two uncoordinated left feet.
The first NLNL event was held in a church hall in Melbourne in 2009, hosted by two professional dancers with five of their friends in attendance. Since then, local ambassadors have adopted the movement in more than 80 cities, most recently in Mumbai. Starting this month, weekly NLNL events are held on Wednesday nights at Bandra Base in Mumbai with a few basic requirements: no contact, no dancing in groups, and no alcohol. “Everyone who’s attended said they thought it was a really interesting experience because it was the first time they ‘danced with themselves’ without feeling conscious," says Mumbai ambassador Yooti Bhansali. Another way to step outside your comfort zone at the events is to give in to the wide-ranging playlist. “There could be Norwegian electro, Lebanese indie rock, sometimes even bhangra-pop or electro. So everyone can find something they like at the very least," says Bhansali.
For details, go to the No Lights No Lycra Facebook page; ₹ 399 per session.
2. Go studio hopping
To shop around for a studio workout that fits, sign up for a monthly fitness pass. GuavaPass, a Singapore-based company that’s spreading its reach across Asia and the Middle-East, recently landed in Mumbai with access to some of the city’s best-known boutique studios, such as Tangerine Arts Studio, The Space Juhu, The Yoga House and Nitrro. One popular newcomer in the mix is F45, a training system developed in Australia, which packages circuit, interval and functional training into intriguingly titled 45-minute sets like Moon Hopper and Wingman. Another, Movement Sanctuary, offers creative movement classes like yoga trapeze, and is also introducing the city to Liquid Sanctuary, a detoxifying sensory-deprivation tank that uses Epsom salts to keep you afloat.
The GuavaPass app also arranges daily workout schedules by time and distance, which means you find a nearby studio even when monsoon traffic upsets your plans. According to Ayesha Grover, the launch manager for GuavaPass in India, most sign-ups in the city are in favour of offbeat workouts, such as yoga trapeze, barre and Capoeira. A four-class package with one-month validity costs ₹ 1,599 for the promo month; Guavapass.com
3. Try indoor bungee squats
Bungee fitness is a highly effective cardio workout that allows you to bounce off the floor in fun leaps and lunges. Last year, Bengaluru-based studio Dhurii introduced a version of this trending resistance workout, called “BungFly". In a BungFly class, a waist harness keeps you secure while you’re suspended from the ceiling with sturdy cords (professional climbing equipment is used for safety) that extend far enough to allow movement and bounce. The routine begins with slow stretches to help you get accustomed to the harness, and faster runs, jumps, dives and landings are added as you advance through the class.
“BungFly is excellent for stamina. It’s a core workout that is really good to work on your abs, obliques, quads and hamstrings, and also helps in spine strengthening. There is a lot that can be done with this workout, including bungee dance," says BungFly instructor Aastha Gulati, who also organizes workshops in Delhi and Mumbai. Class schedules on Dhurii.com; ₹ 500 per class.