One of the key objectives behind A Slender Gator is to provide free fitness to students by way of activities, classes or at-home workouts. Like most cities, Gainesville has a variety of opportunities that offer people the ability to exercise for free. An opportunity I have recently taken with friends is Yogalates In The Park, which is a free class taught on Saturday mornings downtown at the Thomas Center.
For those who don’t know, yogalates is an exercise regime that mixes yoga stretches with pilates moves. (And no, it is not a yoga class that provides free lattes.) Another way of looking at it is that yogalates is an engaging exercise that combines the calming, soothing atmosphere of yoga with the muscle-strengthening techniques of pilates.
Yogalates In The Park is free of charge but there is an option to give donations to the instructor. Typically, the class begins at 8:30 a.m. and lasts for about an hour or two. The instructor incorporates her own instructions and procedures for the class, but also includes the student’s preferences, such as targeted body exercises.
If you are new to the practices of yogalates, bear in mind that if you start a class in the middle of the season the exercises will be very challenging and hard to complete. Like any exercise regime, yogalates has different levels and requires the body to work up to each level. For instance, I am new to yogalates and after my first class my body was sore for at least three days. The exercises were hard to maintain for a certain amount of time because I didn’t have any arm or core strength like the more experienced members of the class.
However, don’t let the challenging aspects of yogalates discourage you from trying out a class. The notion of a free fitness class should be motivation enough to attend but, if it’s not, think of the lean, toned body you will have within a few weeks of taking yogalates.