Body Balance at LA Fitness

What they say: 
Ideal for anyone and everyone, BODYBALANCE* is the yoga-based class that will improve your mind, your body and your life.

LA Fitness Great Portland Street Studio

What I say:
Improve my mind, body and life?! That's quite a promise! OK, so as much as I can't quite claim to have a complete life revamp after a 45 minute class, it certainly left me feeling refreshed, revitalised, and more in touch with my 'inner self' - to get a bit philosophical on you!

What we did:
The class mainly comprised of a series of yoga moves - from down dog, to swan, cobra, warrior and tree pose . Not being a frequent yoga-goer, I was a bit nervous they'd have us doing upside down head stands (!) but I needn't have worried - the poses were very simple and suitable for all levels.

Classic Yoga Pose!

What I liked about this class was that it also combined elements of Tai Chi and Pilates. As a HUGE fan of The OC, I've always wanted to go to Yogalates like Kirsten and Julie, however it doesn't seem to really exist in the UK! But having discovered BodyBalance, I've got one up these two.... try throwing Tai Chi into your Yogalates girls! And in actual fact, it was the Tai Chi part that was my favourite. With the dance-like flow of poses, I found it quite similar to the Barre classes I've tried.

Tai Chi

We finished the class with a ten minute meditation (which, after previously really embarrassing myself by asking if people actually rise off the ground, I have learned is different to LEVITATING!). However, even knowing that I wouldn't be expected to be lifting myself in the air, if I'm honest I probably would have left at this stage had I have had the chance. I had too many other things to be getting on with! Nonetheless, it is for that exact reason I'm so glad I stayed - taking the time to simply relax and get in tune with my body, those ten minutes probably gave me more benefit than any other little job I could have ticked off my list in that time. Something I'm slowly learning - taking the time to restore and regenerate is no bad thing.

Tree Pose into balances....kind of!

As a side note, check out my new workout gear from LIJA. With a focus on combining function with fashion, the brand originally started in Canada, but are now available via Wholesale outlets in the UK, including net-a-porter. I absolutely love LIJA's stuff - the synthetic material on the top I'm wearing is great for keeping me cool, but my favourite bit is the in built boosting sports bra  - thank you LIJA!

Intensity: 4/10

Although holding some of the poses was quite intense, the class itself was really relaxed. I'd recommend this class as a great 'recovery' workout  - if you feel your muscles are sore the day after an intense session, blasting them in the gym again will do you no good, so this is a great alternative if you would still like to be doing something. This image, used as the Body Balance promo, sums up the class perfectly - drop and give me zen :)

Love it!

Instructor: 10/10

Our instructor was great. Friendly, calming and very clear in her instructions, I was a little in awe of how relaxed she appeared, even when pulling difficult poses out the bag.

Amenities: 4/10

Despite the fact LA Fitness isn't decked out with Molton Brown shower gel and GHD hair products, the gym is perfectly clean, modern and tidy...which is really all you need, and more that can be said for many of the other fitness centres out there.

Changing room - clean and simple

Value for Money: 9/10

This is where LA Fitness really comes up top. Offering different membership levels at varying rates, prices begin at only £30 a month. Given this includes full access to the gym, swimming pool, and a timetable packed full of classes, it's fantastic value, especially taking into consideration many of the boutique classes around London will cost you £20 -£30 for a single hours session!

Would I go back? Definately! With my stress fracture in my leg still stopping me from doing any impact based exercises, not only is this class perfect for keeping me sane, but also hopefully speeding up my recovery with the low impact strengthening.


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