CLOSE Stay on top of the latest news, sports and entertainment Shreveport Times Crystal Lohman teaches power yoga and glow yoga classes at Red River Brewing Company in Shreveport.(Photo: Courtesy of Crystal Lohman) Unless you’re one of those people who naturally loves to work out, it probably takes a little more motivation to get
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Crystal Lohman teaches power yoga and glow yoga classes at Red River Brewing Company in Shreveport.(Photo: Courtesy of Crystal Lohman)
Unless you’re one of those people who naturally loves to work out, it probably takes a little more motivation to get you out on the mat and breaking a sweat.
How about a bit of wine and beer as an incentive? Or would the backdrop of a city skyline inspire you to get outside and moving?
Or maybe working that body on a dance floor or flexing in water is more your jam?
If seeking fun — yet challenging — ways to get ripped, add these crazy, sexy and cool classes to your fitness calendar.
1. Heels on deck
Instructor Rebekah Elam hosts Stilettos Dance Class with a mission to empower and connect women while enhancing their physical strength.
“Everything in heels is about balance and control, so you’re straining your muscles way more than you think you are because you’re having so much fun,” Elam said.
The next Stilettos Dance Class will be 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. July 21 at Artipsy Art Bar, located at 450 Clyde Fant Pkwy Suite 600 in the Red River District in downtown Shreveport.
“Stilettos Dance Class is awesome because it is a workout class, but it doesn’t really feel like one,” Elam said. “You’re able to make some friends and express yourself. It’s creative, it’s fun and it’s a way that women can come in and support women.”
Students practice walking in stilettos before being taught a slow-paced choreographed dance that works out all areas of the body. Once comfortable with the moves — and dancing in heels– Elam picks up the pace a notch.
Elam recommends newcomers wear enclosed stilettos that offer ankle support, such as ankle boots. However, stilettos are not required to participate. Students are welcome to dance in tennis shoes or kick their shoes off and go barefoot.
“The biggest thing they need to bring is confidence and a desire to do something different,” Elam said. “As long as you’re comfortable, bring whatever shoes you feel comfortable in and be prepared to have some fun and meet some new friends.”
Stilettos Dance Class is for ages 21 and up. Students are welcome to drop in early for a drink at Artipsy’s bar and mingle with other classmates before the session begins.
The slow-paced session practices moving into positions that promote improved breathing and the stretching and building of muscles.
Crystal Willcox teaches a yoga class on the rooftop at Remington Suite Hotel and Resort 5:45 p.m Wednesdays. (Photo: Tiana Kennell/The Shreveport Times)
“In yoga, you’re uniting your mind with your body or maybe your breath with your movements,” Willcox said. “For some people, yoga is a means for stretching their hamstrings and that’s all it needs to be. For some people, yoga is a spiritual experience.”
All experience levels are welcome and students don’t have to have an “ Instagram beach body” to attend, Willcox said.
“I started doing yoga when I had about 90 more pounds on my body,” Willcox said. “I’ve moved through yoga through all stages and feel like I can connect with my students on a deeper level because of that.”
The sessions range from a mid- to fast pace and feature a combination of Jazzercise, yoga, Pilates and ballet to make for a full-body workout that targets various muscle groups.
Students use chairs as their “barre” – which refers to the bar ballet dancers use in studios. And sessions include stretching, ab and “booty buster” exercises, Lawson said.
Allyson Lawson teaches Barre class at Remington Suite Hotel & Resort. (Photo: Tiana Kennell/The Shreveport Times)
“People like it because it’s different from their ordinary workouts — lifting weights or running. And it’s different from yoga where you have stretching and relaxation. We’re in the middle,” Lawson said.
Students should wear yoga-style clothing and shoes are optional. Bring a mat, bottled water and light weights — 5 pounds or less.
Women and men ages 18 and up are recommended for Willcox and Lawson’s classes.
Also, students are welcome to hang out at Remington’s lobby bar for a cocktail before or after class.
For more information about Remington Hotel’s classes and fitness center amenities open to the public, contact personal trainer Russell Heins at (318) 425-5000.
4. Taproom transformations
Sip a pint or glass of vino at either of Crystal Lohman’s (Viva Yogis) Yoga on Tap + Wine and Glow Yoga at Red River Brewing Company, located at 1200 Marshall St. in downtown Shreveport.
“It’s more of a social night out. You can come to work out, but it’s a time to relax,” Lohman said. “People plan on coming into the brewery for more than just that 45-minute class. They know they’re going to be here for a little bit after and hang out and take the time to socialize.”
In the midst of all the fun, students get a proper workout.
Lohman teaches power yoga — or Yoga Sculpt — which incorporates light, handheld weights, cardio bursts, squat series and stretching.
Lohman also hosts glow yoga. Students paint themselves in non-toxic glow-in-the-dark body paint, wear white or fluorescent clothing and workout in the blacklight lit event space art Red River.
Classes often feature a DJ spinning upbeat tunes to keep the fitness party going. And classes feature a healthy lifestyle vendor and from whom students may win giveaway and raffle prizes.
Crystal Lohman teaches power yoga and glow yoga classes at Red River Brewing Company in Shreveport. (Photo: Courtesy of Crystal Lohman)
Both class styles have been a big draw for men and women friend groups, individuals and couples, Lohman said.
“This is a new way to reach people and introduce them to wellness and exercise and that’s really what this class is about,” Lohman said.
Classes are open to students as young as 10 years old. Red River Brewing’s taproom is family-friendly. However, attendees age 18 or under must be accompanied by an adult and must be 21 to consume adult beverages.
Red River Brewing is a gastropub now so their menu includes cocktails. And a variety of non-alcoholic beverages are offered, as well, which is ideal for students who are expecting moms — such as Lohman.
“The biggest thing is respecting your body and listening to your body and that’s really what yoga is about,” Lohman said. “It’s about connecting breath with movement, which any woman who’s gone through pregnancy or is pregnant knows how important that is.”
Students are recommended to wear athletic clothing and bring a yoga mat and 2-5 pound weights. Mat and weight rental are available for $2 each.
Sarah Sledge teaches paddleboard yoga at the YMCA Northwest Louisiana and on Cross Lake in Shreveport. (Photo: Melissa Stephens Photography/ Special to The Times.)
Cool off while working on that hot body at paddleboard yoga classes with Sarah Sledge.
Sledge teaches paddleboard yoga 9:30 a.m. Saturdays in the swimming pool at the YMCA Northwest Louisiana, located at 3455 Knight St. in Shreveport.
In warmer months, she hosts paddleboard yoga excursions on Cross Lake, near Port-Au-Prince restaurant off Lakeshore Drive.
“It’s a nice area of the lake, not a lot of boat traffic and very scenic—authentic Louisiana with the Spanish moss trees and everything,” Sledge said. “It’s fun and gives you a whole other element by being outside in nature.”
In the full-body workout, students balance on paddleboards on the water while performing yoga stances. The use of paddleboards “ups the ante” on traditional yoga, Sledge said.
“Being on the paddleboard is going to activate the core,” Sledge said. “The whole purpose is to keep it fun and upbeat and it appeals to people who are intimidated by the word ‘yoga.’”
The Cross Lake excursion begin with a brief on-land orientation to get students acclimated with the board. Next, Sledge leads her class on a 20-25 minute guided paddle to a floating studio where students then anchor their boards in the water.
Then, students engage in an hour-long yoga session before paddling back to shore.
Students are encouraged to keep the mood light and “embrace their inner child” by falling in and playing in the water, she said.
Students may wear anything they’re comfortable getting wet, such as swimwear, yoga wear, or board shorts and tank tops. The ability to swim is required as waters are at minimum 5-feet deep in the pool and 8-feet in the lake.