When one of the PR gals at Equinox asked me if I wanted to try Loren Bassett’s class, Bassett’s Boot Camp, at Pure Yoga, I said sure. I’m game for everything but running when it comes to group fitness classes. Because I take regular barre classes (Exhale’s Core Fusion and Pure Yoga’s Figure Four are my go-tos), I figure I can handle an intense yoga class. What I didn’t realize? And it’s my own fault because I was briefed but was living my life in 20-minute increments last week? Bassett’s is set in a room that’s 95-100+ degrees. And it’s 75 minutes long. And it’s power yoga mixed with cardio intervals, core AND strength training. And my gal Abby Gardner reviewed it in a Marie Claire article entitled “America’s Toughest Workout.” Yowsa.
This was, no lie, the hardest workout I’ve ever done. Ever. And in the interest of having fodder for my Fitness Chats for Elle.com, I try nearly everything. The diabolical dimension of the heat made me feel moderately as if I were hallucinating at certain points. But Loren’s an incredible instructor, if a challenging one. The yoga poses are interspersed with different cardio moves, for instance, doing a lap around the room in “Spider Man” form with your legs on gliders, but using only your arms to get you around the room. There are also jumps, squats, pushups and sit-ups you do with a partner pushing your legs down while you use your core to bring them back up.
Loren asks in the beginning that you try not to leave the classroom until it’s over. As someone who takes opts for group exercise classes because I need to the motivation of not being embarrassed en masse to move me to, well, move, I’ve never even CONSIDERED taking as much as a bathroom break. I’m a little Tracy Flick when it comes to that.
Guess who left the room TWICE to fill her water bottle and gasp for some 72-degree air? “Last time I took this class [at Pure East on East 86th Street] I had to take a cab home,” confessed Equinox publicist Nicole, who joined me for the sweat sesh. “I live near Wall Street.”
75 minutes later, I was EXHAUSTED and absolutely spent. I could barely finish my final “resting plank” because my hands were so sweaty, they were slipping off my mat. A bandaid had literally slithered off my leg due to perspiration. When Loren opened the door to let in some cool air, it felt like divine intervention. I told Loren that was the hardest class I’d ever taken in my life. She laughed and hugged me, even though I was tomato-red and positively COMPRISED of sweat.
It’s the kind of class you need to be prepared for, but I left invigorated and feeling much stronger than before I went in. A word to the wise? Bring two large water bottles; one frozen. And don’t eat anything beforehand if you don’t want to feel naush. Snag one of the cool, wet towels in the fridge by the studio (they go quickly). And get ready to feel hot, hot, hot.
Bassett’s Boot Camp is $35 for non-members of Pure Yoga; $30 for members. Sign up here.
Class provided courtesy of Pure Yoga for editorial consideration.
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