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GETTING SLIM AND CENTERED

Yoga classes usually fall into two schools — sweaty and athletic (think lots of flowing sun salutations) or precise, hold-it-and-don’t-fall sessions where you spend a ton of time in Warrior and Tree. With YogaWorks’ popular YogaSlim class, you get the best of both styles. On a recent rainy Wednesday evening I found myself in a packed, mat-to-mat studio in the chain’s Upper West Side location. Instructor Anna Dioguardi kicked things off not with an “om” but a whimper — mine, that is, as I grunted my way through a challenging core series that included crunches, leg circles and Pilates-inspired hundreds. The music — and the workout — picked up from there, moving to an interval style program of five-minute fast-paced flow sequences like forward bends and high lunges interspersed with five-minute “recovery” periods where we held challenging strength poses like side planks and chair. Upbeat tunes (think Coldplay and Cyndi Lauper) gave the routine energy, while Dioguardi’s attentive instructions and lighthearted observations kept us laughing and wanting more. I left feeling like I got all the benefits of a good cardio-sculpting workout, but with the added plus of finding just a bit more inner peace.

Do you have a favorite yoga workout you’d like to share? Let us know! We’d love to hear about both classic routines and new fusion ones.

—Alyssa Shaffer, acting fitness director

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