There’s nothing quite like doing a new form of fitness going into it feeling like you’re in decent shape only to be reminded that maybe, in fact, you’re not.
Liquid Fit at the Westin Bayshore is one of those workouts that will challenge and humble anyone who’s never done it before.
It’s a combination of standup paddleboarding, yoga, and group fitness all done in a pool on Aquamats--wide, nonslip, inflatable pads.
Leading a recent class at the Westin Bayshore’s outdoor pool was Kristy Wright Schell, who’s also a yoga, paddleboard, surf, and paddleboard-yoga (Liquid Yoga) instructor.
The founder of Just Add Water Yoga led a small group of us through a series of slow movements—but by no means does “slow” mean “easy”. Just the opposite, in fact. Even taking steps forward and back along the mat proved to be far more difficult when we weren’t rushing through them.
No one bailed in our class, but we all came close. At one point, Wright Schell had us making waves, transferring our weight from left to right in quick succession, the pool turning into an outdoor washing machine.
Lunges, squats, and even burpees (either stepping out or, for the brave and mighty, jumping): While you’re doing all these different moves, you’re working hard to keep your balance. That means small stabilizing muscles in your legs constantly firing and your core muscles are consistently engaged.
You get to do yoga-inspired stretches, too, and when the class is over, it feels like a glorious reward to willingly (not accidentally) tumble into the pool.
At the time, it’s intense but fun to do so many different motions on the pool’s shimmering surface, especially "mermaid" leg lifts, your heels together and toes pointing out before you bring your feet together and slap them down into the water.
But just wait several hours or until the next day. Then you’ll notice just how hard you were working. All of those muscles you didn’t even know existed get a wake-up call with this class, leaving you with a delicious body ache.
You’ll sleep well that night, too.
Just like its Liquid Yoga classes, the Liquid Fit classes at the Westin Bayshore are 60 minutes long and take place Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. Locals can attend for $30 (it’s $25 for hotel guests) or get a five-pass class for $125.
For reservations and schedules, go to MindBody or call 604.682.3377.
You can find Aquamat-based fitness classes in other parts of the Lower Mainland, too.
The West Vancouver Aquatic Centre, for instance, offers a registered program called Aqua Core Blast.
Have you found these types of fitness classes in your community? Let us know where – and what you think!