Way back in January I purchased a Living Social deal for Nalini Method and recently I realized that the deal was going to be expiring soon! Yikes! I booked in my two classes right away! I had actually been thinking about trying out a class when the Living Social deal just appeared. How about that for Karma?
I arrived at Nalini Method’s 60th and West End location on the West Side about 15 minutes prior to scheduled class start time. It’s really easy to find with a huge sign on the building, which I love because I hate wasting time wandering around the streets staring at my iPhone, which is telling me I’m AT THE LOCATION except that I cannot find the darn place! Nalini actually shares space with a ballet school. On this particular Saturday there were about a thousand bun heads and parents in the building when I walked in. There are actually two separate entrances-one for Nalini Method and one for the ballet school but inside things converge a bit. It actually brought back many memories of my own Saturday morning ballet ritual of pink tights and high buns.
The staff was friendly and signed me in very quickly. I headed over to Nalini Method’s designated studio where I met Rupa, the creator/owner of Nalini Method. She was super friendly and great at remembering names (which really impressed me). She remembered everyone’s name in the class of about 20, even though a lot of participants were new. She then wrote your name down on a white board above the bar so everyone had their own individual place, kind of like when you reserve a bike for spin class.
The actual studio has huge windows looking out onto the street, which is great for light but if you are self-conscious, you WILL get people staring in at you so beware! It didn’t bother me at all and I loved the natural light but I know it is not everyone’s cup of tea. The studio is large with floor to ceiling mirros and a closet where you can leave your personal belongings and grab class equipment is conveniently located inside the studio. Because Nalini Method shares space with the ballet studio, the hallways, bathrooms and change rooms can be a bit crowded. I also don’t really feel comfortable showering and changing in front of younger girls personally. You also shouldn’t expect the same amenities you might find with a Physique 57 or Flywheel studio.
Nalini Method proclaims to be a fusion of Pilates, aerobics, barre work, strength, resistance training and yoga. I definitely felt the influence of barre work, strength, resistance training and Pilates during class. The warm up at the beginning of class did incorporate some aerobics moves, but I would not say that it permeated the class and overall my heart rate was lower than in many other barre classes. But the lack of aerobic and cardiovascular training does not mean this class is easy. On the contrary, it is quite difficult and I really, really felt my muscles working. I had many moments where I thought “Oh thank god that’s over!” I did not see a huge influence from yoga in this class but Nalini Method does incorporate a lot of stretching. We stretched the working muscles after each segment and I do think you could increase your flexibility over time with this class.
So what do you do in Nalini Method? Well, you get to play with a lot of equipment! 🙂 The class utilizes yoga blocks, straps, weights, ankle weights and bands to help tone your entire body. Expect to do things like jump squats, bicep curls, squats at the barre holding the block between your legs, pushups, planks, leg lifts with the band around your thighs, tricep dips, lunges with the ankle weights on your wrists and much more! Rupa spends a lot of time focusing on your posture and alignment and makes sure you are using the equipment correctly. And she knows your name and won’t be afraid to call out a correction to you or tell you that you’re doing a great job! My favorite part of the class was at the end when Rupa came around to each person and gave them a tiny little massage. I thought I was going to go to heaven! 🙂
I burned about 250-260 calories per class and my muscles were pretty sore the next day! I also really enjoyed the focus on stretching throughout the class. Nalini Method is $35 per class and offers discounts if you buy a class package. If you live or work in the Columbus Circle area, I would definitely recommend you try out Nalini Method!