One of the most interesting aspects about Sunstone I’ve discovered since starting my first class is that it’s about so much more than just yoga. Naturally, yoga is a primary part of the Sunstone experience, but I’ve noticed that when I tell friends I’m about to head to a Sunstone class, they don’t automatically assume I’m taking yoga. That’s because Sunstone has differentiated itself in the local “fitness marketplace” as a resource for a complete offering of fitness classes designed to improve the strength and health of the mind and body from head to toe. 

I decided that if I was brave enough to try yoga, then I should branch out into Sunstone’s other classes. Plus, I was ready for that extra push. 

Metal was my first stop. Metal is Sunstone’s Hot Pilates class. Derived from traditional mat-based Pilates principles, this series focuses on the core “powerhouse” muscles, such as the abdominals and glutes , and provides a rigorous full-body fitness option. The abdomen, back, inner thighs, and buttocks get most of the attention during this high-energy class set to upbeat music. Hot Pilates’ movements are designed to increase the health and flexibility of the spine while training muscles to work together. This improves efficiency of movement and leads to improved posture and overall strength. I needed all of that, and then some, so Metal seemed like the perfect way to complement my yoga classes.

Before taking this class, Pilates was (again) something I mistakenly thought was designed only for the already-fit student. I chatted with the instructor prior to class, and she assured me that although the class would likely be more challenging than Spark and Fire, it would also be quite manageable. Like the other Sunstone instructors I’ve encountered, she was welcoming and made sure to let me know there is no shame in making mistakes or taking a minute to learn and correct the movements and learn their order. My first Metal class required taking those breather minutes, no doubt, but it also gave me the exact “push” I was looking for. I wanted to be able to move, of course, the next day, but I also wanted to experience the feeling in my muscles post-workout that tells me I’m doing the right thing for my body—and should continue. Metal was exactly that class. 

Before you go, I feel it’s only fair to prepare you that, most likely, your abs will likely work and move like never before, and you’ll sweat. A lot. The temperature in metal is set at 90 degrees, after all. But the feeling of accomplishment and overall health benefits you experience after class make more of a lasting impression that the “burn” you felt from some of those movements near the end of class. Like me, if you have never taken a Pilates class before, this could be a tough one for you. The instructor was right--it wasn’t impossible, and it was manageable. But it was also hard. Having said that, don’t let the word “hard” scare you away from Metal. I walked away realizing what parts of my body are in need of  more attention. At 42, I want to get stronger, and this class was a reminder that I still have a ways to go. However, it was also a reminder that I can achieve my goals. Hey, I got through the class and felt better immediately afterward. Looking around the classroom, there were students at all ages and levels. I reminded myself that they, too, had to start somewhere. 

That somewhere might be Sunstone’s new Sweat and Core classes. If taking a Metal class fires you up for even more cardio and strength conditioning, check out Sunstone’s Core and Sweat classes. These 45-minute, high-intensity resistance training classes will perfectly complement your yoga experience at Sunstone. There are several differences in Core and Sweat compared to the other classes at Sunstone, and one difference is that these are not “hot” classes. They’re on the cooler side of Sunstone’s offerings, but the truth is…you’re still going to sweat it out. Remember the tips from my last entry—breathe and hydrate!

Core: Sunstone’s Core series is a full-body functional fitness class. This 45-minute power class contains upper and lower body strength training exercises designed for all fitness levels. Core targets all areas of your body from your shoulders and upper arms to your thighs and lower abs; the areas that help us create stability in our body’s core. Pairing a weighted ball with targeted exercises will increase strength in the body’s center.

Sweat: Sweat is Sunstone’s most cardio-driven class. The 45 minute series focuses on lower and upper body resistance exercises executed with a weighted ball. The resistance workout is split by a 15 minute intense cardio segment. The combination of interval training, strength based exercises, and utilization of large muscle groups is designed to make you, well, sweat!

Sunstone kicked off its Core and Sweat series this week. See you there.

Visit sunstonefit.com to learn more about the classes and register. There are eight class series in 10 of the 11 locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth.  Join in the fun to “Find Your Edge” by taking and posting your #SweatySelfies after class, not only as an accountability tool, but in celebration of making your fitness goal of the day. Follow Sunstone on Twitter at @SunstoneFIT or on Facebook at Facebook/sunstoneyoga.