Sunday, May 20, 2018
Last updated: 3 years ago

UBC Rec Free Week reviewed

Yoga is a lot harder than it looks. File photo Chris Borchert / The Ubyssey.

Yoga is a lot harder than it looks. File photo Chris Borchert / The Ubyssey.

Every year UBC Rec holds their annual Free Week which allows UBC students from all walks of life and fitness levels to try out all of their fitness classes for free. From Aikido to Lyrical Jazz, Mat Pilates to Aquacize (which totally isn’t in the Oxford dictionary, but should be), Free Week has something for everyone.

In what has become a Ubyssey tradition, we sent some writers to free week to test their limits, learn new skills, get big and show UBC what The Ubyssey is made of. Apparently this year we are made of “vibrating and spasming,” and “not in, or near any form of good shape.” Maybe we should stick to writing about sports.

Never-the-less, we review 50-50 Yoga Pilates and Shadow Boxing.

50-50 Yoga Pilates

Although I write regularly about sports and recreation, I haven’t been to the gym in nearly a year. Finding the SRC studio was pretty hard for me, even though it is right by the entrance. Now understand that I do run quite a lot and bike around a bit, so I’m probably not the lazy bum that you think I am. Still, I’m more accustomed to high adrenaline and energetic sports that require quite a lot of running and physical contact.

Going into the class, I had no idea what yoga and pilates were about. I only had a perception of the workouts based on my friend’s Instagram photos of people carrying their mats everywhere and eating granola for breakfast. So there I was at nine in the morning, waiting groggily outside the studio and having no idea about what the class had in store for me.

I thought it was going to be a walk in the park. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

By the time we were done with the first three positions, my body was already vibrating and spasming. My legs were kicking randomly against my will and felt like I had lit them on fire. I learned that it is difficult — probably more difficult than most of the workouts I do — to hold one position and stay perfectly still.

The class was great because it was open to people of all levels. Even though I tended to be slouching or my legs weren’t completely off the ground, the instructor accommodated my pain-wracked body. She constantly demonstrated alternative positions for the rest of us unseasoned yogis to try out just so that we weren’t left out. It also wasn’t as intimidating as I expected — everyone else seemed too preoccupied with their own workout to care about my inexperience. The class totally changed my perception of yoga and pilates as workouts. Trust me, my aching body is a testament to that.

10/10 — I would take the class if I could afford it.

- Olamide Olaniyan

Shadow Boxing

As a kid, I always wanted to grow up and become the next Muhammad Ali. So when I was tasked with going to a free class and writing about it, I figured Shadow Boxing would be the perfect class for me to try. Boy, was I wrong.

This isn’t to say the class was bad, but after the class I quickly realized two things — one being that I am not in, or near, any form of good shape and two being that I have a newfound respect for boxers. The class was 50 minutes long, and after 10 minutes of punching air, I could not feel my shoulders. After 20 minutes, I couldn’t feel any part of my body.

I know this is not a glowing review, but if you are like me and have a cardio system that lasts as long as a Ronda Rousey fight, or even if you are in the best of shape, this class is a must take. The teacher is great, you will meet a lot of cool people and at the very least you will push your physical limits beyond what you are used to. Thank you, UBC Rec.

- Kenneth Pittman

Free Week may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in shape this term. UBC Rec runs classes seven days a week at all times of the day. Learn martial arts, dance, yoga or swimming. If you don’t feel like paying for classes, you can always join the Birdcoop, use the pool at the UBC Aquatic Centre for free or use one of the residence workout rooms. Or, you know, go outside.