Jemima Forbes continues her exploration of what’s on offer at The Y Club by trying out some of the yoga and Pilates classes to see if they really do work…
Yoga and Pilates are becoming increasingly popular with people from all walks of life and Manchester most gyms offer them as regular classes, including the The Y Club.
“Most people will
pull a face at the
thought that yoga
and Pilates are a
form of strenuous
They are often recommended to those who suffer from age-related aches and pains but yoga and Pilates classes are by no means just for the older generation. In recent years, attending these sorts of classes has become fashionable among younger people and yoga retreats to far flung places are now in popular demand. This may or may not have something to do with that Julia Roberts film, Eat, Pray, Love.
Telling your friends you go to yoga or Pilates may make you feel more sophisticated and bohemian but the actual health benefits of these sessions should be enough to entice everyone to give it a go – and that means you men, too! Highly beneficial ways of improving one’s balance, posture, flexibility and stretching out any aches and pains, the ancient practice of yoga and more recent invention of Pilates in the early 20th century are also thought to help reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure and make you feel more positive and relaxed. Sound tempting yet?
Most people will pull a face at the thought that yoga and Pilates are a form of strenuous exercise and they would be right to do so. It is by no means an intense workout and only certain forms contribute towards the weekly recommendation of 150 minutes of physical activity.
Nevertheless, the movements and skills acquired from these classes can help strengthen muscles, improve your balance, calm your breathing and help you de-stress – perfect after a tough day at the office or on a lazy weekend.
The Y Club have five different kinds of weekly yoga class including more specific forms, Vinyasa and Iyenger yoga, and Yoga for Beginners on Sunday afternoons.
For a more vigorous class, try out the 5.30pm Friday session of Power Yoga. As the name suggests, this class is more energetic and works on increasing your flexibility, improving body alignment and gently toning the muscles.
A challenging class that will definitely make you break out in a sweat, Power Yoga is suitable for all levels and you can reward yourself afterwards by having a quick drink at one of the neighbouring Castlefield pubs.
I definitely felt the effects of this class the next day and could see an improvement in my balance by the end of the session. However, if that sounds a little too much for you, have a go at perhaps the most relaxing class on offer at The Y Club – the Saturday afternoon Yogalates class.
As the name suggests, this is a combination of yoga and Pilates and focuses around controlling your breathing and creating spatial awareness of the body.
While some exercises may be on the tough side for those of us with poor balance, I would definitely recommend this class to newcomers to the two practices as it is easy to follow, gentle and the relaxation warm down at the end will almost certainly put you in a good mood for the rest of the day. And if your weekends are all booked up, the same class takes place on Thursday morning at 7am- the ideal stress relief before a hectic day at work.
If you are looking to strengthen and tone your core and leg muscles in a more mobile workout, a Pilates class could be the answer. Differing from yoga in its use of flowing movement instead of meditation and static poses, Pilates can vary in intensity and is a great companion to regular aerobic exercise.
The Monday morning session combines a series of stretches and short balancing and toning exercises on mats with the occasional use of small hand weights and is a good way to start off your weekly exercise regime. This is the only Pilates session on offer throughout the week but other combinatory classes of Yoga and Pilates (like Thursday lunch time Piloga) use similar methods.
The Y Club also have a newly refurbished swimming pool which offers several classes, including aqua aerobics, for a gentler workout as well as use of the facility for lane swimming throughout the day.
Swimming is a great way to exercise multiple muscles in your body and puts far less pressure on the joints than other aerobic work outs making it perfect for those recovering from injuries.
The pool at The Y Club is a decent size for a half hour swim and is usually quiet except when being used for lessons. You can relax by spending 5-10 minutes in the changing room saunas after exercising or by taking advantage of the 10% member discount for the Castlefield Spa and Hotel next door.
Contact & join
Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4JR
0161 837 3535