Move your Bolly-licious Body with Doonya

It’s Move It March!  Yeah, March is making us mad so we are reclaiming the month in efforts to leap off our comatose couch-bound status.  Sadly, there is snow AGAIN on the ground and, with the irresponsible nature of Chicago Spring, indoor workouts are a must.  As we all need variety (or vari-itay as one could say), we jumped at a recent invite to sample a unique world dance inspired fitness class, Doonya.  Khushboo Rami, our fearless instructor and 1 of 2 Doonya instructors in the whole Chicago area, warmly welcomed us to the River North Gym for our first Doonya experience.

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Some of you probably have an inkling of what Doonya is all about from some alluring TV commercials.  Seriously, we had our debit card in one hand and the remote in the other debating on whether to buy their streaming online classes.  Doonya has actually been around since 2005 when innovator and super fit co-founders, Priya and Kajal, aspired to develop what they were doing in their Indian dance troupe to a replicable dance fitness method.  Khushboo was the 4th trained instructor in D.C. and carried the brand with her when she moved to the Chi.  So, what can you expect when you lace on your Reeboks and get ready for your flash dance moment?

Khushboo explained that Doonya has some major components that are present in every class, no matter where you attend.  There is always a mix of high and low energy cardio and 4 major dance styles are weaved throughout the class: Indian folk, Bhangra, Classical Indian dance/conditioning, and Bollypop (Indian popular dance sometimes mixed with mainstream Western pop/rap).  The signature moves, like the Bollytap, glute lifts and knee lifts, crunchy standing ab moves and the heel flick, you will be able to catch the rhythm after a few songs.  Once you have a few favorite numbers, you can request your best Bolly-shaking tunes on Facebook or directly to your amicable Doonya instructor.

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So how did our first class go?  Well, although we both work out (yoga, running, dance), our bodies were still challenged by Doonya’s high impact cardio sections.  Khushboo broke down basic moves before beginning routines which made it less intimidating for us newbies.  Near the middle, we found our sweaty spot but weren’t too concerned as the infectious dance music keeps you moving.  We really loved the M.I.A. “Bad Girls” remix and were super surprised by the challenging nature of the classical moves at the end.  Your thighs will shake!

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Ready to throw on a kurti and give it a try?  Khushboo teaches on Thursdays at 5:30 pm and drop in classes are only $15.  You can also sign up for a free 3 day pass for River North Gym and try your first Doonya class for nuthin’.  The gym is hiding on the 10th floor of the Merchandise Mart so take the Brown or Purple line if you don’t wanna mess with parking.  We can’t wait to go back to work on our shoulder shimmies.

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Here are a few of our fave Bollywood jams to get you in the bollymood for Doonya.  Do you have a secret Bolly-jam?  Let us know so we can expand our collection!

Dilli Wali Girlfriend

High Heels

1, 2, 3, 4 from Chennai Express

All we want for Xmas is Pilates bodies!

We have to confess…it’s been almost a week since our last workout and our abs still hurt!  Last Saturday, we kicked another Chi style birthday off right with our next Lululemon “12 Days of OM” event at Superior Pilates.  Before we got started, we shared a nervous conversation with a fellow classmate about the reformers and their semi torturous facades.  Our fears were soon assuaged by Kristen Wolf, our teacher, owner and founder of Superior Pilates as she explained that we wouldn’t tackle the machines until we had the basics down.

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Finally, we snuggled into the mats and tightened our tummies in anticipation.

So what’s the hype about this workout?  Pilates (pronounced puh-LAH-teez) helps build flexibilitymuscle strength, and body awareness and involves the legsabdomenarmships, buttocks and lower back.  This workout strengthens and stretches bulky muscles as well as tones and balances the smaller muscle groups.   Need more info?  Click here on Wikipedia.

During our 1 hour class, Kristen worked out every part of the body.  We tried our hand at the more traditional moves like “the hundred” exercise and adventured into some new territory with the use of spring-and-pulley apparatus that pushed our triceps and calves to the sculpting limits.

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The small class size allowed Kristen to give personal attention to each student.  After we had exhausted every muscle fiber, we chatted it up with Kristen about her journey into pilates.  Kristen suffered whiplash from a car accident and began pilates as a tool for rehabilitation.  She ended up loving it so much that she followed up with professional pilates training and eventually purchased the cozy and sunny studio space.

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At the end of our class, Molly from Lululemon raffled off a sweet black tank with watercolor style flowers…and guess who won?  The bday girl!!

Hurry up and get in on the holiday fun at the next 12 Days of OM or take the Pilates Plunge with Kristen at Superior Pilates.