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.
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.
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!
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.
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!