09 Feb 2011

Getting Fit on the Hill: Go Barefoot

When traveling to Rome and then to Cabo San Lucas for the New Year, I literally stuffed every delicious dish that was presented to me in my mouth. My saving grace was that I walked everywhere but I knew when I got back I needed something different to get me motivated to work out.

My first step was to head to Red Bow Studio in Capitol Hill and sign up for the Willpower and Grace Class. When I arrived to the Tuesday class, I did not know what to expect. I found out that Willpower and Grace is a high-energy and cardiovascular solution that blends yoga and Pilates moves. To paint a picture, you should expect to do yoga-in-motion movements mixed with your favorite cardio video.

Did I mention that you are barefoot? The point of being barefoot is to reconnect with the muscle of the feet, to improve alignment and start encouraging the human body to move the way it was designed to move. According to the owner and instructor, Jane Brodsky, you take more risk when you workout in  your shoes. Her teachings emphasize using your own body weight and landing softly on your feet.

I absolutely loved every barefoot moment of my experience at Red Bow. By the end of the session my mind and body was refreshed, renewed and challenged. Here is my star rating of the class and why:

  • Cardiovascular:  ⋆⋆⋆⋆
    My favorite movement is when you swat and throw your torso and arms to your legs as if you are picking something up and then cross them over to the opposite shoulder. My heart rate was at 150 at the heat of this movement.
  • Total Body Conditioning: ⋆⋆⋆⋆
    This workout is lower body focus. Jane mentioned we did about 300 squat combination and mini push-ups.
  • Mind & Body: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
    Jane would tell us to deliberately challenge our balance.
  • Instructor: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
    Jane truly loves what she is doing. She guides you through each exercise and gives you tips on how you can make your move more challenging. After the class, she is there to answer questions and give you pointers on improving your technique.

I also loved the atmosphere of the Studio and all of the amenities that Red Bow offers. Opened last September, it is a great addition to the Hill and is conveniently located beside Schneider’s of Capitol Hill.  When you decide to come, please pack light because toiletries are provided in the shower area. The studio has a selection of classes for all fitness levels. For more information on pricing and special deals, visit Red Bow.  Last thing, you can sign up for classes online but walk-ins are welcome too. Here is a quick take of what to expect.

Photos by Maria Carey

Willpower and Grace Class Introduction Video

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  • Lee

    Going barefoot as much as possible has greatly helped my knee problem. I injured my knee years ago and have had pain ever since. About a year ago I started working out in Vibrams (as close to barefoot as you can get while working out outside and not risking cuts and germs). Since then, things have only improved. Going barefoot works!

  • Renee

    Great Article – I would like to try this class but I’m not use to not wearing shoes, so this would something new for me.