The Quest for a Great Class

Aug 2, 2008

I love taking classes, mostly dance or yoga, but I'm open to others. Since I've been here, where I can walk to most everything that interests me, I've taken several different classes. Some of them I went back to and some of them were, well, weird. Here's a quick review of the classes I've taken and what I thought:

Yoga at The Gym: These classes are awesome. I try to get there 5 days a week. They have classes every day at 8 am, on M-W-F they also have classes at 10 am and 6pm. On T-TH they also have classes at 7 am and 8 pm. There are two teachers, Ellen and Cindy. They both have different styles that compliment each other. Ellen teaches hardcore yoga, a mix of vinyasa and power yoga that kicks your butt. Cindy teaches vinyasa flow that is mellow and helps me recover from kicking my own butt in Ellen's classes!

Yoga/Meditation at Jardin de los Aluxes: This class is held in a beautiful palapa structure in a lush garden on 36th street, just past La Cueva del Chango restaurant. I went hoping for a really hard class, it ended up being a sort of strange mix of meditation techniques. The only actual yoga pose we did was corpse pose, but we did have to dance for 13 minutes and whistle along to a song. The whole time I was trying to keep an open mind and not judge the process until I could see how I felt afterwards. I'm not sure if the classes are always like that (although he did say that the group there had been doing the same class for the last 30 days as some sort of quest for child-like happiness, or something). I left feeling ok, but ultimately I was looking for a physically challenging yoga class, so I didn't go back.

Buddhist Meditation with Diamond Way: I used to do Zen meditation once a week with a group when I lived in NJ, so when I saw that there were meditation classes, or sessions, here, I thought I'd give it a shot. Diamond Way is different than Zen Buddhism in that they chant to Karmapa Chenu, one of their disciples or something. I was used to completely silent meditation, so I found the chanting a little weird and it sort of felt like idol worship to me. I figure I can do silent meditations on my own, so I didn't got back there, either.

Center 8 at Center 8 Studio: This awesome class kicked my butt. Seriously kicked it. I took it on Saturday morning and I'm still super sore two days later! The class started with lots of hip hop dance movements to get us warm, then we did a ton of lunges, arm weights, abs and a little visualization/meditation at the end. This is by far the hardest group class I've taken in years. I will definitely be going back. One of the coolest parts about this class was meeting some longtime Playenses, women who have lived here for 5-10 years or so. Several of them had kids, so it was cool to meet people who have roots set here, rather than just people young people who are here just having some fun.

Salsa Lessons at La Zebra in Tulum: This is by far my favorite place to Salsa dance around here, mostly because the dancing starts by about 8, so I can dance and still get some sleep. The places in Playa often don't start until 11:30, so it's gonna be a long night. I found the instruction here to be excellent and easy to follow along with. The band was great, and dancing right on the beach can't be beat. Plus, they have the best mojitos in the Riviera Maya. They have a sugar cane crusher right on the bar!

4 comments: said...

I love Ellen's yoga classes, used to take them when she was at Yoga by the Sea. Now that she is at the Gym, I can't take them as I am not a member. I recently chose to join Area at Paseo Mall just because it is closer for my friend Sara to get there, and I won't work out without a friend (I know myself too well). Maybe in October I can convince her to try The Gym for a while.

Where is Center 8 studio? How much was that class?

mexpat said...

Heather- Center 8 is on C 42 between 5th Ave and the beach, on the left hand side. I think you would really like her class- it's hard, but it's also fun to dance to hip hop. I wouldn't be surprised if you know several people there, seems like everyone knows Tiffany, the owner/teacher.

You get a couple classes free, but after that it's $100 pesos for one class and you get a discount when you buy packages of classes. I'm thinking about buying 20 classes or something. It rocks.

There's more info about it on the Locals forum on

Ale said...

sounds fantastic! I have been trying to attend a yoga class or something, it got me curious, but then I got pregnant (sick sick sick 9 months) and now with the baby weight i am shy.. ah well i don't think nobody cares!
Thanks to your post, I will give it a try. How do you know which one would be a good place to start with? heh or you just go.. I guess! ok, 6 am ramblings.. sorry!

Vanessa said...

Hola! First...great blog!! :)

I appreciate your honesty regarding the classes. You've done the legwork for me!! I'm looking for a place to workout when I eventually move there. Sounds like it might be The Gym with a few classes at Studio 8 to keep things interesting.