Location: 111 N. Lacienga Blvd, Ste B, Beverly Hills, CA
Work-out: active stretching
Next day soreness: 4
Duration: 60 minutes
Sweat Level: Moderately Sweaty
Parking: Valet parking lot, street parking
Amenities: Lockers, swag for purchase
Requirements for class: can do with socks or no socks – there is a workout portion so not a bad idea to have water
I was invited to SM Stretching LA to check out the new studio and try this new class concept. I thought I was walking into a relaxing class involving stretching and boy was I wrong! But in the best way.
The class started with 20 minutes of an active workout (similar to what you would do in a mat pilates or barre class). We did abs, a plank series, squats and push-ups, and it really got our heart rates up. For the next 40 minutes, we stretched. BUT be prepared to work! The instructor Samira, used to be a gymnast, so she showed us stretches that you would not normally find in a yoga class or at the end of a fitness class. These were intense stretching poses that we held for minutes at a time, and were meant to really work on our flexibility, rather than to decompress after a workout. There are only 10 spots in the class, so everyone there got individual attention. Samira would go around and work with everyone on a personal basis, and push you further than you think you could go. I thought I was decently good at stretching and flexible from my decade of doing ballet, but I quickly realized that there was a lot more I could work on when it came to flexibility. This class also helped me realize that I had been doing some of these stretches and the splits completely wrong for all of these years. And I was definitely sweating and working through some of those tough stretches and poses.
The goal of the class is to eventually and painlessly get you into the splits on both sides, so at the end of the class, we each held our own version of the splits for 4 minutes on each side. I definitely don’t have my splits down yet so this required a lot of upper body strength. The girl next to me was very close to her splits and she said when she started 3 classes ago, she was no where near getting a splits. She was very impressed with her progress after taking a few of these classes. Samira said that in about 4 classes, I would get into full splits, no problem. Needless to say, this was motivation to come back.
If you’re looking for a completely unique experience while working on your flexibility, this is the class for you. Just don’t expect it to be easy, because you will work hard!