I Tried 4 Different Fitness Classes at UCSD

Since the end of COVID, there has been a surge of students getting involved in fitness, especially in instructor-led classes like yoga, pilates, barre, and kickboxing. And incase you haven’t heard yet, there is a Recreation Activity Pass (RAP) that allows UCSD students to sign up for these classes for free. So, I got one and attended four different classes to give you all the lowdown.

Monday 10  a.m. | SunRISE Yoga with Jane

I’ve only done one of these classes but I would highly recommend this class. Each week there is a specific theme that the two instructors focus on and bring each part of the practice back to. This week, the theme was Inner Peace and one of the instructors brought journals for each person, along with a handmade mixture of water, oil, and food coloring for each person to shake, signifying the chaos of inner emotions. She explained at the start of class that each person should take a journal, pencil, and a jar with the concoction and begin the class by having us write in the journals and play with the very stimulating jars. Next, we did yoga for about twenty minutes. The yoga was very basic and not all that challenging, so I think it would be fun for beginners or anyone looking for a quick run-through of simple movements. The classes ended with meditation and each person was given a small amethyst heart to take home.

In all, the class felt like a very productive way to start off my week by focusing on gratitude and meditation. I enjoyed the teachers, and it was a co-ed class with varying skill levels. I definitely thought there would be more yoga, so if you’re looking for an intense yoga class or even a long yoga pattern, this might not be the best class for you. Regardless, the teachers are kind and dedicated to teaching their students about the core theme for that day. It’s a great way to start your week, if you’re willing to wake up before 10 a.m. on a Monday!

Monday 4  p.m. | Pilates Props with Michelle

I tried this class twice and really enjoyed it! I had never done pilates before and only knew what I had seen from influencers on Tik Tok and Instagram, so I was a little bit nervous. I thought the class was going to require flexibility or the knowledge of specific movements, but it turned out to be really fun and not all that demanding. The instructor, Michelle, is very sweet and gives helpful directions for each movement, so I never felt completely lost. The room in RIMAC is covered in mirrors so you can check your form and make sure it aligns with what she is describing. Michelle provided us with equipment, including a mat, pilates ball, hoop, and bands, so all you have to do is show up. We did a collection of a bunch of different movements, most of them targeting the core, and we worked on glutes and arms as well. The class goes by relatively quickly because Michelle has an entertaining routine that kept me interested. Some of the movements were more challenging than others, but all of them were doable and Michelle was there to help if needed. 

I would highly recommend going to this class because it was a low intensity activity that made me feel healthy — like I was one of those “it-girls” I always see on social media. I made the mistake of sitting in a place where I couldn’t see Michelle at some angles which made some of the movements more challenging than they should have been, so if possible, sit where you can completely see her. The class is fun and a great way to get some activity in on a Monday!

Tuesday 5  p.m. | Cardio Kick Box with Eldridge

I’m going to be completely honest with you, this class is probably not at all what you think of when you picture kickboxing. Personally, when someone says “kickboxing class” I think of women in red boxing gloves taking out their rage on hanging punching bags. This class was definitely not that. While the instructor did teach us the proper form for a punch and sidekick, it was only used as part of a cardio routine in rhythm with music. This class is basically a dance routine with some air punches and a couple of sidekicks. The class would be fun to bring a close friend or two and laugh at how ridiculous you feel, because alone, you feel a little bit silly watching yourself dance (with kicks and punches) in the wall of mirrors. It’s great cardio if you’re looking for a class to get your heart rate up, but I doubt this class is  what you’d expect. Take the class if you want to follow a routine and punch a little, but not if you’re looking to kickbox!

Wednesday 10:30 a.m. | Hatha Flow with Rebecca

This class was a true yoga class. The instructor, Rebecca, clearly knew what she was talking about and there were only about seven students in the class, which allowed her to work with each person individually to correct their form. This class is definitely more structured than the sunRISE class on Monday, and is great for students who want a purely yoga routine. I enjoyed the class because I have done yoga before and was looking for a 50 minute only-yoga class. She thoroughly explained each movement beforehand, so if you’re new to yoga don’t be intimidated! There were varying skill levels in the class, and Rebecca catered to those who were more advanced, as well as gave options for those who couldn’t fully complete a position. The only critique I could give was the lack of music. At first it really threw me off because I’m used to falling back on the relaxing music in the background when the instructor stops talking, but after a while I got used to it. All in all, I would recommend trying this class if you want a real yoga experience that will strengthen your yoga skills and bring you a sense of peace in the middle of the week!

So now that I have done my part in taking these classes, it’s your turn to try them out for yourselves. Best of luck!

Photo Via Dylan Gillis on Unsplash