Review: Sunflower Yoga and Zumba at Nutmeg’s Dance Studio

Company: Nutmeg’s Dance/Sunflower Yoga

Price: $15 (Yoga drop in) & $10 (Zumba drop in)

Rating: Image result for 5 stars

Fitness is my therapy. When I’m stressed, when I’m happy, when I’m bored – it’s always there for me. And one of my favourite things to do is try a new workout.

Almost three years ago, I visited my family in Southwick, Massachusetts. Around the corner was this fun dance studio called Nutmeg’s Dance with Zumba classes run by Meg, a warm, smiley, and inspiring instructor. I boogied, dripped with sweat and smiled my way through that class. It was a blast, full of great choreography, full body toning and a fun, refreshing way to get some kick-ass cardio in. Did I mention she was four months pregnant with twins at the time? Yeah, she’s cool to say the least.

I recently returned to the US for Thanksgiving and just had to stop by one of her classes. This time, it was next door at Sunflower Yoga for a 60 minute vinyasa flow.

I started dipping my toes in the yoga pond a few years ago, but never really tried traditional styles like vinyasa – and any type of yoga was done via online subscriptions in my living room. So I was confident enough that I wasn’t going to fall on my face, but still pretty nervous for my very first live class.

“Meg made me feel completely at ease and excited to dive in.”

But that changed when welcoming Meg came into the room. She somehow recognised me from three years before which showed how much she pays attention to her students, and made me feel completely at ease and excited to dive in.

The room was warm and dark, with gentle lighting and an aromatherapy oil diffuser that gave out the most calming scent – which I sadly forgot to ask about. There was soft music and plenty of space – only about ten women in total. The mats were in great condition and clean, with blankets, blocks and straps available to use. It was very spa-like.

As soon as I said I had never used blocks or straps, Meg grinned widely and assured me she would change that.

She didn’t lie! The blocks intensified certain toning moves and the straps deepened the stretches. The flow was slow, but not too slow. The workout was relaxing and rejuvenating, but still made my muscles ache the next day. It was a perfect balance of therapy and fitness.

“The only downfall? She has set impossible standards for any future yoga class that isn’t at her studio.”

During savasana, she dimmed the lights even more and told us to use the blankets for props or to snuggle under. And as we laid there in pure bliss, she walked around to each of us, rubbing essential oils in her hands and giving us head massages – was this a dream? Luckily, no!

The only downfall? She has set impossible standards for any future yoga class that isn’t at her studio.

So guys, tell me – where is your favourite yoga studio? And do you have any recommendations for studios in Notting Hill or nearby? I’m a new addict, thanks to Meg.

Sincerely,

Sally

What were the wisest words someone has ever said to you?

I know, I know. It can be hard to pin down the most perfect set of syllables you’ve ever heard. But deep down you know what they are, even if you haven’t implemented them.

They could be massive, mind-blowing pieces of advice, or something you probably would have missed if you were lost in a daydream. The answer is different for everyone. It all depends on who you are, where you are from, where you want to be and how to get there.

For me, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. The voice of fear will sit uncomfortably on my shoulder, smugly and so far from silently it makes my blood boil. It will say, “Don’t do that… you’ll fail” or “You’re not good enough”. And for some of you, that voice overrides all others. You won’t hear the praise, compliments, encouraging words. And this is where I stop you. Why would you listen to that?

Think about it. If this was a boyfriend or girlfriend of yours – no wait, not yours, your best friend’s (because we all know it’s easier to see other people’s relationships clearer than our own), would you let that voice keep talking? Not a chance. That voice is the murderer of all voices. I give you full permission to pull a Dexter and kill that voice. (*Quick interruption: if you haven’t watched Dexter, you probably should. It’s hilariously intriguing and brilliant… anyway, back to the topic at hand.)

I may be better at dishing out advice than actually taking it myself, but I’m working on killing my bad voice. I think I’ve always been pretty good at trying things even if I’m fearful, but self-doubt occasionally creeps in.

So, what were the wisest words someone has ever said to me? Well, if you know me, you know who those words came from…. and that would be my mother. Mother of all mothers, she really does know what to say and when to say it. But a golden one will be her nonchalant, beautiful, free words: “Ooo awesome. Yes! Just do it!”

It’s like clockwork. I’ll think of an idea and she’ll support it. She’s my story board for everything. I’ll empty my thoughts onto her and she’ll give me honest, amazing (and sometimes brutal) feedback. And even if something’s not quite right, she’ll guide me to a fix.

If you don’t have someone like that, find one. Or keep reading my blog, I’m happy to be that person… it’s the reason I made this blog.

So hi. I’m Sally. I’m a writer, just like millions of other writers in this city, but I think I have what it takes because, screw it, I’m trying.

We’ll see where this blog takes me, but in the meantime, stay tuned for some feel-good posts, fun reviews, random shit, and stories that I couldn’t keep hidden.