Yoga, HIIT, Barre & Pilates Home Workout

We know how hard it can be to fit in exercise while in lockdown. You’re attempting a downward dog while the puppy licks your foot, your kids are imitating your happy baby pose, your partner is on a zoom meeting while you attempt a burst of burpees or you are mid run when your boss calls!
 
To help cut through some of the noise, we have created a unique Yoga, HIIT, Barre & Pilates circuit that you can do anytime from home. Now there’s no excuse to miss out on your fitness when you have a spare 40 minutes between zoom calls or while the kids are doing their own thing. Curated by our LUXE team, this heart-pumping workout incorporates pilates, HIIT, yoga and barre so you can get the full range of our studio classes and sculpt your body all in one go. You’ll be sure to earn yourself that 5pm wine (let’s be honest – 3pm is the new 5pm in lockdown). 

Download an exercise app such as Gymboss to set your timer and away you go. No equipment needed except for two wine bottles (no judgement if they are already empty!).

Warm up: 2 minutes

20 mountain climbers

15 alternating lunges (per side)

Repeat

Mountain climbers: Start in a plank position, keep your core engaged and your back straight as you bring each knee into your chest until you are running against the floor.

“I love that mountain climbers target the full body, especially your arms, shoulders and quads.” – Dan, Rhythm Ride teacher

Lunges: Stand tall and step back with one foot until your leg reaches a 90-degree angle. Your rear knee should remain parallel to the ground and your front knee shouldn’t go beyond your toes. Lift your front lunging leg to return to the starting position.

Circuit

60 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest. Three rounds! You can add a 45 second rest after each round.

Push ups

Curtsy lunge

Bicycle crunches

Burpee star jump

Tricep extensions

Wall sit

Scissors

10 punches with cans or wine bottles, 10 jump squats

Push ups

Get down on all fours and place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. With your legs and arms straight lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause and push back up. Repeat.

“I love how a push up can always be made into a challenge. From counting how many you can do in a set time to making it harder by going to your toes or adding a clap – there’s always a way for this basic exercise to be pushed to the next level” – Sammy – Rhythm Ride and HIIT teacher.

Curtsy Lunge

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Shift your weight to your right foot and step back and around with your left foot, like your almost in a curtsy. Chest stays lifted. Stop lunging when your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Straighten your right leg and push through your heel, returning your left foot to the starting position. Switch legs. To intensify the exercise, hold onto two cans or two wine bottles.

Bicycle Crunches

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat o the floor, hip-width apart. Place your arms behind your head, pointing your elbows outward. Engage your abs and lift your knees to a tabletop. Lift your trunk off the floor. Exhale and rotate, moving your right elbow to your left knee. Simultaneously straighten your right leg. Pause. Inhale and return to starting position. Exhale. Move your left elbow to your right knee and extend your left leg. Repeat.

“A classic bicycle crunch targets the upper, lower and side obliques. When it’s done slowly and effectively it’s an absolute burner for the abs!” – Kendra – Ride, Pilates and HIIT teacher.

Burpee Star Jump

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the hips and knees, reach down and put your hands to the ground and hop back into a push-up position. Hop your feet back up near your hands and jump up into a star jump. Repeat.


“Star jump burpees give you the most bang for your buck. Your heart rate will crank up as this functional movement requires almost every muscle in the body” – Kendra – Ride, Pilates, HIIT teacher.

Tricep Extension & Wall Sit

Tricep extension: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and bottles or cans held in front of you. Raise the them above your head until your arms are stretched out straight. Slowly lower them back behind your head. Squeeze the elbows together. Once your forearms are parallel to the floor bring the bottles back up to the starting position.

Wall sit: Stand with your back against a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Engage your abs and slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your back flat against the wall and make sure your knees are directly above your ankles.

Scissors

Lie down on your mat, hugging your knees into your chest as you lift your head and shoulders off the mat. Extend your legs up to a high diagonal, placing hands behind one calf as you pull towards you twice while extending the other leg out. Then change legs. To make it harder, reach your hands behind your ankles and lower the other leg closer to the mat.

“I love how scissors work both sides of your obliques and that you can do this at different tempos.” – Janika – Pilates & Yoga teacher.

10 punches & 10 jump squats

Hold a can or wine bottle in each hand. Start with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with the left foot in front. Extend your left hand forward with control, rotating palm to face down. Snap left arm back to starting position and repeat with the right arm. After 10 punches each arm, place the cans on the floor and set up for a squat jump. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge at the hips to push your bum back and lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then jump as high as you can. Repeat.

Cool down: 3 minutes

Glute bridge (45 seconds)

Supine twist (45 seconds)

Legs up the wall (45 seconds)

Childs pose (45 seconds)

Glute bridge: Lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze those glutes hard and keep your abs engaged.

Supine twist: Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat. Bring your knees to the left and exhale, bring your knees back to center on the inhale. Repeat, bringing your knees to the right.

Legs up the wall: Lie with your bum right up against the wall and legs straight above you.

Childs pose: Come to your hands and knees on the mat. Spread your knees as wide as your mat, keeping the tops of your feet on the floor. Bring your stomach to rest between your thighs and place your forehead to the floor. Breathe.

Sesame Seed Noodle Salad

One of the nicer things about being at home is the chance to slow down and take time to try out some amazing new recipes. We are loving the tasty recipes from Claudia @cleaning.eating.life. As a Personal Trainer and Health and Wellbeing Coach, Claudia understands the delicate balance of nourishing our bodies with wholesome foods while treating yourself to delicious not-so-naughty treats. She loves to create and cook food that is healthy and flavoursome, and today we are sharing one of our favourites – Claudia’s Sesame Seed Noodle Salad.

Get inspired @cleaning.eating.life

This simple, healthy and delicious salad is a quick and easy lunch to create when you are pressed for time and need something to nourish your body.

Pro tip: Triple the recipe and make a big batch to keep in the fridge for lunches for your week ahead!

Ingredients:
110g chicken breast, cut into pieces
30 to 40g avocado, sliced
2 to 3 tbsp capsicum, chopped
1 to 2 tbsp corn kernels
30g soy bean noodles

Salad Dressing:
1 tsp mayo
1 tsp tamari or soy sauce
Chilli flakes, sesame seeds and salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Salt and cook chicken in a pan for 5 to 10minutes. While the chicken is cooking, cook the noodles as per packet directions.  Once the chicken and noodles are cooked, place In a bowl with remaining salad ingredients.  Combine the mayo and tamari/soy sauce in a small dish and drizzle over the salad ingredients. Enjoy!

How to follow your soul purpose

If lockdown has taught us anything it is the importance of pushing pause on our lives and allowing ourselves to stop and reflect. Lockdown not only clears our social calendar but also gives us space to re-evaluate our lifestyles. For many, this has allowed passions to be followed and paths to be re-routed.

LUXE is a lifestyle and we believe passion and purpose are two vital ingredients for our well-being, so we are sitting down with two of our teachers to find out how they corrected their course to follow their true purpose.

Embrace your Sasha Fierce

“I’ve always had a fear of public speaking,” says Sammy, “so I never thought I’d be able to become a Ride instructor, but something magical happens in that LUXE ride room where my fear disappears and my love for rhythm riding takes over. It’s almost like I have a Sasha Fierce moment”. With the encouragement from her spin instructor mum, Sammy pushed through her self-doubt and started teaching 6 am classes before her corporate city job. Getting up on stage in front of a room full of people would leave her shaking with panic before every class but the community vibe of LUXE soon evaporated that feeling and she ignited her alter ego. “I love the energy everyone brings to class. No matter what is happening in each other lives we ride and sweat it away while listening to funky tunes. It’s electric.”


Create mental space


The key is to create space for your mind to wander and to look inward to see what you want. Whether that’s meditation, yoga or time outdoors, carve out regular time to just be. For Lailla, it was attending a Breathwork workshop that gave her an epiphany. “I had studied at university and completed a course to become a Real Estate Agent as it was the most logical path I could choose. During a Shamanic Breathwork session, I had a deep realisation that I wasn’t on the right path.” Sammy on the other hand was forced to re-evaluate when COVID hit.  “I lost my job and apartment due to COVID and then a week later I found out I was pregnant with twins.” She had spent nearly ten years building a career in travel marketing and publishing and suddenly it all disappeared in a moment. “I loved my job but I was always so overworked and stressed due to long hours, tight deadlines and high-pressure projects. I chose to focus my energy in the wellness space and it just blossomed from there. I finally had the mental space to spend extra time getting to know the LUXE members, focus on crafting and critiquing my classes and learn new styles of fitness while building my freelance Content and Marketing business. I was so nervous to follow a new path but LUXE supported me every step of the way.”


Listen to that little fire inside of you

You know that ember that sizzles within you when you silence all the self-doubt and imagine what you want out of life. Give it oxygen, let it burn wild. “I had been ignoring my soul purpose and my ego was blocking my passion,” says Lailla. She embarked on a journey of self-discovery and started a mentorship on Shamanic practices followed by yoga teacher training in Costa Rica. There was no turning back. She was deeply in love with spiritual work. “Everything became crystal clear and the transition to this new path became smooth and easy”. Lailla now runs breathwork workshops at LUXE and wellness retreats while teaching yoga classes. “I love creating a space where people have the opportunity to connect to themselves. It fills my soul with joy”. 

14 months on and Sammy cannot picture life any other way. “I felt like the odds were against me when I first set out on this new path but now I cannot believe my new normal. I live in paradise with my little family doing what I love every day. My day becomes brighter every time I enter the studio, whether that’s to teach, to attend a class or just for a coffee. I’ve never felt so content and at peace! I could not have done it without the supportive community of LUXE – Carey, Fi, the teachers, the members, they are my tribe”.

There’s no stopping you

By Sammy Gibson

“I’m not flexible enough”
“I don’t have time”
“I can’t switch off”
“It doesn’t give me a good workout”

These are some of the excuses we hear about skipping yoga as part of a well balanced fitness program.
We want to set the record straight by addressing some common myths about yoga so you can find your flow.

Yoga isn’t a strong workout

If you believe this, then you haven’t tried our Powerflow, Flow Fit, Aerial Yoga or Hip Hop Yoga classes. These stronger, vinyasa style classes that will give you a serious workout as well as an all over stretch. Powerflow and Hip Hop Yoga are dynamic, sweaty classes that synchronise movement and breath in a continuous flow of poses to good tunes. Flow Fit is combination of yoga and strength moves, definitely raising the heart rate while working on defining muscle tone. You’ll become stronger and leaner in Aerial Yoga as you learn to progress safely through sequences in the hammock using muscles you never knew you had. 

Yoga is too time consuming

We offer 45, 60 and 90 minute classes for those that are conscious of time. If you have time to spare, we have Powerflow and Yin scheduled straight after each other and a special Soulful Sunday class so you can invest more time in your practise when it suits you.
 
All yoga is the same

It’s easy to think that all yoga classes are the same. It’s just stretching, right?Yoga has many styles; from strong vinyasa styles (Powerflow, Hip Hop and Flow Fit) that take you through challenging sequences to slow, relaxing styles with long holds (Yin, Slow Flow and Soulful Sunday), our styles are crafted to give you what you need. Click here to read about each one.  

Yoga will instantly make you a happier and calmer person 

While attending one class can leave you feeling lighter, it isn’t a fast track to instantly becoming a relaxed yogi. The real beauty of yoga is that it is a life long skill that you can build on every time you walk into the studio. It will help you dive deeper into yourself, which in the long run can help work through mental and emotional angst. Yoga asanas provide more than just physical benefits, and can help to alleviate anxiety and stress through focus and breath.
 
It’s only for young, flexible women

Our yoga classes are filled with a diverse mix of men and women. Surfers, tradies, corporate powerhouses, stay-at-home parents, retirees, university students and locals from all walks of life. What makes our Luxe community so special is that we all come from different backgrounds and unite over our passion for health and wellness, and not taking ourselves too seriously

Why I joined LUXE in the middle of lockdown

By the time we hit our second lockdown on the Northern Beaches at Christmas I knew I
couldn’t go another round of Zoom cocktail parties and sleep ins. So, while everyone was
frantically putting gym memberships on hold, I bucked the trend and joined Luxe Yoga &
Fitness. I had never done a single class in the studio.

I mean, why not? I had space to roll out my mat and it was either that or make Margaritas and eat biscuits all lockdown.

I discovered there were huge benefits to joining a gym with virtual classes in the middle of lockdown

  • You can try new classes without feeling self-conscious
  • You can roll your mat out the night before and then fall onto it a minute before the class starts
  • Extra rest breaks without repercussions, sorry not sorry Jamai!
  • Structuring your day like you’re in jail makes the time go quicker. My routine for example; virtual yoga – press conference with Gladys – cup of tea – walk dog – run – margarita on the rocks with salt (because we all need rewards)
  • Extra quality time with your pets because your dog thinks the yoga mat is theirs
  • Your children make friends with other children as they photobomb your downward dog
  • You connect with friendly faces and if you’re feeling lonely, you can come back for another class in the afternoon without battling peak hour traffic
  • Pyjamas. They’re basically baggy activewear
  • The children are locked down too so you can finally try that Luxe class that usually clashes with all of the after school activities
  • Because after lockdown ends… that spin class is going to hurt soooo bad after 14 days of Margaritas and no exercise

See you on Zoom!

Belinda’s picks for lockdown:

Monday: Virtual Strength & Define with Jamai E
Tuesday: Virtual Barre with Tamila
Wednesday: Virtual Power Flow with Anthony
Thursday Double Up!!
AM Virtual Strength & Define with Jamai and PM Virtual Yin Yoga with Bella
Friday: Virtual Pilates with Janika

Benefits of Ride and Rhythm Ride

By Sammy Gibson

For some, a spin class is an intimidating experience. Visions of not being able to keep up or long continuous songs can put people off from trying it out. The truth is, it is your ride. You are in control. If you venture outside of your comfort zone and attend class, you’ll be sure to reap the mental, physical and emotional benefits. Here are just three of the many reasons you won’t regret it.

It’s a total mind and body experience

The whole production is created to ignite all your senses. You can completely switch off from the world with no interruptions. Our ride instructors know how to bring the positive energy to the room; there’s party vibes with music from all decades, neon-lit lights and motivational support when you need it most. 

It’s a powerful cardio workout

Ride and Rhythm Ride will increase fitness, burn up to 600 calories in one class and build lean muscle definition. The best part? Anyone can do it as the low impact nature of the class means it is kind to your joints, unlike many other high-intensity cardio workouts. 

You’ll be part of a community

You’ll always leave feeling lighter and stronger. Once everyone starts riding in unison on the beat of the music, there is a genuine connection shared by everyone in the room. It is electric. Come and join the fun.

Workout your soundtrack

By Belinda Nowell. Find her on instagram @belindanowell

Have you ever gone for a run blasting Eye of the Tiger?
Found yourself singing as you power walk to Run the World by Beyonce?
Tried to keep down your mum’s spaghetti to Lose Yourself by Eminem?
You probably crushed it far better than you would listening to Simon & Garfunkel’s The
Sound of Silence.*

That’s human biology at work. Our brain is just waiting for a tune or rhythm to slice through
the relentless noise of our busy lives. Those beats with powerful lyrics pump us up.

Let’s set the scene. It’s 9:25am on a Wednesday morning at Luxe. Mats are fanned out in a circle
around the studio with people chatting and pretending to stretch. The author of this article
is almost surely studying the buckets of weights thinking, is today the day I graduate to 2kg?
Emma walks in, grabs a Pilates ring and, on cue, the internal chatter of 22 participants
starts.
“How many seconds in 45 minutes?”
“I shouldn’t have had that wine last night.”
“I should have drunk that coffee earlier.”
“Far out, I didn’t go to the toilet. Don’t jump.”
“I wonder if there are any 1kg weights left…”

Emma presses play and something magical happens. “Music make me lose control, music
make me lose control.” Missy Elliott blasts and you’re suddenly tapping your toes and
twitching your hips. Motivation kicks in and suddenly the internal chatter is silenced. You’re so deep in the zone of the music that you hardly notice you’re exercising.

In your mind, you’re taking to the stage because there’s still plenty of time to become a rock
star. In the class, your legs are squatting, your biceps are curling and you hit the 45 minute
mark, sweaty and energised. You also make a mental note to remember that song you
hadn’t heard for ages.

It’s time to start your own playlist. Save your favourites from class and play them when you
need that extra energy boost.

Epic workout songs our instructors are loving right now:

Dan C
Rhythm Ride
Losing it by Fisher

Sammy G
Melt & Burn, Rhythm Ride
Strong – High Contrast Remix by London Grammar

Emma C
Sculpt, Rhythm Ride
Pump it up by Endor

Jennica W
Ride, Power Flow, Yin
Survivor by 2WEI

Lailla S
Power Flow, Yin, Aerial Yoga
Your Love by ATB, Topic & A75

 

*And just for the record…we love Simon & Garfunkel. Sound of Silence is a legendary song
and so juicy for a nourishing yoga flow or cool down.

How to stay motivated in winter

Get your workout clothes ready the night before

If you are booked in for an early class, make sure you are organised when that 530am alarm chimes at the crack of dawn. It’s a little too easy to swipe snooze and fall back to sleep in winter so by setting your intentions the night before and having your workout clothes next to the bed you can jump straight out of bed and get dressed before an excuse sinks in.

Set your heater to turn on 20 minutes before your alarm

It’s hard waking up early in the dark. It’s even harder in the cold. Set an oil heater timer to start warming your room 20 minutes before you wake up so leaving those snuggly blankets isn’t so hard.

Pre plan your workout week

Log onto your Luxe Yoga & Fitness app at the beginning of the week and preplan all your classes. Book ahead and stick to each one like you would an appointment.

Write out your why

Focus on your why!  Are you going to Power Flow to feel stronger and leaner ? Instead of thinking “I’ll go to yoga today” say to yourself “I’ll become stronger and leaner today by going to Power Flow”. Write your why on the fridge or on a notepad next to your bed – anywhere it will come into your path during your day. Focusing on the why will keep you going. 

Exercise when it suits you

Everyone is different. Figure out when you love to exercise. If you have never been a morning person but social media says you should be doing 6 x 615am classes a week then your instantly setting yourself up for failure. If evening or mid morning is when you like to exercise – keep with that. The easier you make it to go to class, the likelihood you will go.

Don’t wait for motivation to show up

There will be some days when you just cannot be bothered. All you want to do is snuggle up and eat spaghetti. We’ve all been there. Put your trainers on and your favourite workout song and see how you feel. These two simple acts can spark motivation. By the time you arrive at the studio the fragrant aroma of incense, soft lighting, funky music, neon-lit ride room and friendly gym goers will get you in the mood. Still don’t feel like leaving the house? Book into our virtual classes so you can get moving in the comfort of your own home.

Be kind to yourself

If you miss a day or over indulge in cosy meals, it’s not a problem! Reset and get back on track tomorrow! 

How to achieve wellness

By Sammy Gibson

We are all guilty of it. You find a style of exercise that you love and stick to, only to find that after a while your fitness starts to plateau and lack of motivation creeps in. Variety is the answer. To achieve wellness, our minds AND bodies need constant adjustments to see results. Diversifying your routine is key. Mix it up with different styles of yoga, strength and sculpting classes, meditation, boxing or spin, and you’ll not only stay focused, motivated and energised but you’ll also see great fitness results. 

Some tips on how to switch it up and stick to it: 

Pre book your classes for the week
Every Sunday, sit down and book your classes in advance. Add or sync them to your calendar and commit to each one like you would an appointment.

Bring a friend
Every new routine needs a support person. Make it a date and have coffee at our onsite cafe after class to reward yourself for sticking to your goals ! 

Try one thing outside your comfort zone
Whether this is giving Aerial Flow a go, sitting on a different bike in Rhythm Ride, upping your weights or pushing yourself to the next level in yoga, by pushing ourselves a little each week you’ll start to see results.

Take time to recover
A change in routine will leave your body sore for all the right reasons so book in a massage or kinesiology session in one of our treatment rooms. 

Commit for at least 21 days
Research shows it takes 21 days to create a habit. Commit to your new varied routine for 21 days and see how you feel on the 22nd day! We promise you’ll be feeling refreshed, re-energised, lighter and inspired.

Benefits of Barre

By Sammy Gibson

The benefits of Barre are countless; you’ll strengthen and tone muscles without increasing bulk, improve posture (great for those who sit at a desk all day), decrease stress levels and increase feelings of relaxation. 

The isometric movements used in Barre not only build heat and strength in the smaller, isolated groups of muscles but they also are light on ligaments, making Barre an ideal workout when reintroducing exercise after an injury. On top of that, the movements require focus and concentration, not experience or a high fitness level. Allowing your mind to solely concentrate on your technique means that your mind cannot wander during class so you will feel mentally relaxed afterwards. 

 You do not need to be a ballerina to enjoy Barre. Everyone is welcome, no matter your age, gender and fitness level.