ONE NIGHT ONLY MASTER CLASS!

Hello all my loyal reader!  My extremely talented and dear friend Alena Acker is in a FABULOUS show called Mother Eve’s Secret Garden of Sensual Sisterhood: The Mother of All Rock Musicals!   It is truly one of the FUNNIEST WITTIEST new shows I have ever seen!  I can’t wait to see it again!  But first – you should all know they are hosting a DANCE MASTER CLASS WITH EVAN KASPRZAK and you should take it!  He’s a phenomenal teacher and it’s a fundraiser for a great show you should certainly get behind!  Here are the details!  I would say hope to see you there – but I’ll be in Florida unable to attend.  Please make me jealous of YOU though for attending and let me know how it was!:)

 

Evan Kasprzak Thinks You Can Dance!

Jazz Master Class with Evan Kasprzak
Thursday, June 28th, 2012
7:30pm to 9:00pm
Ripley Grier, 520 Eighth Avenue, Studio 16F-G

Want to hone your dancing skills so you can stand out at those Broadway or regional musical theater auditions? Whether you are at the beginner, intermediate, or advanced level, now’s your chance!

Broadway’s own Evan Kasprzak is teaching a jazz master class for one night only on Thursday, June 28th. Hone your basics, and learn how to give those moves the extra pizzazz they need to get you noticed in a crowded audition and on stage.

Currently starring on Broadway in Newsies, Evan Kasprzak placed third in Season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance! and has worked alongside such great legendary artists as Ann Reinking, Ben Vereen and Tyce Diorio. You can see him dancing in the Emmy award winning “Butt Dance,” choreographed by Mia Michaels. Evan received a BFA in Music Theatre at Illinois Wesleyan University, where he has also choreographed numerous productions and concert pieces.

This is a fundraiser forMother Eve’s Secret Garden of Sensual Sisterhood: The Mother of All Rock Musicals!, which will appear in the New York International Fringe Festival August 10th – 26th. With our exclusive Friends & Family Discount, we are able to offer you this class at the amazingly affordable price of $25. Space is extremely limited!

This exciting opportunity to support local theatre artists while taking your career to the next level is being offered on a first come, first served basis. Please visit http://mothereves.mcgee4me.com/Mother_Eves/Evans_Jazz_Class.html to pay via Paypal or email MotherEveWorkshops@gmail.com to reserve a spot for your dancing feet now!

Event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/227264104058968/

AntiGravity Yoga

Today I DEFIED GRAVITY!

Well, not really.  But I did do AntiGravity Yoga with my brave pianist friend Candace.

 

What is AntiGravity Yoga?  Well – here is the official breakdown.  

The class I took was AntiGravity FUNdamentals at OM Factory NYC.    My description would be, a gentle riff on classical Yoga using a large orange hammock that makes the exercises even more challenging while simultaneously making you feel like a masochistic 7 year old on a playground.

You walk into “flight school,” a room with several large orange “hammocks” hanging from the ceiling. Our lovely teacher adjusted the hammocks according to our heights and assured us they were rigged to hold up to 1000 pounds so we were all safe.  She explained that this exercise technique came from a performance group called AntiGravity, which coincidentally I had seen IN performance and loved.  Our teacher also warned us that we should wear a shirt with sleeves and long pants, otherwise the hammocks might hurt a lot against our skin.  Armed with proper t-shirts, Candace and I were excited to get started.  (The rest of our class consisted of two student who looked like true yogis, then a bunch of complete exercise novices ranging in age from what looked like 11 to mid-50s.)

Class started out easy enough.  We sat in our hammocks and twisted ourselves into “womb” and cocoon-like positions.  It was rather relaxing.

 

 

 

The we hung upside down!  Which I was very excited about, until I actually did it!  I consider myself a fairly in shape mobile person, but my goodness the blood rushed to my head and was actually rather painful!  On the other hand, it definitely stretched out and decompressed my back.  So, perhaps it was worth the head pain.  The position also LOOKS very complicated and difficult, but in actuality it really isn’t.  Every in the class could achieve the position and hold onto it in a very stable fashion.

 

 

Next came the unpleasant part.  It was actually exceedingly unpleasant.  We basically turned the hammocks into ropes that we draped ourselves over and balanced on.  Doesn’t sound so bad until you are doing it and the rope digs into your hip joints in a most unpleasant way.  The teacher informed us she had “wussy pads” for those of us that just couldn’t take the pain.  With that name, nobody wanted to ask for one.  Finally I was just in too much pain, asked for one, and immediately half the class also asked to join the “wussy pad” parade.  DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR WUSSY PADS!  When you’re dangling in this position you’ll thank me!

 

 

To be honest, this whole dangling series was SO unpleasant, it alone would make me not want to take the class again, but then we moved onto upper body strength.  As I’ve discussed before, I have no upper body strength.  At all.  I’m surprised I can carry grocery bags home.  We were now being asked to essentially do pull-ups.  Exercises I’m more used to seeing Olympic Gymnasts do on the rings instead of beginners in a yoga class.

 

 

For me, just holding a position like the one pictures above is a task that requires Herculean strength!  We were being asked to bring our legs up into a pike position and a split positing!  I nearly cried.  As did Candace.  Candace was mainly crying because this particular exercise hurt her (and my) fingers.  Candace is a pianist so her fingers are insured for billions of dollars.  The way we were asked to grip the hammocks was painful, and assured she would not be returning.  I just felt like a wuss!

THEN, we finally got back to the fun stuff!  By “fun stuff” I mean, exercises that require flipping around and pretending you are a flying 7 year old on a swing set. We got into fun positions such as The Bat:

 

 

And my personal favorite the VAMPIRE – which looks very impressive, and sounded intimidating as it was being described, but was actually relatively easy and fun to execute!

 

We ended the class with five minutes of relaxing in “cocoon,” which I must admit was very very VERY nice.

 

So, would I do AntiGravtiy Yoga again?  Probably.  But the $20 a class is very steep, and I’m not sure I feel like I actually got a good workout.  There were some gentle toning exercises in a few of the position.  For example, in “vampire” we did some “Vampire Crunches” which I definitely felt in my abs, but it was nowhere near as satisfying as a pilates class.  Nor did I get the cardio high of Zumba.  But I did have fun flipping around in the hammock, when, of course, I was not in positions where the hammocks were digging into my skin!  But, you never know, I might pop in again.  Especially if I have friend with me.  Candace, however, will not be returning.  It’s definitely not a workout for everyone. I would definitely NOT recommend it to an exercise novice.  Those that seemed to fare the best were those with a very strong YOGA background.  There was another pilates instructor in the room having just as much trouble as I was. If you are looking to shake things up, however, this is a fun time.

Here are two videos about AntiGravity Yoga in case you were wondering what it looks like in action!

 

AntiGravity Yoga Video

 

AntiGravity Yoga Video 2

Urban Nomad

The wonderful Dawn Trautman asked me to write a guest entry for her blog Urban Nomad USA.  

It’s a beautiful blog that provides “Travel Sized Life Coaching for Journeys of All Sorts.”  I highly suggest you check it out and follow it!  Every Tuesday she provides a “Tuesday Travel Tip” and every Thursday a “Thursday Thought.”  This Tuesday, June 19, 2012, she asked me to provide a travel tip about staying fit on the road.  So without further adieu, please visit her blog and enjoy!

Tuesday Travel Tip: Exercise on the Road

A Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge

One of my “day jobs” is a New York City Tour Guide.  I was asked to learn the Brooklyn Bridge tour so I can lead in it two weeks.  In other words, I needed to cram my brain with as much information about the Brooklyn Bridge as possible AND maybe pay it a visit, since I had only crossed it once eight years ago!  So I asked my very talented opera friend Susan to cross the bridge with me, listen to me drone about random Brooklyn Bridge Facts, and get a little exercise while we were at it.

 

Let me tell you – walking is fabulous exercise and what better way to do it than walking over a picturesque landmark on a warm (albeit slightly cloudy) spring day?  It’s free, it’s laid back, it’s beautiful, and it burns calories!

So – how do you walk the Brooklyn Bridge?  Take the 6 train to City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge.  When you exit the station, you’ll see the bridge if you look East!  You’ll have to cross the street and then you’ll follow the multitudes onto the bridge.  I must warn you, STAY TO YOUR RIGHT!  The left “lane” is for bikers and they show NO MERCY!  (But if you want to BIKE across the bridge, that would also be great exercise.  If you do – STAY TO THE LEFT!)

The bridge is 1,595 feet long, which means from the date it opened (May 24th, 1883) to 1903 it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, and the first to use steel cables!  If you want to learn more about the bridge you can always wikipedia it here OR read the David McCullough book THE GREAT BRIDGE or watch the Ken Burns documentary.  It has a ridiculously fascinating history, especially where the Roebling family is concerned.  Before you walk across, I suggest you do a little research so you can fully appreciate the historical significance of the bridge!  You can also learn about it’s history on your walk!  Which gets us back to our original post here – walking across the bridge for exercise!

You’ll soon reach the Manhattan tower!  On it is a plaque commemorating John Roebling, the bridge’s designer and his son Washington Roebling, who oversaw construction after his father died in a freak accident before the first stone of the bridge was put into place!  There is also a plaque explaining a little of the bridge’s history.

 

Around the periphery of BOTH towers is a series of engraved plaques by Keith Goddard which in explain, in great detail, how the bridge was built.  It was suggested to me that it would be a fun activity to bring paper and a pencil to make rubbings of these plaques.

 

 

 

 

 

After you’ve gotten your fill of the Manhattan Tower, you can continue walking towards Brooklyn.  When you reach the middle of the bridge, if you look left you will be able to see three buildings which each held the title “tallest in the world” at one point in history.  The Met Life Building, the Chrysler Building, and of course the Empire State Building.

 

 

To your right you’ll be able to see The Statue of Liberty herself!  (Officially titled Liberty Enlightening the World.) (She’s really really tiny on the right hand side of this photo!)

 

Continue towards the Brooklyn Tower!

 

My brave companion Susan!

 

When you reach the Brooklyn Tower you will see more of Keith Goddard’s beautiful engravings.  (They are identical to those Manhattan side!)  You will also see a plaque commemorating Emily Roebling, America’s first female engineer!  She is one of the interesting unsung figures in history.  After her husband, Washington Roebling, came down is a bad case of Caisson disease, Emily basically took a crash course in engineering and became his right hand “man.”  It was Emily that travelled to the bridge and gave the orders and reported back to her husband.  If this wasn’t enough, she also got a law degree from NYU!  In  the late 19th century, this was quite an unusual accomplishment!  You can read more about her here or in her American Society of Civil Engineers biography here!  

 

Emily Roebling

 

After you leave the Brooklyn Tower, you will continue along the bridge path.  I highly suggest you take the stairs as a way down!  If you follow the bridge path all the way to the end, you will end up very far from the water and Brooklyn Bridge Park (though very close the A train!)  However, if you take the stairs down then head towards the water, you will reach a lovely park.  There is a carousel that cost $2 to ride.

 

Me riding the Carousel

 

Susan getting into character on the carousel.

 

There is also a DELICIOUS ice cream shop called the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.    I’m an ice cream snob and this met my expectations.  The world famous Grimaldi’s Pizza is a block away.  Of course, these counteract the entire reason you walked across the bridge in the first place, to get exercise!  So you can just sit and enjoy the STUNNING view!

 

 

To get home you can take the A or 2/3 train, but if you have a little time to spare, I suggest you take the East River Ferry!  It’s $4, and you get a beautiful little tour of Manhattan and Williamsburg!

 

Susan on the Ferry

 

 

And that is a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge!  You can walk across any of the main bridges to Brooklyn, but I recommend the Brooklyn Bridge above the others.  It has a beautiful history, but also it has a pedestrian promenade ABOVE the traffic, so you aren’t walking along side speeding traffic.  It also afford the best view!

I hope this inspires you to explore one of New York’s Landmarks!  A bit of a shameless plug, if you would like a walking tour with a live tour guide of the Brooklyn Bridge, you can always contact New York City Walking Tours!  

Happy Monday!

Candace Takes Pilates

Guest Blogger Candace Chien has been gracious enough to write an entry about her first experience with Pilates!  Here it is!

* * *

“Hooray, I have officially done something that counts as exercise, not me trying to label something mildly active in my life as exercise. This coincides with my summer starting, where only work and practicing are priorities so hopefully I can keep it up.

Our lovely blogmistress Megan had a Pay-What-You-Can Pilates class today and it was my very first pilates experience. I even went out and bought a brand new mat! Now, my previous experiences in classes are yoga, so it was interesting how different it was. As a side note, it was intimidating being in a class where there were people who’ve obviously practiced before, or are at least physically active. However, Megan made it an incredibly welcome for all levels so I didn’t feel too much like a supernoob. It was much more mentally engaging and generally more active than yoga and I don’t really feel like there’s this stretched out rubber band feeling in my arms and legs, which isn’t really what I need anyway. My abs will cry tomorrow morning, and that I certainly DO need. I definitely walked away feeling much more aligned and walking taller, even with slinging my bag with the world in it.

PS – Megan, have one next week too! I’ll go!”

* * *

Musicians Acquiring Muscles Week 4

Come to think of it, we probably should have started this mad physical fitness experiment at a time all three musicians weren’t facing finals or multiple tech weeks and operas running in rep.  But we did.  And truth be told, that is part of the joy of these entries.  Despite ridiculously grueling schedules, physical fitness still found it’s way of creeping in, even if not in the copious quantities we three had hoped for.  (I’m not going to lie – I had grand delusions of all three of us emerging from this month super fit bikini models who could lift a city bus with one finger.)  Even if we aren’t giving Gisele Bundchen’s body a run for its money just yet, I do think we can all feel very good for “filling each unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run.”  So let’s see how we did on week four!

 

CANDACE

Okay, does watching hockey count? Go Kings!

In all seriousness though…I’ve realized a major contributor to my exercising and how well I move. My bag. From my excessive efforts to walk more, I have noticed which is more effective. Of course, I get more tired when I have this huge ass thing slung over my shoulder with all my sonata scores and teaching folder and computer and blah blah blah, but I wonder if it actually helps me exercise. Meanwhile, walking faster without the weight of the bag gets my heart rate up more, I feel like I’m actually moving versus dragging. So, my goal this week was actually to take less around and put less pressure on my back. My shoulders certainly thank me for it. Now let’s see if I can un-tight enough to do some actual exercise.

 

EVA

This week started off pretty rocky- I was exhausted and starting to not feel well (which is NOT allowed for the time being!).  Luckily, I managed to fight off whatever was coming over the first few days of the week with an arsenal of vitamins, water and my trusty neti pot.  I was fine by Thursday night (opening night of Suor Angelica with Opera Manhattan), largely due to the fact that I took Thursday and Friday off work and slept alllll day.  Sometimes it is SO important to just give your body the rest it needs, even if your schedule doesn’t cooperate.  I’m now at the end of a glorious 4-day weekend and thanks to an hour long one-act opera, I’m rejuvenated enough to trek back to work and Traviata!

I managed to eat a *little* better than I have been lately, all hurrying and stress considered- mostly because I realized I’m at the top of the 5-pound range that I normally waiver between.  I made a point to walk every chance I could during my extended free time, instead of taking the train 2 or 3 stops (mostly home from the theater every night), and always took the stairs.  On Saturday my roommate and I managed a 3.5 mile walk along the Hudson (resulting in much needed roomie catchup time and a fierce sunburn that will be hard to disguise in my Flora costume…), and today I spent basically from 4:30-9:30pm running around like a crazy person doing errands for the opera.  It worked out well!  My week ended on a good note in any case- I bought a new swimsuit from H&M that I don’t even hate. :)

 

MEGAN

This week I felt the world was conspiring against me exercise-wise!  I fully planned on taking pilates Monday, but an audition kept me late so I didn’t make. I was then going to try a later yoga class with my friend Danielle, who is convinced she can take me to a class that will make me fall in LOVE with yoga.  However, this particular class had a sub so we decided to not take class and just do a pilates workout in her living room instead.  I’m lucky to have such a wonderful friend who is a certified pilates and zumba instructor!  We did a living room workout completely with “magic circles” and “therabands.”   Tuesday I went to take my new favorite jazz class with Lisa Gajda, but there was substitute, so I left.  (Normally subs are great!  I don’t necessarily encourage leaving when there is a sub, but in this case I had my reasons!)  Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were filled with auditions and Saturday I had THREE shows!  So I’m going to count dancing on stage in two shows as my exercise.  The third show I don’t really dance, but I do run up and down stairs a lot between the dressing area and the stage.  Sunday we had a matinee and the weather was so gorgeous I went on an hour long power walk.  For a girl who usually takes a dance class a day, these past few weeks have seemed a little meager on the exercise circuit – but HEY!  Studies show WALKING may be the best exercise there is!    And if NPR can post this meme , walking must be legit!   Plus, when the weather is a balmy 72 degrees without a cloud in the sky, who wants to be indoor taking a class.  Get out and enjoy nature!

 

 

 

Musicians Acquiring Muscles Week 3

Better late than never, right?  This past week was a particularly challenging one for all of our musicians – so let’s see how they fared!

 

CANDACE

I feel like every week I have an excuse – whether it’s recitals, work, or something. But, that is the life of a classical musician. You are your own manager! Originally my goal was to have a class this week but with the kind of schedule I have, it’s almost impossible. It is also difficult to want to work on leading a healthy lifestyle when you are kept up till 4PM because your significant otter has a stomach virus.

One of the things I enjoy a lot is walking around the city. Recently with this kind of post-degree stress, it was actually a wonderful, spontaneous moment to take time to walk around the city. Sicko and I took a long 60 block walk today, just to relieve ourselves of our neighborhood and got to work out the lazy legs a little too. There’s nothing like decompressing with each other and if it involves moving, even better.

Too bad I ate two Beard Papa’s cream puffs on the way…if you are taking food more seriously than exercising (oops), GO to Beard Papa’s! They are tasty tasty!

 

EVA

Tech week #1 down!  The production of La Traviata that I’m in opened this past Friday, so things were a bit nuts.  I was in a rehearsal every evening and worked during the day, so take what you will from that…  It was also my birthday on Thursday… so my physical workouts were confined to how fast I could power walk to rehearsals and how fast I could consume copious amount of chocolate cake.

With regard to performances- I really think I would benefit from a nice yoga session before warming up and getting into costume.  Granted, time is an issue for me, but the nights I took a moment to stretch (in between curling my hair and struggling with fishnet tights) really helped me focus.  Since I’m on the brink of a 2nd Tech week now for a production of Suor Angelica- I’ll try to remember this!

The craziness that is my current schedule will subside in about two weeks, after which I plan to find a new place to go Salsa dancing, and hit up some Zumba classes.  While in a dress rehearsal this week I was thinking just how grateful I am for my dance background- I can’t imagine how I would know how to hold myself and navigate a stage without it.  Opera singing is VERY physical, contrary to popular belief, and it becomes very apparent once you leave the practice room and get up on the stage.  If you know how to move it makes life so much easier, and performing that much more fun!

 

MEGAN

Like Eva, I spent the week in tech for Amore Opera’s production of La Traviata.  Between rehearsals, auditions, and jobs, I failed at taking anything more than a single pilates MUCH NEEDED pilates class.  It’s amazing how great my body feels after moving its muscles in the structure format of pilates.   While I certainly did my share of power walking, sprinting between buildings, heavy bag carrying, and stage movement, but nothing beats a proper physical workout.  For me, pilates seems to help align my back and stretch all of my muscles, putting me in a much more pleasant mood physically and emotionally!

 

Musicians Acquiring Muslces 2.5

Everyone eagerly awaiting part 3 – I promise it’s coming! We’ve had a little delay due to our musicians’ incredibly busy schedules, but don’t you worry! It will be up soon! As a preview – here is Eva’s blurb and a photo of an inspirational exercising corgi!  (If he can do it so can you!)

 

 

 

EVA

Tech week #1 down! The production of La Traviata that I’m in opened this past Friday, so things were a bit nuts. I was in a rehearsal every evening and worked during the day, so take what you will from that… It was also my birthday on Thursday… so my physical workouts were confined to how fast I could power walk to rehearsals and how fast I could consume copious amount of chocolate cake.

With regard to performances- I really think I would benefit from a nice yoga session before warming up and getting into costume. Granted, time is an issue for me, but the nights I took a moment to stretch (in between curling my hair and struggling with fishnet tights) really helped me focus. Since I’m on the brink of a 2nd Tech week now for a production of Suor Angelica- I’ll try to remember this!

The craziness that is my current schedule will subside in about two weeks, after which I plan to find a new place to go Salsa dancing, and hit up some Zumba classes. While in a dress rehearsal this week I was thinking just how grateful I am for my dance background- I can’t imagine how I would know how to hold myself and navigate a stage without it. Opera singing is VERY physical, contrary to popular belief, and it becomes very apparent once you leave the practice room and get up on the stage. If you know how to move it makes life so much easier, and performing that much more fun!

Musicians Acquiring Muscles Week 2

And so – our merry exercising heroes have made it through week two of their physical fitness challenge! Here is how they fared!

CANDACE

Things that normal humans don’t normally do:
1. Accept a concert on one week’s notice.
2. Accept a concert on one week’s notice where one has to learn a completely new sonata in one week.
3. 11AM-11PM days – damn you, rehearsal for concert!
4. End up learning the sonata in 3 days. Aww hell yeah.

And this is why I did nothing except sit in a practice room. Oh, I also wrote a song setting for my boyfriend’s poem in two days for a poopy assignment. Aside from walking to work and stuff like that, I have actually done NOTHING to exercise for real. Therefore, this week, my goal is to at least attend yoga…I hope…

EVA

This week was again very busy, with rehearsals after work, errands, lessons, etc… it was much harder to make healthy food choices, especially when rushing from one thing to the next (or when relaxing with friends at the end of the day), but I tried to balance it out with physical activity.  I made a point every day to walk more/farther than normal, and I made it to a wonderful free Zumba class on Tuesday!  Ideally, that’s something I’d love to do 2-3 times a week.  I get the greatest exercise high from that!

My goal for this week is to get out my yoga mat for at least 15 minutes every morning before I start my day.  I find that when I can begin with something like this it makes me more aware of my body throughout the day and helps me make better choices overall.  And also to get enough sleep, especially as I enter the first tech-week (for La Traviata).  I’ve definitely noticed that when I’m taking better care of my body I feel more energized in rehearsals, and am able to connect with my craft that much better.

MEGAN

All in all it wasn’t a disaster of a week for me.  I started the week off strong with Nancy Bielski’s ballet class at Steps on Broadway.  I had every intention of going to a free zumba class on Tuesday, but was offered free orchestra seats to the Met Opera, and decided it would be a crime to say no!  So, I ate a delicious dinner with a sinful dessert and listened to the music of Janacek.  Wednesday I had work and rehearsal (for a show in which my character is surprisingly physical so I will count this!).  Thursday I happily made it to Lisa Gajda’s theatre dance class.  I still think it’s the best and encourage everyone to go, beginners and Broadway pro’s alike.  She someone manages to make it exhilarating for all levels!  Friday was an audition and and rehearsal day!  Saturday was MORE rehearsal, and Sunday I rested.  So not a ridiculously inspiring week, but I feel I worked up a sweat a few times.  This coming week is tech week, so I’ll be surprised if I get much more in than running around the city, but you never know!  Maybe I’ll find a way to sneak a pilates class in!  Gotta have core strength!  Like Eva, I’d LOVE to do rumba multiple times a week, but gotta find the time to squeeze it in.  I suppose that’s the purpose of this challenge and this blog!  Onwards and upwards!

 

Musicians Acquiring Muscles – Week 1!!!

This week, our brave two and a half musicians (Candace, Eva, and Megan) went out into the world in search of muscles and found them! They had to battle heavy rehearsal schedules, dodge around the forest of learning great amounts of music, and conquer the obstacle of tight purse strings, but, in the end, they returned triumphant. Candace found whiffle ball, Eva used her yoga mat, and Megan returned to good friends Steps on Broadway. Here are their adventures in their own words!

CANDACE

This was supposed to be the week of nothings. I just finished my master’s degree recital, and for me, a post-performance week is a week that should be of bizarre emptiness. One tends to wander around aimlessly wondering “But what do I do now?”

This was hardly the case, both musically and physically. In practicing, I’ve discovered how much focused my sound is with better hand position. I’ve also discovered how to make a beautiful, thick Brahms sound. I know it doesn’t sound like it has a lot to do with ‘exercise’, but it is always exciting for me to discover how I use my body in relation to practicing, even though it is always in retrospect.

However, I am dying of soreness today. I mean, honest to goodness, dying. My butt muscles hurt, my right shoulder hurts, I had to stumble and wince to take off my shoes because I had to bend down. Who would have thought that wiffle ball would be the cause of all of this? Yesterday, we hosted “Baseball for Idiots” for our friends who are conservatory students. (If you don’t know, conservatory students are a lazy and paranoid breed – we don’t do anything for fear of injury!) I can’t hit for shit, but will swing like hell, and have discovered that my boyfriend’s lessons in teaching me how to throw has paid off. Throwing a plastic ball really hard requires me to do so much following through so I’m definitely not use to that. Nor am I used to athletic position, and having flexible bent knees. The pain feels good, although I hardly consider playing and running around with plastic bats and balls as exercise. My soreness reminds me that something seemingly frivolous counts too!

***Muscles for Musicians note  – even if you don’t have a conservatory team – you can check out various wiffle ball groups in NYC for yourself.  Here is one that I found by using the powers of google!  ZogSports Wiffle Ball

EVA

This week was a bit crazy, as I had a rehearsal every night Monday-Friday after I got out of work, which is from 10am-6pm. (Of course this is going to continue through the end of May.) So my main goal was to not stress eat and make terrible choices- I think I mostly succeeded in this. I managed to pack my lunch a few days this week and find healthier on-the-go dinners like wraps and salads. Also trying to snack on fruits or trail mix during the day rather than those baked goods. As far as fitness, I did a lot of running around and was active in blocking rehearsals- so I added things on like taking the stairs every time I had the chance, and actually pulled my yoga mat out a couple mornings to stretch and do crunches/lunges. I think morning is the best time for me to do anything like this when I’m so busy, as I really have to make an effort to get to bed as early as possible at night. So this week it was all just little stuff that I tried to add to my routine, and I hope I can tack on a bit more this week!

 

MEGAN

This week began with Robin Powell’s pilates class at Steps on Broadway, because I felt the extreme need to strengthen my core.  The previous week I was relatively sedentary, and I always feel like a good pilates class is what I need to get myself centered and back into an active lifestyle!  I also adore Robin’s class as she is endlessly supportive and gives the appropriate modifications to make the exercises appropriately challenging for all levels taking her class.  Tuesday, between an audition and the “managing your cash flow” class I’m taking, I squeezed in my new favorite jazz class in the world, Lisa Gajda at Steps on Broadway.  (I’m hoping to do a special entry JUST ON THIS CLASS.  If you can make it – GO!  All levels!  Broadway and beginner!  It’s 2:30-4:00, Tuesdays and Thursday, at Steps on Broadway.  It’s simply the best.)    I thought I was off to an awesome start with TWO CLASSES in two days, but alas, that is where the physical activity classes ended for me last week.  However, I did attend two dance auditions, which counts, right?  One was disco themed (which made me really want to try a disco dance class!) and one was very “Jack Cole/Fosse.”   I also went on a New York Walking Tour via  Ghosts of New York.  I would say 90 minutes of walking counts as exercise, AND I got to learn a lot about New York history as an added bonus!  I would definitely recommend checking out various walking tours around the city for light physical activity and educational fun!