Health & Fitness

By Nicole Cornella

It seems as though with the blink of an eye, the summer months have crept upon us. If you are anything like me, my summer workout regimen never really came into full swing. As trips to the beach are looming in the weekends to come, how will I get in quick “bikini-ready” shape with a jammed-pack schedule and little time to hit the gym?

I reviewed my options: gym membership? Costly. Weeknight runs? Weather pending. Personal trainer? Sure, if I live in Hollywood. Diet? Not in THIS city. Then, I stumbled across a small yoga and Pilates studio: Joschi Body Bodega, located on 23rd between 6th and 7th Avenues, a mere half block from my office. The convenience alone was enough to have me check it out.

Since it had been a few years since I had taken a yoga or Pilates class, I was a little skeptical in signing up for the 360° Pilates course, but I wanted that full body experience and that is exactly what I got. Yoga focuses on keeping the body supple through movement and stretching while also uniting the body and mind with forms of meditation and holistic disciplines. Pilates, on the other hand, focuses on physical conditioning, cultivating core strength and lengthening the spine.

Immediately walking into the class the mood was relaxing and the music was a great mixture from classic 80’s tunes to the Spice Girls – a great workout mix. After grabbing my props (which I needed to make two trips to carry) including a foam roller, stability ball, magic circle and resistance band, I was greeted by Joschi Schwarz himself who is the creative director and co-owner of the studio. With over 20 years of experience, multiple certifications and highly noted by the press, I knew I was going to get a great workout with Joschi running the class. Joschi knew most class attendees by name and those he did not know, like myself, he made sure to introduce himself.

The 360° Pilates class is sure to provide what you are looking for in a workout: weight loss, toning, proper alignment, flexibility and peace of mind. Joschi was sure not to leave any body area untouched in the 75 minute class and incorporated all props in order to achieve the full-body workout. As he walked around the class, he was sure to critique and adjust alignment for class-goers in order to provide ultimate results. The class is noted for being able to lift, strengthen, lengthen and ultimately create a sexy bodyline. No need to be a seasoned Pilates pro either – this class is for both the athletic and the unconditioned. I went into the class having not taken a one in years, and survived. I would be lying if I said I was not sore for a few days after, but it was a “good” sore and that is how you know it works!

If Pilates is not your thing, the studio offers yoga courses for all level types. The Body Bodega offers Vinyasa flow yoga which is a popular, evolving form of traditional Hatha yoga that follows the flow of breath through sequences of interweaving postures in a vigorous, more athletic approach. Also, for those new to yoga, there is a beginner’s workshop.

And the cost for the ultimate full-body workout is more than reasonable, especially for a New York City based studio. Choose from unlimited classes by month or class cards. For 10 classes of your choice, the cost is $150 ($15/class) or $120 for a one-month unlimited membership. Private sessions are also available.

For more information on Joschi Body Bodega, please visit http://www.joschinyc.com. Joschi Body Bodega is located at 163 West 23rd Street on the 5th floor.

Originally published July 2010
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