Based in Lexington, KY, Johnna Wilford is a writer, running coach, and POP Pilates teacher. She helps LEXINGTON community members explore the city through sweat.

Class Review: Dharma Flow Yoga at LEF Climbing

Class Review: Dharma Flow Yoga at LEF Climbing

Here’s another class that’s already been one of my regulars for some time now: yoga at the local climbing gym. I know I wanted to start this review thing so I could change up my workout routine, but I couldn’t start going to new places until I spread the word about fitness classes that I already love!

The Scoop:

My husband is actually the first one who started taking this class almost a year ago. He’s been a member of the climbing gym for a while now, and he and his buddies decided to try the yoga classes offered there because a lot of other climbers were doing it. He found that regular yoga was really helpful for him since he spends most of his days sitting at a computer, which tightens his hamstrings.

I have to be honest when I tell you that I originally refused to go to the yoga class, even though he came home every time raving about it. That’s because my husband only raves about classes that kick his butt. I am not that sort of exerciser! Yes, I like getting a good workout in. But for the longest time I insisted that yoga was not the sort of practice where I wanted to leave feeling like I was going to die.

I finally did try it, though, and started going every week. I should have remembered that my husband pushes himself when he doesn’t really need to - but that I have no problem taking child’s pose if I need to!

Disclaimer: I try really hard to keep my own opinions out of these reviews because what works for me might not work for you. I’m just here to give you an un-biased look at what a class entails and you can decide if it works for you. I want you to get out and EXPLORE Lexington - by sweating in it. That being said, I will always let you know what I thought of a workout if you ask me directly.

So without further ado, here we go…

The Deets:

Dharma Flow Yoga at LEF Climbing

2681 Old Rosebud Road, Lexington, KY 40509

Facebook (for the yoga teacher, Elizabeth)

Website || Facebook || Instagram (for LEF)

$10 per class, or $90 for 10 classes.

Dharma Yoga with Elizabeth happens every Tuesday night! 6:30PM to about 8PM.

The Studio:

LEF is the only climbing gym in Lexington. Although I’ve never been to the one in Cincinnati, my husband says ours here in Lexington is even better. So I think we’re pretty lucky to have a place like this in town!

I think this studio is overlooked by a lot of fitness lovers in town simply because they think it’s only climbing - but it’s not! There’s a fitness membership option that gives you access to all of the group classes (like yoga) plus the gym in the back room. There’s also showers in both the men and women restrooms. There are some cubbies in the climbing area, as well as in the fitness room. There are plenty of hangers for coats, and a room that can be reserved for parties and such. So there’s a lot to love about LEF! Oh and yoga mats are provided, which is something unexpected at a climbing gym.

And of course, there are climbing memberships. But I’ll let me husband and his friends stick with that. ;)

The Class:

This is not the sort of yoga class you go to if you want to get in and out really quickly, that’s for sure. And I don’t mean that in a bad way! In fact, I think that’s yoga classes are meant to be done…intentionally moving from one section to another, becoming aware of your body, and letting the outside world melt away for a significant amount of time. Well, Elizabeth leads people through the class in exactly that way, and I love it.

I think Elizabeth has a typical outline for the class that she follows, with variations related to what she thinks the participants need for that week. For example, there was one week when she moved us through this shoulder opener on the floor that was ahhhmmmaaaazing. But I guess I should focus on this class rather than daydreaming about old yoga poses, huh?

As always, this class started with breathing, with pauses at the top of both the inhale and the exhale. The we moved through four sun salutations (2 per side) before doing a lot of leg work (warrior poses and such). There was a section for headstands, shoulder stands, and plow poses, which is another staple of the class. There was a few minutes of moving down and up with a boat pose. (I’m writing this a day later and thinking I wish there was more time dedicated to that, but I think yesterday when I was going through it I just wanted it to end. Ha.) And then, finally, savasana. And it’s not a short savasana. It’s always a nice, long, restorative savasana that helps me relax after the tough workout. '

Because even though that description does it make it sound like a workout, it most definitely is. I definitely saw a different in my strength and endurance when I started taking Elizabeth’s class regularly. I think what makes some of the poses so difficult is simply the length of time that we typically have to hold it. Staying in a pose for a good amount of time is so simple, yet so effective when building your muscles.

But don’t worry. You don’t have to push yourself as hard as my husband does. There’s always a section of crow pose in these classes, but I simply stay in a forward fold. And Elizabeth doesn’t push anyone to go further than they want to. She simply starts with a simple pose, suggest ways to make it harder if you want to, and lets her students take it from there.

Best for:

Current and aspiring yogis.

Skip it if:

You are intimidated by what people around you are doing and you can’t just go at your own level.

Have you been to LEF? Did you know there was more to offer than just climbing? Let me know in the comments below!

And while you’re at it, what did you think of this review? Is there something you wish I had covered that I didn’t? Tell me so I can make the next review even better!

Free Workout Classes: January 14th to January 20th

Free Workout Classes: January 14th to January 20th

Free Workout Classes: January 7th to January 13th

Free Workout Classes: January 7th to January 13th