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Greenbelt’s Bee Yoga Fusion IS a Real Workout

By Chelsea L. Calhoun, NASM CPT

When I taught my dance fitness workout at the PG Sports and Learning Complex, I was surprised by how many people attending my class felt that yoga and Pilates are fluff workouts. Yoga was the class before mine, and as my students waited I’d hear them bashing yoga, saying that it doesn’t make you sweat, there’s not enough movement to burn calories and lose weight, and one said, “It’s not a real workout”. They considered these classes low impact, but also low intensity. Well, I beg to differ and I’ll tell you about an excellent yoga class that’s offered at the Greenbelt Youth Center. It is called Vinyasa Flow Yoga for Moms, Dads, and Caregivers and it’s taught by Gretchen Schock, founder of Yoga Bee Fusion.

Before I talk about Gretchen’s class, first let me define for you low/high impact, and intensity. According to the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, low-impact aerobics is when all movement is performed with at least one foot firmly planted on the floor at all times. High-impact primarily contains movement in which one or both feet can leave the floor. Intensity, however, refers to the level of stress you put on your body. For cardio respiratory fitness you measure your heart rate, for muscular strength and endurance you measure how fatigued your muscles are, and for flexibility training (stretching) it is determined by how far you can stretch your muscle to the point of tension (also called the edge of discomfort).

Gretchen’s class, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, gives you a great total body workout. She plays soothing to upbeat music depending on the impact and intensity level she wants you to explore. The class is designed for a beginner to advance. She gives you options depending on your level of physical fitness and yoga expertise, and she has a gentle way of encouraging you to push yourself to the next level. The class starts out low impact/low intensity, increases to a high intensity, and then back to low. I think I’m pretty fit and have good core strength teaching my dance fitness class three times a week, however, Gretchen’s class gave my body a shock it needed. When I had to lift my entire body weight using only my two hands and two yoga blocks, I knew I reached a point of intensity I was not ready for and that my core needed more work. I also like how she takes a sequence of poses, in which you initially hold each pose for about 30 seconds, and then she gradually speeds up the sequence giving you the feeling as if you are performing dance choreography. You’ll be surprised how holding the poses takes more strength and endurance than when she speeds them up.

For any fitness class, it’s all about what you do with the time while you are there. So, I encourage people that believe yoga is a fluff workout or if you’re looking for a great low impact/high intensity total body workout to try Gretchen’s Vinyasa Flow Yoga class at the Greenbelt Youth Center, Thursdays at 9:30AM – 10:30 AM in the gym. If you cannot make that class at that time, she offers other classes in and around the Greenbelt area. Check out her website for more information.

Chelsea L. Calhoun is a fitness professional certified by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and the National Academy of Sports and Medicine. She is also the owner of Groove Dance Fitness and creator of the Ultimate Groove Workout, a class that incorporates various dance styles with traditional cardiovascular and strength training exercises. Since January 2010, she has taught Ultimate Groove Workout at the Greenbelt Community Center. In 2011, she became a PLAYcoach when she teamed up with Kim Rush Lynch, owner of Cultivating Health, and created the program Play. Love. Achieve Youthfulness. (PLAY),which encourages you to have fun with food and movement. Chelsea is a native of Wheaton, MD, and have lived in Greenbelt since 2002.


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