Healthy Hollywood: Wellness Wednesday – The Perfect Yoga For Intense Yogis Like Madonna!

In fickle Hollywood, diet and workout trends change at a head-spinning pace. It’s hard to keep up with what’s hot.

That is, except for Yoga.

The mind/body workout trend seems to be here to stay. Madonna, Jennifer Aniston, and Gwyneth Paltrow all praise their time spent on the mat. Why not – yoga never gets boring – there’s always a new practice popping up.

Healthy Hollywood is on to the latest style of yoga to soothe your soul with the power to kick your butt! New York Yogi Carlos Rodriguez has developed his own brand of heart-pumping yoga called Caponyasa. It’s a hybrid style of yoga fusing traditional vinyasa with Capoeira (a form of Brazilian martial arts), and modern dance.

“The class is primarily in a vinyasa yoga based form, often times revolving in 360 degrees (making use of all 4 corners of your mat). Sequence and technique is challenging and requires open ears and open mind,” reveals Carlos.

Did I mention it’s also in a heated class – with the room temperature at 90 + degrees.

“Benefits of the heat in the class is that you’re able to detox the body, while the heat penetrates into muscles faster and enhances flexibility,” states Carlos.

Caponyasa starts off with a brief meditation. Then, the action begins and it’s a non-stop hour of rotating high lunges, core planks, squats, rock star back bends, and one-legged balances and kicks. Phew! Exhausted just thinking about it!

“Caponyasa is a full body workout with a lot of core-induced motion and awareness to core strengthening. (There are) lots of squats for the butt and thighs,” reveals Carlos. “Aside from all of that, the constant motion is great cardio and keeps the heart rate up. Mental benefit is simple, there’s no time to think, so for at least an hour, you’re out of your mind – just moving to the beat of your heart and breath.” Plus, you’re burning major calories – Carlos estimates upwards of 800 calories in an hour.

Healthy Hollywood stumbled across this fierce yoga a few months back at New York’s Pure Yoga. I love an intense yoga practice – especially one that has me dripping in sweat by the end of the class. BUT I am hardly a limber, handstand yogi. I have to work hard at my poses – balance – and overall grace. So, while the fast-paced martial arts elements and high kick balances initially made me feel like the class klutz, soon I found my pace (not my grace). Hey, it’s progress not perfection! Now, I don’t walk – but run to Caponyasa.

Oh, and if you’re like me, and your balance is on the shaky side, Carlos suggests standing on one leg, bending the knee of your other leg and bringing it in to your chest. Try to hold this position for a minute. With practice, your balance will improve. Tip: Be sure to pick one spot and keep your focus on it – this helps balance.

So, Madonna, if you happen to be reading this - Healthy Hollywood challenges you to a class of Caponyasa. Take it if you dare!

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