So… I LOVE Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts. I’m just going to put that out there. In my mind, we’re besties. She has this comforting yet also encouraging manner of speaking, and her voice is soothing and I feel like she totally understands when I can’t do a yoga move she’s asking for. But before I get into my plans for The Chelsea Set, here’s where I’m starting.
My yoga bestie, looking amazing in Brittany Allen during All For One
My mother is (and for many years has been) a pretty serious and skilled yogi, but I made it to age 43 or so having tried yoga several times over the years and just plain failed. I used to say I wasn’t flexible enough, I didn’t have time to go to a studio, my arms weren’t strong enough, and (my favorite excuse) I didn’t have the inner peace necessary.
Honestly, I wasn’t an athlete of any kind, really. I’ve been a decent runner (before my knees failed me) and gotten into good shape a few times, but long-term fitness wasn’t really sustainable for me until I bought a Peloton bike mid-pandemic. It arrived at my house October 2020, and yes- it was worth it. I started in October, but got serious about it in January. Maybe one of the only New Year’s Resolutions I’ve made that’s really stuck.
(Insert typical inspiring Peloton story here, play “Eye of the Tiger” custom remixed by DJ John Michael, picture me changing my life, eating better, sleeping better, riding the bike and yelling “YES!” whenever Robin says something inspiring, and starting to dress more and more like Jess King. You know how that story goes. Lots of glitter and neon colors and kale salads.) Maybe I’ll tell it in full another time, but really, it’s one you’ve heard before if you’re a Peloton lover.)
So I’m a few months into my Peloton journey (though I sort of hate that word) and I have the realization (am ordered by Tunde) that I should be stretching more after rides (and walks and hikes, as a Tread+ has also joined the household by now, just days before the recall). And yes (as I’m told by Adrian) I should be adding some strength work as well. So I do start stretching, but then at some point I’m like… I should do yoga. “They” say yoga’s good for me.
I’ve gone and looked it up. My first yoga class with Peloton was this one, and the history says I took it on January 2, 2021- so starting yoga was part of that whole changing-my-life thing. It was Chelsea, and all I remember is that I couldn’t do a downward dog for more than a fraction of a second. My arms hurt. My wrists hated it. My legs didn’t have that kind of flexibility. I could NOT keep up with anything more than a slow flow and I didn’t understand how they were moving so quickly. But my history tells me that four days later, I met Aditi- then a few later Anna, Ross, Kristen, and back to Chelsea. I always kept going back to Chelsea. I felt like she forgave me for being terrible at yoga and she was proud of me for trying.
One of my kids got this early on- my Pelopup Princess Shireen LOVES a savasana
I remember some of my milestones- specifically the first time I felt strong in a downward dog. Like hey, my arms are actually supporting me, and this doesn’t hurt! And I kept going. My forward fold got deeper, sun salutations got less exhausting, and I started being able to follow a regular class instead of just a slow flow. I learned that I’m a nighttime yoga person and (besides power classes) I can do yoga without sweating, so it’s a great before-bed practice. I kept riding, stayed on the Tread, and when I tore my meniscus and needed knee surgery after trying to sprint with Robin one day, I tucked a pillow under my knee to accommodate and (carefully) doubled down on yoga while recovering. I actually started finding a little extra inner peace from yoga, and looking forward to it- I’m a bit of a high-strung person, and restorative yoga is one of my favorite things for winding down.
These days, almost three years from starting, I take a Peloton yoga class at least weekly, and I’m pretty good, actually. I can handle intermediate level and some of the advanced stuff (I’m a little afraid of Kirra, honestly, though I love her meditations). Ross is one of my favorites, but it’s still Dr. CJR I come back to again and again, and my favorite, most frequently taken Peloton class of all time, is hers- the 30 minute New Jack Swing flow. I have taken that class 18 times, no lie. I love how the moves have become more and more familiar, and I feel more confident in it every time I take it. I love how I know that Chelsea gets a little bit off the rhythm in one section (the self-love hugs!) and I’ve re-timed it for myself, and I love love love the music. I feel super strong doing the lunges and I can do the triangle pose with my supporting hand on my forward foot.
A couple years into my “yoga journey,” prepping for a flow on some baseball turf
There’s a lot to be said for doing the same flow again and again, though I can fully recognize this might be super boring for some, especially with the same music and narration every time. It’s the reason I’m psyched for The Chelsea Set, which I’m ready to start this week. I’m planning to take it four Friday nights in a row, keep a little bit of a diary- what were the moves, how did I improve on them, what was the music, and how did the DJ and larger class affect the atmosphere?
I’m not expecting “Eye of the Tiger” remixed by DJ John Michael (though, can we please have that at some point?) I’m expecting body rolls, some colorful lighting (I love colorful lighting!), Chelsea’s comforting voice and hopefully a handful of moves that challenge me- I’m getting stronger right now in Half Moon and Warrior 3. I’ve still never been to a live yoga class since starting Peloton yoga, but I feel like I’m part of one, a tiny bit, when I do the Peloton classes, and I’m really looking forward to joining this one. (Bonus- I see from the Instagram preview that it includes a jump switch, which is also featured in the New Jack Swing flow that I love so much, so I’m ready!)
Anyone want to do The Chelsea Set with me? I’d love to hear what anyone else has to say, since I know I can’t be alone in how I feel about Chelsea’s classes.
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