Building core strength in a feminine way
• Transform your abs, core and butt
• Strengthen your body while cultivating your curves
• Help your body find it’s natural weight in a healthy manner
The Maya Method technique (marked by an *) strengthens the abdominal, core and gluteal (butt) muscles. It develops the abdominal/core muscles to be the power center of the body and develops the gluteal muscles to be a strong foundation for the spine. This strengthens and sculpts the entire mid-section of the body and helps to heal and prevent injuries to the back, neck and knees.
The Maya Method exercises are centered around the bosu, a blue rubber half ball with a rounded side and a flat side (as shown above). You can sit, lie, kneel or stand on a bosu. Because the bosu is filled with air, it is an unstable surface. This increases the intensity of every exercise performed on the bosu because it forces your body to balance itself and at the same time, execute a movement. For instance, if you are doing a crunch on a bosu, your core muscles have to work harder to keep you balanced on the bosu and to complete the crunch. This increases the productivity of the every single repetition thereby increasing the rate at which you increase your abdominal/core strength.
In the Maya Method approach to exercise, you pay close attention to the feedback from the body. The goal is to feel muscle burn or muscle fatigue and to have your joints pain-free at all times. This ensures that you are safely strengthening your body and at the same time protecting all of your joints including the back, neck, knees and wrists.
*Ageless Body Technique (Abs/Core/Glutes): this class alternates between abdominal strengthening exercises and butt/leg toning exercises. In this mat class the abdominal exercises combine breathing techniques with slow-motion crunches to awaken and fully engage your abdominal muscles. The butt/leg exercises involve standing exercises in which we use steps, bosus, balls, elastic bands and hand/ankle weights (5-10 pounds). Throughout the class we lay back on the bosus (the blue half-ball pictured above) to gently stretch the spine and relieve neck tension. This class is gentle but intense. The more you take the class, the more difficult the exercises become and the more you can transform your abdominals and butt/legs. This class is appropriate for those with back pain and knee pain. Please inform the teacher before the class begins and let the teacher know if you feel any pain during class.
*Arms/Shoulders: this class focuses on the back of your upper arms (triceps) and your shoulders (deltoids). The exercises are designed to tone the back of the upper arms and to subtly sculpt the shoulders. This develops long, lean muscles and simultaneously releases neck tension and overdeveloped neck muscles. In this mat class we use light weights (1-2 pounds). The class ends with stretches for your shoulders, neck and upper back. This is a gentle class and is appropriate for people with back or knee pain. If you have forearm issues (carpal tunnel, tendinitis) please inform the teacher and the teacher can offer you variations. If pain persists, you should not take this class.
*Brooklyn Booty: this class is a cardiovascularly challenging class in which you hold onto the ballet barre for balance. The class starts with a slow warm-up in which you learn the correct form for the exercises that will be done in class. Then the pace picks up as you alternate between toning exercises and cardiovascular exercises. The class sculpts all the muscles of the back of the body with a focus on developing the butt muscles. The more you take the Ballet Booty Class, the harder it becomes for you. You’re also able to add weights to intensify the workout. This class is NOT appropriate for those with low back pain. If you have occasional knee pain, you can try this class. Approach it in a conservative manner and let the teacher know when you have knee pain.
*Outdoor Stair Workout at Ft. Greene Park: this class builds lower body strength and increases cardiovascular endurance. The class starts at the top of Ft. Greene Park with exercises to activate the glute (butt) muscles. Then you go to the stairs for slow lunges up the stairs, followed by sprints up and down the stairs. You can go at whatever pace works for you and you can rest whenever you need to. This class is not appropriate for those with low back pain. If you have minor knee pain, you can try this class.
*Low Back Class: this class is a rehabilitative class specially designed for those with low back pain. Every exercise has been created to alleviate compression to the low back while reprogramming the muscle patterns of the midsection of the body. Most people with low back pain have under-active abdominal/core muscles and over-active back and neck muscles. This class focuses on strengthening the abdominal/core muscles and training the back and neck muscles to be more passive. This class is the most appropriate class for someone with low back pain.
Mommy & Me: you are welcome to bring your baby (up to 8 months) to the following classes: Ageless Body Technique, Low Back Class, Arms/Shoulders and Foam-Rolling Stretch. You can keep your baby in the stroller or set her/him on a mat next to you. People love to have a baby in class (even if they’re making noise) so please feel free to come!
THE FOLLOWING CLASSES ARE MORE INTENSE AND ARE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR THOSE WITH INJURIES, JOINT OR BACK PAIN:
Intensive Core: this class is a mat class consisting of planks. alternating with crunches and exercises to raise your heart rate. Planks are an exercise in which you face the mat and hold yourself up on your forearms and the balls of your feet. Planks requires upper body strength. This class is NOT appropriate for someone who has neck, upper back or low back pain. If you have knee pain, you can try this class and let the teacher know if you feel any knee pain.
Bosu Body: this class builds cardiovascular endurance. Every exercise is done on the bosu (the blue half ball pictured above). You can stand, jump, sit and kneel on it. This class consists of lunges, squats, jumps, planks and crunches. This is a very challenging class and is NOT appropriate for someone who has back or knee pain.