Back in 2009, I tried a fitness class called Nalini Method and I absolutely loved it. Then I went a second time! However, the class was inconvenient for me to get to and not offered all the time, so after my first two classes I didn’t return. But times have changed and the Nalini Method is now at Pure Yoga, with a robust class schedule! When I was offered the opportunity to try Nalini Method at its fancy new home, I couldn’t wait!
I’ve never been to Pure Yoga before, and it was even more gorgeous that I expected. I was blown away the second I walked in. It was like walking into luxury.
I was given this place card to bring to class — every person gets a spot in class that corresponds with their place at the bar — and shown to the locker room that was full of amazing amenities. Deodorant, hair dryers, body lotion, a sauna, q-tips, and more.
The class room is devoted to Nalini Method classes only, with this cozy relaxation area right outside.
What is the Nalini Method? From the website:
The Nalini Method is a challenging and results-driven class which promises to give students a long, lean physique. The Nalini Method is a combination of yoga, Pilates, aerobics, barre work, strength and resistance training. This dynamic class fosters the quick results of a personal instructor within an energized group setting.
The classroom itself was on the smaller side, with adequate room for each person. Reading back on my first review of Nalini Method is funny because I wrote this:
And then we did a plank. I despise planks. They’re just so difficult and uncomfortable! Rupa said we were going to hold the plank for 1 minute and I was nervous. But during that minute we did some movements by alternating each knee down which broke the time up a bit. Then we did pushups. Only they were real pushups. I do not do real pushups. I do girl pushups.
Anyone who knows me now knows that I love planks! They are my favorite exercise. I rarely do “girl” pushups anymore either. I might not get down very far, but I do my best with straight leg pushups. Oh, how much has changed in my life since May 8, 2009.
When I entered the room I was warmly greeted by Rupa. She was just as sweet as I remembered! She helped me get set up at my spot, which had ankle weights, a mat, a playground ball and yoga blocks. We were instructed to get a weighted disc as well. I looked around me at the other women and felt comforted that this class did not appear to be a fashion show. Everyone was dressed in their own style, whether it be a t-shirt and shorts or Lululemon.
The meat of the class did not change. It was just as I remembered it. We started with a very challenging sequence using the hand weights, with the yoga block between our thighs. I especially liked leaning towards one side holding onto both weights with one hand to work our waists. I don’t see that type of exercise very often and I really felt that one the next day — and that is an area I’d like to target more.
I was impressed with the strength of the people around me. They were all using pretty heavy weights for a “light weight” workout. The plank/pushup sequence was intense as well. Rupa had us secure our ankle weights on, which stayed on for the remainder of the class! This brought the entire workout to a whole new level. We started with full-form pushups, moved on to a straight arm plank, then pushups on our knees with our hands in the yoga blocks, then a forearm plank. This set definitely challenged me. During it, I was not happy but as soon as it finished I thought, “I want to do this again!” Very effective, and my heart was racing. After an in-depth stretch, we moved to the bar for our thigh work. The first thing we did was very different from other bar classes: we stood with our backs against the bar, held the weighted disc out in front of us, and got into a straight-back chair pose (imagine just sitting in a pretend chair in the air). We did pulses while holding the disc out, and we held the pose at the lowest point and moved the disc out and in. So intense and my legs were shaking!
(Rupa assisting a class wearing ankle weights.)
We went on to do more chair pose holding on to the bar (the “usual” bar class way) with the ball between our leg (I used a yoga block because of a hip injury, which Rupa was extremely attuned to and always gave me modifications) as well as some parallel leg thigh work. We did many short sets as opposed to three longer sets. These short sets made it easier to stick it out through the pain and broke up the monotony a bit. Rupa was so enthusiastic and inspiring, she really just made everyone WANT to stick through the pain. People were taking less breaks than I normally see in this type of class.
After more deep stretching, we went to our mats for some glute work. First some pelvic tilts/hip lifts, which have become my favorite thing. We then went into a tabletop position (on hands and knees) and Rupa gave the class the option of being on their hands or their forearms. I initially went onto my hands but Rupa thought going on my forearms would help work my core better and in turn help my injury more. When we completed this it was time to stretch the areas we just worked. Since this involved hip stretching, Rupa helped me find stretches that would not bother me. I love the personal attention and help she gave throughout class — not just to me, but to everyone there.
We put our mats under the bar for our core work — and finally said goodbye to our ankle weights! Everyone had a strap tied to the bar at their spot, and we laid on our backs under the bar and held on to the strap to assist us on our abdominal exercises — all with the yoga block between our thighs. This caused us to engage our core and thighs at the same time. I have done similar exercises in Core Fusion, but this incorporated some different movements.
This picture portrays exactly what we did:
After a little more stretching, class was over. The time seriously flew by! The workout was nonstop, the music was awesome, Rupa’s energy was contagious and everyone was working to their limit. I pushed myself hard because the class environment made me really want to! Rupa was working the room, fixing everyone’s form the entire time. Her words of encouragement were motivating and inspiring, and I was a sweaty mess by the end of class! And the number one sign that I truly love a workout — I left craving more.
Rupa herself is just amazing. She spent time with me after class showing me stretches for my hip, since most of the hip stretches I know are openers that hurt me. She really took the time to assist me, and it is obvious that she does this for any student who needs help. I am so proud of Rupa and the way she expanded her business. She created an updated and modern take on an old (Lotte Berk) method, and it is no wonder she has such a devoted and loyal following. There is no way you can take Nalini Method regularly and not get results. I am thrilled that so many more people now know about the Nalini Method since it moved to Pure Yoga. Rupa deserves all the success she is getting.
Before I left, Rupa gave me a book she wrote called Yonect. I am always impressed when someone young writes a book — it gives me hope for myself. I read Yonect and it made me admire Rupa even more than I already do. Her parents taught her important life lessons, which she shares with her readers through anecdotes and explanation. Rupa writes in a way that made me feel like I personally know her mother and father; I feel like I can walk right into their home and be welcomed. Rupa is extremely wise, especially for someone so young, and she thanks her upbringing and supportive family for this knowledge and confidence to handle anything she encounters. She hopes to impart her life lessons onto everyone who reads this book, and she encourages you to think about your own past and experiences and choose one word to define yourself; one word to remember in good times and bad, to ground you and enlighten you, to keep you remembering your purpose. Rupa found that choosing one word helped her discover who she is and who her parents are, and hopes everyone else can experience this as well. Read a sample chapter here.
I recommend ordering a copy of Yonect. It is less than 100 pages and is sweet, inspiring and beautiful. I took so many incredible lessons away from it, and along with Rupa I hope you will too. That is why I am giving away one copy of Yonect.
Win a copy of Rupa Mehta’s book Yonect:
To enter to win, leave a comment here telling me who inspires you. It could be anyone: a parent, a teacher, a friend, a celebrity, a politician, a puppy. I just want to know who inspires you! I will announce the randomly chosen winner in next week’s post.
I also strongly recommend trying Nalini Method at Pure Yoga if you are in New York City.
I have no doubt you will find Rupa and the Nalini Method just as inspiring as I did.