If you picked up a copy of this week’s Grazia magazine you’ll have read all about the Bodhi method.
It’s the most talked about fitness class in LA and now the ‘supermodel workout’ has arrived in the UK. Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Alessandra Ambrosio are all said to be fans of Bodhi, the suspension-Pilates class, because it improves posture, core strength and muscle tone. Hello, long and lithe limbs.
Already a huge hit in Hollywood, Bodhi is now set to cause a stir in London town. But how does it work? Studio owner and trainer Dawne Likhodedova told Grazia, ‘This suspension-training Pilates workout has two independent ropes that create four suspension points. These allow opportunities to suspend the body, adding strength, flexibility and balance challenges. It’s a unique workout that really tests the body, which is why celebrities love the concept.’
Conveniently, the bePilates studio offering Bodhi classes is located in London’s Marylebone, just around the corner from celeb hotspot Chiltern Firehouse.
So what is a Bodhi class actually like? Grazia was invited down to trial the class and here's five things you need to know.
1) It’s not for the faint-hearted
It’s most definitely Pilates, but on steroids. Don’t go expecting leisurely exercises with a nice bit of breathing – Bodhi is tough. Initially Dawne walked me through some basic movements to get to grips with using the rope system and these felt like nice, comfortable stretches. But when I was fully suspended it was clear you’ve got to have great core strength and control to perform the exercises for any amount of time.
2) It’s a bit like TRX
You can execute squats, push ups and core movements with either your hands or your feet in the loops, just like TRX, although the movements are slower. I performed exercises like squats with superman push ups and shoulder shrugs with my hands suspended before moving to the floor. Lying down and with the balls of my feet through the loops I pushed my pelvis upwards to form a glute bridge. Having my feet suspended made the exercise much more challenging, particularly when Dawne asked me to move my feet in and out while still holding the bridge. We also did some push up work and front and side planks too. So far, so good.
3) When fully suspended you can really feel it… fast
Getting both feet and hands into the loops proved tricky and once in I immediately became very aware of my limited upper body strength. I’m not going to lie it was really tough at this point. When Dawne asked me to pull myself up and swing back and forth, I thought I was going to collapse after one set and barely made it to five rounds before having to take a break. I also repeated the squats and the superman push outs with my arms and found having both my feet and arms suspended made the movements much more difficult to control. My legs kept splaying to the sides and I was aware that one side of my body found the exercises much easier than the other.
4) It’s great for toning your arms
I’m definitely guilty of shirking push ups and arm weights in the gym but using the Bodhi method you cannot escape working your upper limbs. Most of the exercises require a push or pull motion and Dawne told me she was ‘obsessed’ with working arms. Looking at her trim and toned upper body it’s obvious - she practices what she preaches.
5) You feel the effects immediately
After performing a few exercises fully suspended Dawne asked me to walk around the studio and it’s amazing how different you feel after such a short space of time. Back on firm ground I felt taller, leaner and lighter immediately – it was very strange. Post-class I could definitely feel aching in my arms and core too – the sign of a good workout for sure and I was much more aware of my posture I normally am. I’ll definitely be heading back – I’m a long way off achieving an A-list body, but I’m working on it.
Be Pilates, the Evangelical Library, 78a Chiltern Street, London W1U 5AB