July 29, 2009

This morning, I drove to the nice, new health club near my house and turned in the gold membership card that’s been on my key chain. Oh, that hurt. But canceling the gym was a smart financial AND fitness move. In its place, I’ve joined two online studios — one for salsa lessons and the other for yoga classes. Web workouts are the new gym!

My new routine will revolve around two very attractive websites: and They both offer members unlimited access to instructional videos on the beginner, intermedia and advanced levels that will cost me less than $20 a month. I no longer have to dress up and leave my house to exercise. No more worries about overcrowded classes or dealing with someone else’s schedule. I’m saving money too.

I don’t know how I ever lived without YogaGlo. The actual studio is based in Santa Monica. But I get a California feeling every time I click on this site. It only costs me $18 a month. The site is state-of-the-art, quite fancy yet very easy to use.

This place offers a huge range of online classes — everything from 10-minute stretches and 20-minute breathing exercises to 90-minute advanced level meditation sessions.

This morning, I did a 20-minute yoga class online and… dare I confess? I did naked yoga! Not a pretty sight but I was blissed; felt so close to nature. (Or should I say, my own nature.) Btw, I’d never heard of YogoGlo until last week. I found out about it through Jaimie Epstein, a Jivamukti yoga teacher and writer who was my former Mediabistro student. I love it when the student becomes the teacher!

On that note, let’s move on to BailaSociety, which offers a $49.95, three-month deal. BaSo, as it’s called, was created by the incredible Manhattan salsa teacher, Ahtoy Wonpat-Borja. She is originally from Guam and came to NYC for her education. She’s going for her PhD in epidemiology at Columbia University. The woman is smart and gorgeous too!

We met a million years ago, when I used to take dance lessons with her. I’m proud to say that she credits me with inspiring her online operation. The truth is, I’m a pretty lame dancer. One day, during a private lesson, she hit on an idea. She handed me her BlackBerry and told me to video her while she called out the steps. A new business was born! (P.S. – She also offers live classes in Manhattan.)

So I’m really okay about turning in that $64.99 monthly New York Sports Club membership. Instead, for a total of $34.65 a month, I’m getting unlimited classes in yoga ($18) and salsa ($16.65). Looks like my finances — and I — are both going to be in good shape.