Bust a move

Aspen Fitness Three Ways

A local funny gal explores Aspen’s Bermuda Triangle of workout places, all in one handy spot.

By Beth Brandon Arenella February 20, 2020 Published in the Midwinter/Spring 2020 issue of Aspen Sojourner

Shake your booty at Aspen Shakti's Buddhi Yoga.

Down a flight of stairs on Hyman Avenue lies Aspen’s newest one-stop shop for strengthening, stretching, and sculpting. With Pure Barre and CycleBar relocated next to yoga studio Aspen Shakti, this trifecta provides not only convenience but also some of the most fun, targeted, and exhilarating group fitness classes in town.  

Not familiar with Pure Barre? Clearly a backup dancer from Black Swan thought we all needed to inflict pain upon ourselves and train like a ballerina. A workout includes a series of micro-squats at the barre—twitch, scoop, and tuck—as well as floor work with weights and bands. You’ll awaken parts of your body you didn’t know existed and, trust me, you will feel the burn. But do it regularly, and you, too, may be able to sculpt your body into the lean, lithe silhouette of a dancer—not to mention get a tremendously tight tush.

The worst part: discovering that I’m neither an ambi-turner nor an ambi-twitcher. I could scoop and tuck my right hip just fine, while on the left … excuse me, left hip, would you care to join the class? If I could nail that left-side scoop, I’d be carving better ski turns in no time.  

I love riding my bike, too, but usually hit pause when the snow flies. Not anymore. Heading into CycleBar’s dark studio, music thumping, felt like going to a really sweaty, really fun matinee—without the movie or the recliners. 

Of course, there’s some technique involved, but a CycleBar session is far more forgiving than other fitness classes I’ve taken, since it’s like, well, riding a bike. I admit my on-bike dance skills are still pretty green, and I have to remember hips forward, booty back—not the other way around. But sync your pedal power with the pace of the music, and it’s fitness magic. 

For more stretching than CycleBar’s end-of-class cool-down, walk across the hall to Aspen Shakti, which offers an array of yoga options. But don’t count it out for aerobic fitness; the studio’s custom Buddhi Yoga is part yoga, part dance class, part twerk party, part Wild, Wild Country.

Before my first session, I thought, “I like to go out and dance; what could be hard about this?” Sure enough, aside from the hot instructors in little clothing, the lack of booze, and all of those mirrors, it was just like being at Bootsy Bellow’s. Ever picture Olive Oyl twerking? I don’t want to brag, but I’d give her a run for her money with how well I can now twerk in frog pose. Forget about being self-conscious—just loosen up and join in. (If you’re over 35 and haven’t gone dancing in a while, you might consider stretching first.) The joy I felt while moving and shaking with the class proved a cut above your average workout buzz. 

A day at Aspen Shakti, CycleBar, and Pure Barre might be the closest I’ll ever get to a triathlon, but if I can keep at it, I’ll probably look like I could have won the race—not to mention deserve a drink or two at the real bar afterward. 


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