Types of Movement I’ve Tried and Loved (and Hated)

Hello, hello. I write to you from my living room, even though I should be utilizing the desk in the loft above our bed. (A really cool feature of the new apartment here in ATX!) I haven’t figured out how to hang out up in the loft without Wex barking at me. Haha! I don’t know if he is wondering why the heck I am floating above him in the air or if he just wishes he could come up with me. (The stairs are too steep for him.) But anyway, I think the only way I’ll get up there to work is if I sit with him on the bed for a while and he falls asleep… then I’ll make my sneaky way up there.

But for now, Kardashians is on in the background (thanks, sister, for your hulu account info) and my hair is still damp from the shower. This morning, I took a barre3 class and then immediately walked to the library to return and pick up books – a really good spurt of morning movement!

I really like moving my body. I don’t feel the need to do it every day; I try to be intuitive about it. But it really feels good to work my muscles and even though exercise is known as something that’s intense and energetic – I find it slows me down. It makes me stop and breathe. In many classes or when I’m coaching myself through a yoga flow in my room, I find myself often times closing my eyes, going inward, and just being there with myself – showing up for myself. It helps me to manage pain, regulate my emotions, and just really de-stress.

I haven’t always been able to say that. When exercise was a chore – when it was punishment – it brought me stress. It even brought me pain at times. It was not a space to clear my head. Instead, self critical thoughts pooled into my brain as if being funneled in through my ears. Be faster, be thinner, not good enough – a ton of nonsense.

It took stepping away from movement all together for a few months and really gaining appreciation for my body as she is to be able to understand why I want to move and why it feels good. When it feels good. When it doesn’t.

Movement, to me, can be anything. Walking your dog. Dancing around the house. Vacuuming the stairs.

I do enjoy some workout classes. I had a membership at a yoga studio when we lived in Houston. I have taken barre classes and pilates classes. I recently have tried some new classes through promotions and Classpass. I want to share movement I’ve loved and movement that didn’t jive with me, but since those are all such personal opinions and experiences – what I really want to show with this post is how movement is a personal choice, a personal comfort, and it is totally up to you how you move your body, when, and where! As the great prophet, Yoga with Adriene, says “find what feels good”.

Note: These are classes I’ve tried over the past 3 years, to keep it relevant and up to date to my current lifestyle. Last month, I bought a promotion through a local Houston publication where I did 4 different classes at different studios for $29. And I am currently on a 2 week free trial for Classpass! So that’s how I came to round up all of these below.

Classes I’ve Tried // Reviews


Disclaimer: I haven’t been in about 2 years, but I did buy a small package of classes about two summers ago with my sister. In terms of cycling classes, I preferred CycleBar to Ryde because you could see the numbers on a little screen on your bike that represented the resistance/gears. The instructors did coach you on when to increase/decrease, but I felt like I had more liberty to listen to my body in here. I did opt out of having my name on the board that lists who’s in 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and so on. I just feel like that incentivizes me to push myself past a comfortable place, so I’d rather just focus inward and get to a comfortable edge. I would do CycleBar again, but not regularly – cycling to me is really high intensity and hot and loud – all things that really trigger blood sugar drops for me which equal migraines.


Given what I said above for CylceBar and given that Ryde is very similar (stationary bike cardio) – I didn’t like that you couldn’t see what gear setting you were on when on the bike. You just feel it get harder or easier when you turn your nob one way or the other. It was harder, this way, to tell where I was, where the instructor wanted us to be, etc. I’m not sure if it was the particular instructor or the culture of the class, but there was a lot of “push yourself as hard as possible” language. I feel like this can be dangerous, actually. We know our bodies limits, but if someone hollers at you to go harder – our instinct might be to listen to them and push ourselves past what’s challenging and cross into real pain territory. This sounds like I’m being so “judgey”, but I’m just being honest! I don’t think I would go back. It was too intense for my body and that’s ok.


My initial thought was that Lagree would be way too hard for me considering my body doesn’t respond well to high intensity workouts. But since this was more strength based and not HIIT, I think I did pretty well! (Thanks yoga for giving me mad strength – without sacrificing my brain-space for any negative body image or unrealistic goals. Yogis know what I mean.) I would love to go back, but it is one of the more expensive workouts to do. If you have done reformer Pilates, this is similar, but more difficult because the carriage is much heavier.

Reformer Pilates

Love! Similar to Lagree, but a bit easier (still challenging) because the carriage isn’t super heavy. I feel like this allows you to really challenge yourself – or modify if that’s what you need. If you’re unfamiliar, the reformers you are on have different “levels” based off of these little bands underneath the carriage. Every studio seems to be different, but the instructor may cue for you to use 2 yellow bands when you’re doing a certain movement (for example) and you can add or subtract resistance based off of what your body likes in the moment. I find this to be a really positive aspect of the entire experience!

Barre Method

Loved this!! I am partial to barre classes, but not all barre classes are created equal. (Although, I haven’t ever had a “bad” barre class – just ones that are more challenging, or have more upbeat music, or do more floor work, etc.) I’m not sure if all Barre Method studios are like this, but the one I went to had carpeted floors and not only did it take impact off of my muscles in my feet and legs, it made the room feel comfier – like working out in a big, bright living room. I felt like it was challenging, but didn’t make me feel like “oh gosh when is this going to be over!” Would 100% go again.

Barre 3

I have done Barre3 twice and both times I had a good experience! I think the company, as a whole, is amazing. I recommend listening to the founder on How I Built This! Even though I don’t have a kid, I love walking in and seeing their childcare area – how cool is it that parents can come in and take an hour for themselves? The studios are always gorgeous and clean and just make the whole experience feel…spa-like? I mean don’t get me wrong – you will sweat and burn, but you will feel zen!

Pure Barre

In my opinion, pure barre is the hardest of the barres. I don’t know why, I just feel like the movements and sequences are more challenging than other barre classes. But I do really like it! Overall, as you can probably see – barre really works for me. I can modify easily when I need to. I can challenge myself when I need to. It is more strength training than cardio which works well for my blood sugar. I will always be up for a barre class if anyone ever wants to go!


I could do a whole post on running, and I think I might at some point. My relationship with running as changed with my health and chronic pain. I do run 1-2 x a week, but during a pain flare, I don’t run at all. It’s too intense and will make the pain worse. But when I do run, I keep it to a short distance and I keep my pace down. So maybe I jog now? Who cares. I still love it! It feels good. It feels good to be outside sometimes instead of in a studio. I also love the music aspect of running. It gets to be my playlist and my songs that play off of my emotions. Sometimes it’s old Maggie Rogers, sometimes it’s something from a Broadway play, sometimes it’s a Black Eyed Peas throwback, but I really love getting to listen to a song that makes me want to dance and just being in nature. Bonus points for a good trail! I’m very lucky to live close to Zilker Park and when I was in Houston, I liked running on the Heights trail.

Paddle boarding

Ok I just did this last week for the first time, but wanted to add it here! This totally counts as movement. You’re rowing yourself and you’re balancing to stand up on the paddle board, so it’s a balance/strength act. It’s also super peaceful and fun to do with a friend. I realize this isn’t an option for everyone, but if you are ever visiting somewhere with an option to paddle board, kayak, canoe, etc. definitely get curious about how it would be for you and give it a try if it sounds nice! I love being out on the water, so this was fun.

Vinyasa Yoga (Non-Heated)

So much to say about yoga, but in the interest of keeping things concise, I’ll save my yoga journey for a separate post. It is one of my top favorite forms of movement, and to me, yoga is so much more than an exercise. It’s a practice – and it’s mental and spiritual just as much (if not more) than it is physical. I got stronger from doing yoga, but I also got a lot of mental clarity and stress relief. I used to have a lot of back pain, and it eased up after going to regular classes with Bailey at my old studio.

Speaking of, finding the right instructor is key. Back in Houston, Bailey was really great – she had a gentle approach, she didn’t make it all about getting a “work out”, and she always encouraged listening to your own body. Some days we took the intensity up and some days we were on the ground stretching it out for a while. I loved it either way!

Yoga Sculpt (Non-Heated)

This was offered at my old yoga studio as well and I took it a few times! It is basically a vinyasa flow with weights added in, so you may do a warrior 2 and then start doing some weighted lunges. Or you may be in down dog and then come to plank and do a round of push-ups – that sort of thing!

It was challenging, but fun. If I didn’t hydrate properly afterwards and eat enough, I would get a migraine though, so I kind of stopped because of that. This is really similar to Corepower yoga if you’ve done that before! I still want to try Corepower, and I think I would just be really careful about hydrating enough, modifying my weights when needed, and just listening to my body.

Vinyasa Yoga (Heated)

It’s a no from me! Haha. As you can tell from above – I love yoga, so it’s not the yoga here. It’s the heat! I’ve tried it a few times. I’ve even gone to the first class of the day at like 6 am, so it’s less crowded and not as hot, but nope. I just feel like booty after a heated flow. I’ve just come to learn that I am one heat-sensitive chica – despite being born in Florida and then living in Texas all my life. I need AC and I need a lot of it. But good to know, ya know? Get curious.


I freaking love Zumba. I could wax poetic on my favorite Zumba class I used to take at The University of Arkansas rec center for ages. My instructor was AMAZING. I still remember the routines. I still have some of my favorite songs on a Spotify playlist. As a dancer, it will always be one of my favorite ways to move. It’s freeing. It’s fun. No one cares what you look like. No weights. No tracking devices. Just fun! I would encourage anyone to try it out. I’m hoping to find it or something similar on Classpass!

I would love to hear your take on movement and how it sits with you. Do you move often? Do you have a type of movement you really love. Have you released yourself from a type of movement that wasn’t joyful? Let me know in the comments!