Monday, March 1, 2010

Class #24 On The Ball Monday 10:00 a.m. (Heather)

This class is truly unique. In fact, it’s so unique that it’s only offered on our schedule one time per week but it’s special in other ways too. As far as I can tell, Heather Isbell, the instructor created this class out of thin air.

It’s a cool class - I really liked it a lot. As the name suggests, there is indeed a ball involved with everything we did. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t a ball that’s intended to be dribbled, volleyed, kicked or spiked but a Swiss Ball, which is sort of like a big ‘ol beach ball except much heavier and sturdier and all one color.

On The Ball is an interesting combination of Yoga and Pilates that uses the stability ball to add an extra degree of difficulty. We did yoga techniques such as high lunge, warrior three, plow and bridge in fun and challenging new ways all with the ball. There were also Pilates techniques like teaser, jackknife, roll up and neck pull along with a series of grueling side leg lifts that totally wore out whatever tiny muscle exists to lift my leg out to the side.

I would guess that it’s helpful to have a working knowledge of Pilates and Yoga to do this class but it isn’t absolutely necessary. Heather demonstrates and describes everything she’s asking the class to do and also gives options for different skill levels from beginners thru advanced practitioners. If you haven’t ever done Pilates or Yoga then you may be safest sticking with the easiest version of each exercise because even those weren’t “easy”.

Heather uses wonderful music in the class, much of it new to me. For instance there was a beautiful version of Knights in White Satin performed by an Italian tenor. There was also an acoustical treatment of Stairway to Heaven that I really liked. Heather knows a lot about music as you will see below.

Heather Isbell has been teaching at the LRAC since 1994 when she moved here from California. Heather has taught a lot of different classes at the Club and pretty much anything she teaches is heavily attended. She has always had a dedicated following of members and after taking a few of her classes it’s easy to see why.

Currently Heather teaches four classes a week, which is amazing because away from here she’s a busy little bee. She and her husband Robert own and operate Izzy’s Restaurant, which happens to be one of my favorite places to eat and is located just a few miles west of the Club off of Highway 10. Along with the great food at Izzy’s is an amazing selection of Chinese tea that Heather imports after doing LOTS of on-site research in China. Check it out

Outside of the Club and Izzy’s Heather’s main passion is music. She is the volunteer director of the Youth Rock Orchestra, which is based out of Mills University Study High School. This is a huge undertaking with an orchestra of 65 kids who play ‘blow your socks off’ rock music with traditional, though electrified instruments. I’ve heard these guys in concert on several occasions and they are fantastic.

Speaking of concerts, the rock orchestra will be performing at Robinson Auditorium on April 15th along with Mark Woods, former String Master of the Trans Siberian Orchestra. You can bet that Heather will be on stage too, appearing in her persona as “Cobra” the Electric Cellist (worth the price of admission). For more info and tickets go to I guarantee you I’ll be there that evening.

Today’s gift certificate winner is Liz Longworth.

Okay folks that’s 24 classes down and only 86 more to go….but who’s counting.

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