Chances are, if you’ve been around the studio for any length of time, you’ve heard people talking about “willPower & grace.” If you’re wondering what in the world that is, wonder no more! This blog post is for you.
In its most technical terms, willPower & grace is a fitness organization founded in 1999 that marries cardio, yoga, and Pilates in its classes and mandates that all participants go barefoot.
In less technical terms, it’s an amazing workout where you use your body weight to tone and strengthen your muscles, while also being conscious of the way you’re moving. Lucky for us, our very own Julia Collins is a certified willPower & grace instructor — the only one in Michigan, in fact — who is excited to share what she knows about the class with everyone. She covers the basic questions below:
Q: What can I expect in a typical willPower & grace class?
Julia: A typical willPower & grace workout consists of balance work, some cardio, and muscle toning. We focus on alignment, on using every muscle intentionally. It’s very defined movements and there are no weights and no shoes, but there is a real mind-body connection that makes this aerobic class different from any other I’ve taken.
Q: Really? No weights or equipment?
Julia: Really. But it’s still a serious workout! You can improve your posture and challenge your core muscles just by taking off your shoes and working with your own body weight.
So many times you walk into a gym and there’s this glossy, shiny, technical equipment and people start to think they can’t exercise without it. But the great thing about barefoot exercise is that it teaches you that you don’t need that stuff — you can exercise anywhere.
Q: But what if I’ve never done anything like this before?
Julia: Like any exercise, barefoot workouts can be modified depending on an individual’s ability level. You can easily make adjustments for a beginner or, say, someone who’s pregnant.
Q: What if I hate my feet? Do I really have to go barefoot?
Julia: Don’t worry, everyone’s been in your shoes — no pun intended! After engaging in the willPower & grace classes, a lot of people start treating their feet differently. People are sometimes self-conscious about how their feet look. But when their feet start getting stronger, people adopt a different attitude. They might get a toe ring, or get their toenails painted, or just start going barefoot more in general.
Q: Okay, so a great workout like this: everyone must be offering it, right?
Julia: You won’t be able to find another willPower & grace class in Michigan. Ypsi Studio is one of the few places that actually has certified instructors able to teach it, though we expect more to be added to the mix soon! We just hosted a training for instructors in the Midwest, ten of whom are from Michigan! We hope they are officially certified in the next three months. But in the meantime, Ypsi Studio is the only place you can grab a willPower & grace class, which is just one more thing that makes Ypsi Studio so special!
Sound like something you might want to try? You’re in luck: willPower & grace is taught at Ypsi Studio nearly every day! For a list of times and locations for willPower & grace classes, check out the Ypsi Studio class calendar by clicking here.