By Regina Kravitz-Crehan
The official start of summer is here and you may still be lamenting that nagging 15 or so pounds which makes the difference between your summer vow of “Wow” and a season of “Woe”. Had you signed on 6 or more weeks ago for Body Conceptions, “Love Yourself, Love Your Body” group fitness/wellness challenge, you would have gotten it together and possibly had the figure of your dreams by now.
Mahri Relin, the energetic, entrepreneurial owner of “BOCO” offers this challenge yearly as a serious, goal oriented, no nonsense program of “empowerment and self-love through honoring our bodies with the gift of health and fitness”. This is not about dieting! Mahri is not concerned with specific caloric intake or dietary restriction but building strong, lean curves through hard work, better eating habits and the positive mental attitude that re-enforces the mindset to be successful.
Twelve hardworking participants signed on to take the challenge. After six fun, yes fun weeks, they lost an average of 7.33 inches or almost 6% of their body mass, some even more. The quick moving, high energy hour of dance cardio and body sculpting, engages multiple muscle groups and stresses core strength, stability and alignment, leaving you sweating and well… challenged.
Mahri, a trained professional dancer, turned fitness guru and coach, describes Body Conceptions as a way to achieve the lean, coveted body of a dancer. Incorporated into the weekly challenge format are perks and intros from Mahri’s vast network of health and fitness partners to entice the challengers into practices and modalities which are cornerstones of health and well-being.
It’s not about the awesome beach bod (a nice plus) or vanity, but rather total self-confidence and achievement. The music is cathartic and motivating, so it’s essential that the play list truly inspires movement and pushes each person beyond their limits.
I closely followed 2 teams of (mostly 30 something) attractive professional young women as they took a minimum of 3 to 4 classes a week. The groups included actresses, film producers, a talent scout, blogger and financial, fashion and media executives. Everyone was measured weekly and pictures were taken by a perky assistant, to chart their course. (See chart). Some topped the loss at 13 plus inches or approximately 10 % of their body mass.
Relin started Body Conceptions in 2012 after working as a trainer for Tracy Anderson and creative director for Fly Barre at Flywheel Sports. Relin holds several certifications in nutrition, corrective exercise, personal training and others. Cardio-dance movements, light weights, ropes and sliders are incorporated into the mostly floor mat routine which also literally stretches every muscle in your body, many through pretzel like poses.
The challenge and others (WHAT OTHERS?) throughout the year are an important draw for BOCO clients, who also get to experience a wide array of complimentary outside health and abundant wellness perks through a recently added customer loyalty point program.
The weekly add ons included:
Week 1: Fueling Up: nutrition partners Just Salad, Perfect Bar and Tovita nutrition counseling.
Week 2: Beauty Inside and Out: intro to Skin Laundry, the hot, new national quickie laser salon, to clean and perfect the complexion; skin care products from Basq like a yummy citrus body scrub and an adjustment from Dr. Vivian Giannakakis, chiropractor, which turned many on to the benefits of spinal vertebrae alignment for posture and energy flow. I asked her who would benefit from her service and she replied “anyone who has a back’.
Week 3: Style week introduced the group to Sweatstyle, an online personal service of curated gym wear shipped to your door. These ladies like to look good while they sweat!
Week 4: brought in Dana Campbell, meditation practitioner (www.danatcampbell.com) to help support and motivate the group through visualization and they additionally received a free pass to MNDFL, another new mediation studio.
Week 5: stressed the importance of pushing on and breaking through plateaus via “intention“ partners.
Week 6: countdown to the final party and award ceremony at LOLE, a hip SoHo active-wear store offering a 30% life time discount to the winner and a gratis work out pant for all. The gifts and encouragements served a purpose to keep the challenge exciting and moving forward. Relin’s inventiveness and eye for detail, extended to an offer for “Hickies” an elastic, step in, stay on lacing which replaces annoying shoe laces and has become one of my own must haves!