Pura Vida is doing its best to convert me into a yogi with a gym membership. Having played competitive sports my whole life, yoga has never held much appeal; I’ve been bored in the classes I’ve tried and left feeling as though I had barely broken a sweat. And while I work out regularly, I’ve never been a big fan of the steep membership fees at most gyms (including Pura Vida). But I’m always willing to reexamine my opinions.

Starting in February, for the first time ever, Pura Vida opened its doors to non-members. The weekly Sunday Afternoon Meltdown class ($30 per person, $50 per couple, free for members) is designed to “renew” you after a long week and “recharge” you for the one ahead. At 2 p.m., guests walk into a warm studio for a 60-minute Suddha yoga class, followed by a 30-minute guided meditation in the Ethos studio and an herbal detox elixir. Bonus: You can extend the relaxation by using the eucalyptus steam and whirlpool in the changing room before leaving.

Turns out, this yoga class wasn’t dull or sweat-free. Maybe it was the long week leading up to it or the year of maturity I’ve gained since my last yoga class, but I actually enjoyed the slow, repetitive movements and the stretch in muscles that had been tightened by stress. An hour passed by in a blink, and thanks to the heat, I felt as though I’d earned my dinner (so to speak). Meditation was new to me, and though I didn’t quite get the third eye talk, I did find myself truly calming and clearing my mind—so much so that I fell asleep for a little bit (oops, but apparently other people did, too). I left the gym feeling more relaxed—and simultaneously energized—than I had in weeks. And I enjoyed spending part of my Sunday doing something both productive and focused on my personal wellness. Oh, and those opinions I had about yoga? I left those in the locker room.

Image courtesy of Pura Vida

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Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at daliahsinger.com.