Where: Nalini Method, 248 West 60th Street, New York, NY
Rupa Mehta: The Brains Behind the Nalini Operation
Not sure why this review took so long to surface... but here it is! Nalini method with the creator herself, Rupa Mehta. Get ready to burn it out... and follow directions. Rupa's class is definitely a West Side treat.
[Click here to review Rupa's class yourself, or check out her RateYourBurn profile here.]
- My three words for Rupa: hobo-chic, talented, type A.
- Rupa's style is a mix of Brooklyn/sportswear/"expensive homeless". She strolled into the class wearing a hipster hat, oversized sweater, tapered Lulu balloon cargo pants, big sneaks, and lots of rings. In other words, she's way cooler than me. Then again, "dressing up" for me entails putting on a pair of high boots and a long shirt so people can't tell that my "leggings" are actually the spandex I cycled in this morning. Anyway.
- Rupa commands the room. You can bet your bottom dollar that no one will be drifting off or losing focus during class - she makes sure of it.
- Rupa is aggressive with corrections and adjustments, which is right up my alley. She's also relentless. She knows when you dropped your plank out of laziness, not necessity, and she'll be on your tail. At one point, she asked the class to "please tell me if you're not feeling this and I will come make it harder ... my favorite thing is making exercises harder!"
On the class.
- The format was Nalini - check my other reviews. A variation of Lotte Berk developed by Rupa herself. The method was originally adopted by Equinox-owned Pure Yoga, but she parted ways with them several years ago to set up shop in Midtown West.
- The class was harder than others I had taken. The intensity was higher, the holds were longer.
- We whipped out a new toy - the SmartBell - an object resembling a bright red weighted steering wheel. She moved us to the edge of the room for wall sits, and we each drove our imaginary bus.
- Everyone can do it. Rupa had an "everyone can do it" shtick about pushups. She showed all the variations. The point: there is never an excuse to rest. Just choose the next variation down.
- Compliments for exemplary form. Rupa used me as an example for plank; she used this technique with others for different exercises. Very effective - makes the participant feel special and drives it home to the class that she's watching.
- Repetition and counting.This technique does NOT work with all instructors, but it works for her. Now I understand why the other Nalini method instructors do it. In my opinion, they shouldn't. Strokes for folks.
- Major use of name calling. If she knew your name, she was using it. And she knew most names.
Other Nalini instructors.
For me, it was fascinating to watch Rupa's interaction with her instructors (there were 3 in class).
Shannon Algeo - I love this man. He joked around with Rupa, but also seemed to worship the ground she walked on. As an aside, he recognized me, remembered my back injury, and had couldn't wait to tell me that he had actually GONE HOME AND RESEARCHED DISC ALIGNMENT after meeting me to better understand my limitations. Honestly, that is an A+++++ for effort. And for those of you who are skeptical, I can tell you with 154% certainty that he had no idea I was a blogger at that time. He's just an eager beaver.
Mary Grey Erwin - Personally, I related to her much more in a non-teaching context; I think it would serve her well to relax and be herself with students. Mary Grey seemed to be the closest to Rupa - they hugged warmly and exchanged pleasantries. The body language suggested they were good friends outside of the classroom.
Caitlin Bligh - She's a sweet girl. I was surprised that she seemed pretty intimidated around Rupa - and they did not seem close. Before class, she asked, "Rupa, can we do that one where we have our feet on the wall and bridge up?" "No," she flatly responded. And walked away. It was bizarre.
This was the most packed class I attended at Nalini by far, which suggests that many of Rupa's fans are still coming to Nalini for Rupa, not for Nalini. Hey. Scaling is hard.
I chose a mat next to Chatty Cathy, who was just dying to know how I found Nalini. I told her about the Gilt sale. "ooohhh, I missed it!" I told her she probably didn't miss out because it was for first-timers only, anyway. He face soured. "..there's just no reward for being a loyal customer these days."
Don't even get me started on the economics and customer retention implications of the Groupon model. I'll save that rant for another post.
From Nalini Method website: Rupa Mehta began her entrepreneurial business venture at the age of 23 with the vision of creating an environment that emanated the feeling she had around her mom– a feeling of being accepted, encouraged, nurtured and challenged. After graduating from NYU’s Stern School of Business and studying Pilates, Yoga and Lotte Berk, Rupa’s signature fitness class was born. With her vision in mind, Rupa developed a fun and challenging class that fuses the results and attention of a personal trainer session with the dynamic energy of a group atmosphere.In 2010, Rupa wrote her first book Connect to Your One. After years of training New Yorkers, many with an obsession about their physical weight, she felt compelled to address the discrepancy between physical and emotional weight. “How can so many people be physically light and fit, but emotionally heavy and weighed down?” she asked herself. In Connect to Your One, Rupa introduces the simple concept of ‘losing the weight of words’ and connecting to the ONE WORD that inspires and drives your life.With a deep desire to share her vision with the world, Rupa has partnered with Mayor Bloomberg and NYC Service to spread health and wellness with children in inner city schools. Rupa and her team now teach fitness classes and ONE WORD Workshops in two Brooklyn schools during school hours as a part of their curriculum. Rupa’s dream is to continue to grow her team and platform while launching a tween/teen wellness program nationally.
Find out more about Nalini Method at www.nalinimethod.com
Find Rupa on facebook
Find Rupa on twitter
Watch a video of Rupa doing Nalini Method here
Read more about Rupa on Momover and MingBodyGreen websites