Joga with Jana Vanessa


What: Joga with Jana, 75 minutes
When: Saturday at 10am
Where: Energy Exchange (698 Queen Street East)
Who: Vanessa Montenegro


After a lukewarm introduction to EnergyXchange, their Twitter master kindly offered Jill and myself passes to Joga with Jana. They thought that with all my running, Joga would be more my speed. I was skeptical. What kind of name is “Joga” anyway? It feels so contradictory to the history and tradition of yoga. But when I told Jill, the Balser yoga master, she squealed. “I love Joga!” I was a little more intrigued, but as any Two Fit Girls reader knows, Jill is insane when it comes to yoga. Who does an impromptu 30-Day Challenge anyway?


Their website is flashy. Be prepared.


We headed over on Saturday morning to check it out. Sadly, Jana was out of town and Vanessa was subbing in. This worried me — the class is named after Jana, after all — but Vanessa was perky, polite and constantly moved around the room.

Oh, and she wasn’t afraid to kick our asses.

Here’s the thing: Joga is HARD. I thought I was in shape. I really did. But Joga is all about working the core muscles. Planks, planks and more planks. When you’re done with those, let’s balance. On one hand. And twist. It’s basically an ab workout disguised as a yoga class.

And that’s fine. Joga has a definitive identity and a core audience — athletes. It’s a great bridge into yoga for those who want a little more oomph in their ohms or sweat in their salutations. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.) There was no attempt to falsely embed a spiritual element into this class. The class was fun, the teacher was grounded and I left exhausted.

It was refreshing to (slightly) mix up the run/run/yoga/run routine of the past few weeks, and to know there’s a great option out there for the next time I want to take my yoga practice to the next level.

But, oh boy, do I ever need to do more crunches. How else will I survive my next Joga class?



Take this class if: you’re looking for a killer core workout.




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