A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
I’ve sworn of the scale a long time ago (muscles are heavier than fat you guys!), but alas, my clothes are unforgiving. So, with the academic year having started again, it’s time to also settle into some kind of rhythm sports-wise.
I’ve been quite an avid dancer for years, starting with ballet classes when I was six, adding jazz dance at ten, and most recently also trying out some contemporary. I’d been in the same dance school forever, and after moving to Leiden it took me a while to pick it up again and find a school that suited me. Eventually I ended up at Balletschool Inge v.d. Broek, a dance school led by a mother/daughter duo, that has grown into one of the biggest in the area. The group I was put in is really close, and it took me a while to find my place in it, but since then it’s been a lot of fun to train weekly again, and even do the occasional show. I’ll write some more about that as soon as we get the pictures. Spoiler: it was incredibly fun to do.
But while I’m really enjoying the weekly dancing, it’s just that: weekly. I’d love to do some more, so I updated my membership of the University Sports Centre for another year, and decided to do some more than spend the occasional 30 minutes on an elliptical this time. They offer a broad variety of sports, from flamenco to jiu jitsu, and from yoga to pole fitness. I’ve picked out the ones that suit me best, and which also fit somewhere in my schedule.
Unfortunately the sports centre is still being renovated, which in itself is great (there will finally be a proper dance studio, and the new fitness part promises to be amazing), it’s just taking a bit longer than expected. There are a few courses available already, but none of the ones I’d be interested in.
Anyway, as soon as they’re available, I’ll be trying out Raja Yoga, which is the yoga form most focused on mindfulness, as opposed to for example Power Yoga. As it’s on Wednesdays, I figured it would be a nice way to get a break in and get my mind off stuff and unstress. I even managed to get my housemate to come along, so I’m really looking forward to it!
Apart from Yoga I’m planning on taking the beginners ballet class, just because it’s fun, easy, and a good way to get some technique practice. Last but not least, on doctors orders, some pilates. I know what you’re thinking, it doesn’t get much typically girlier than those sports, but hey, I’ve got some busted knees with a bit of hyperflexibility thrown in, so I’m supposed to strengthen my chore and build muscle, but only do low-impact. And while I’m sounding really active and motivated right now, I’m just using all of you for some extra motivation and to force myself to actually go, so I can update you on whether I was able to untangle myself after yoga.
If you love being active, the USC is a great option, and at €130,- a year, it’s a lot cheaper than most other gyms, especially if you take all the offered courses into account (which are often in English!). Definitely drop by if you feel like it, I’d love to meet some of you there!