• OULA: How wild women work out

    You’ve definitely heard about it. You may have read about it. Maybe you’ve even thought about trying it.

    Now take a line from Nike’s playbook, and Just Do It. Come to an OULA class.

    What is it?

    OULA is one hour of Dancemania for the Soul. It is heart-thumping workout that promises to leave you sweaty and smiley. OULA’s simple-to-follow choreography borrows from a host of movement techniques — from ballet and hip-hop to yoga and Pilates — and puts them to top-40 hits. Instructors lead not only the movements, but whooping, hollering and lots of laughter for a mind-body connection unlike any other. For the grassroots gals, OULA is a homegrown company. It was the brainchild of Kali Lindner, a Missoula woman with a longstanding relationship with dance and a passion for exercise who combined her interests into her very own fitness franchise. The class is available across the country and even online, so no matter where you go you can always work in your workout.

    Why try it?

    Without a doubt, OULA is an effective workout. A 140-pound woman dancing at high intensity will burn upwards of 600 calories in a class — the equivalent of a six-mile run. Fitbitters have tracked more than 6,000 steps in one class. Our air-conditioning system can’t keep up with the caloric inferno generated in an OULA class, and we can only measure the sweat by the gallon.

    But the real reason to try OULA: You need it. OULA is an island separate from the outside world, where it’s OK to exercise your whole self — mind, body and spirit. Within the OULA experience, magic happens. Introverts become extroverts (wait’ll you see the OULA Erin), grumpy people get cheery, sad people smile and serious people go all silly. With most workouts we say “the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it.” That’s not the case with OULA, where the more you let go, the more you’ll get back. The one-hour away from the outside world is about not just fitness, but growth, self-acceptance, healing, laughter as medicine and release.

    How do you get past the fear?

    If you’re nervous to try OULA, you’re starting the same way as the rest of us. Grab a friend, take a deep breath and remind yourself that if you’ve ever gotten drunk in public then you’ve already done sillier things than this. Camille is especially famous for putting newcomers at ease, give her a chance to wave her OULA wand at your apprehensions. Also, be patient with yourself. It takes a few classes — four seems to be about average — to learn the methods behind the madness that allow you to move more and think less. Once you reach that point, you’ll never be bored. OULA adds new choreography every week to keep classes fresh and fun.

    When should I start?

    Summer is a great time to try a fitness class. Studios and gyms typically slow down in the summer, leaving more space and more time for individual attention from instructors. If you are feeling self-conscious now, we’ll have that danced out of you by the time the cold-weather crowds return. We currently offer three OULA classes a week, check our schedule for up-to-date details.

    Meanwhile, pencil in an OULA class as you plan your weekly schedule. It’s one hour that is all about you. Come find out, first hand, what all the fuss is about. And remember: always, always, always, always, always do what you are afraid to do.

  • Posted by Charmaine Everett on August 3, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Don’t let age stop you. Lots of Ouligans are upwards of 60 and movin’ and groovin’ like we did back in the day. We’ve got our booty back! Come join us!


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