What's an Infinity Class?

At a typical CrossFit gym, as you’d expect, there are a variety of workouts to fully explore functional movement. There are barbells, jump ropes, medicine balls, rings, and lots of free weights. Though not all CrossFit gyms, or the classes they offer, are the same. 

While CrossFit can appear to be only accessible to hardcore athletes, the programming has a different focus at CrossFit MFP. Owner Marco Dapkey, my coach for the last 5 years, has some unique superpowers as a coach with the variety and creativity he uses to create a BALANCED approach to physical fitness that is vital to physical longevity. 

You’ll be sore (in a good way) and have worked every body part, energy system, and plane of motion in an intentional, safe, and progressive way. Progressive is a keyword here. If I am investing time to work out, I want to see progress. I want to feel stronger, be more mobile, and have a better range of motion even as I age. 

My personal favorite part of Marco’s programming is his Thursday Longevity class. Longevity classes are a way for people to create a holistic approach to their fitness routine. By integrating non-traditional movements, mindfulness, breathwork, and restorative (yin) stretching, members at MFP can recover their physical and mental bodies. These classes were the seed for the Infinity classes. 

One of the ways Coach Marco describes his Infinity class is “A Longevity Class on Steroids.” The story of Marco’s development of the Infinity class is actually quite complex, deep, and intuitive. Marco is also trained in yoga and mindfulness and intuitively developed the class over time for his personal practice to more deeply explore sacred and ancient concepts recombined uniquely to connect the physical, energetic, and spiritual bodies. My best description of the Infinity class—an experience where three practices collide: movement, mindfulness, and breathwork. 

Movement: The movement in the class includes the basics of strengthening and stabilizing to the coordination of rotating with rhythm. The movements within Infinity do wonders for general awareness of structural balance and grounding techniques to the physical body. This includes mobility, joint resilience, blood flow, and physical recovery. 

Mini Bands are used to help build strength in the shoulder and glutes, and there is some serious squat mobility work. It’s all packed into small segments so you can focus your attention on being mindful of the movements for the specific intent. For those who enjoy physical expression similar to dance, you’ll also find that at Infinity.

There is one other special twist to physical practice. Marco has been on a journey of the infinite potential of foot health and function in his own life, so the Infinity class introduces you to a Rock Mat. It’s a small, 12x16-inch firm foam mat with bumps that look like odd-shaped small rocks. 

Why a Rock Mat? Marco can certainly share his experience with this interesting tool. The short answer is “standing on and exercising on the Rock Mat helps to stimulate the nerve endings in your feet, reduce pain, and promote blood flow and relaxation.” I can testify that, at first, it’s odd, yet I have seen how it creates a whole different overall body experience than if you were merely doing these movements without the mat. 

Mindfulness: Sometimes, we think that mindfulness is only meditation. There are some short segments of seated meditation sprinkled into the Infinity class. However, the real magic is how the class builds a true testimony to mindfulness practice. 

The combination of movements in the class is unique. Have you ever done a shoulder-controlled articular rotation (CAR) standing in a forward fold on a Rock Mat? These moves require your attention. Any kind of practice to hone attention is a practice of mindfulness. If you’ve tried seated meditation and just can’t sit and do nothing quite yet, this form of mindfulness and attention training is a great first step. This is integrated throughout the Infinity class, as Marco continues to remind us to bring our awareness to our movement.

Breathwork: This is my favorite element and the most essential component of the practice. Breathwork may not be a term you are familiar with. It means a practice of intentional breath patterns to help regulate heart rate, brain waves, and nervous system. If you practice yoga, you may be familiar with the practice of pranayama. That is a form of breathwork. 

I predict this is the newest kid on the block in the world of health and wellness, and you’ll be hearing a lot more about breathwork and its practices. Science is showing over and over again that the way we breathe has a massive impact on our overall health. If you’re into this, check out James Nestor’s book Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.  Nestor is a great storyteller with many unexpected ideas in the book. 

Marco has done a fantastic job of introducing various breathwork techniques, breath holds, rapid breath of fire, and the calming ujjayi breathwork. Like in a yoga class, the movements align with the breath patterns so you find a natural rhythm. More importantly, Marco creates a unique approach to integrating the breathwork techniques in specific sequences. The magic of utilizing the breathwork to create a systematic awareness of our nervous system shows the true potential of the practice.

The final 30 minutes of the class are about going deeper. Imagine an extended period lying on your mat for relaxation after the movement and breathwork. With an eye mask, soothing music, and breath-holding techniques, you’re set up for a new level of relaxation for mind and body.  

There is a final closing meditation to find more alignment with the practice's physical, mental, energetic, and spiritual components through chakra awareness, hand gestures (mudras), breathwork, and “vibration restoration.” 

There is one other important element of the class: building community. Marco is one of the best innovators and fitness educators and has an engaging energy that brings people together. His innocent humor couples beautifully with how much he cares about supporting us all to be open, curious, and moving toward better health, living more into our genius, and our exploration of how our life purpose can be of service in the world. 

The best way I can describe the sensations and experience of this class is a collision of the very best kind of these three practices: movement, mindfulness, and breathwork choreographed with some majestic and inspiring soundtracks. The class is appropriate for all levels and unlike anything you’ve experienced. I hope to see you “on the Rock Mat” next to me in an upcoming class.

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