ZEN AND THE CITY

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The Class by Taryn Toomey

One of my friends is a die-hard fan of The Class by Taryn Toomey. She’s been talking my ear off about how great The Class is, so today, she and I made plans to take The Class together and have lunch somewhere fun afterwards.

The Class is offered in pop-up locations throughout the city, but I wanted to get the full experience, so we met at Taryn Toomey’s beautiful fitness studio in Tribeca. It was a little far south for me – almost all the way down in the Financial District – on Park Place near Broadway. The studio is located on the third floor. You climb up the stairs and immediately, you’re transported to another dimension.

I’ve been to many fitness, yoga and dance studios and most of them are… well… not the most welcoming places. It’s either dark lighting & sweaty smell, or the total opposite – glaring neon lights and the harsh smell of chemical cleaning products! This studio, on the contrary, is absolutely gorgeous. Light grays everywhere, from the lightly bleached wood floors, to the matching light gray yoga mats… lots of natural light… white crystal light fixtures… a few well chosen accessories… some white orchids… and a beautiful white dream catcher on the wall. It smelled wonderful and felt more like a spa than a gym!

My friend and I set ourselves up on the mats inside the studio. Unlike a yoga studio, this studio has a wall of mirrors at the front of the room. I looked around when we sat down, and almost everyone seemed to match the decor! It was like a hidden dress code, and I didn’t get the memo, lol! The floors and the walls were light gray and white, with touches of soft beige… and most people were wearing light gray and white, with touches of soft blush or beige! I felt out of place in my black leggings and promised myself I would wear something different next time!

The Class began with a cardio warmup. Squats during one full song, then jumping in place for one full song, then jumping jacks for one full song. During the entire class, we would repeat exercises for one full song, only switching to the next move after that song was over. Although there were yoga mats set up on the floor, the majority of the class kept their sneakers on. The music was catchy – a series of tunes that sounded like a party in Ibiza!

After the squats, we went on all fours and did some leg raises. We then switched onto our backs and did some lower abs. Then back on all fours for leg raises on the other side. Then came another cardio burst: jumping jacks (one song), followed by burpees (one song). Then we sat on our knees and swung our arms back and forth for heart openers. Finally, we did some modified push-ups on our knees, followed by a cool-down.

When we had booked The Class, Taryn Toomey herself was supposed to be teaching, but we received an email the night before letting us know that she was ill and would be replaced by a substitute. I’m going to try The Class again when Taryn Toomey is teaching. Although I liked my first class, I’m curious to experience The Class taught by its mastermind and founder.

The Class lasted 65 minutes. There was no clock in the room, and I had left my watch in my locker, so I couldn’t tell how long we had been working out – and how much was left! I paced myself carefully so I wouldn’t peter out before the end of the workout; it actually ended sooner than I expected, and I wished that I had pushed myself harder.

Our instructor encouraged us to be vocal throughout The Class – to breathe loudly, to sigh and to yell if we wanted. She also talked us through allowing ourselves to feel the sensation, to persevere through the pain, etc., but her voice didn’t carry very well and I found myself straining to hear her instructions. At the end of The Class, she thanked us for our efforts by saying Namaste – but that little touch of sanskrit and the mats on the floor were the only “yogic” elements of the workout. The Class is not a yoga class – it’s a fitness class!

At the end of The Class, I felt like I had had a decent workout, but that I should’ve gone all the way the entire time to really reap the benefits of the workout. There’s a good amount of cardio, but also a good amount of sculpting, so your heart rate has a chance to recover. One thing that we absolutely didn’t do at all was stretching. I definitely felt the need to stretch after The Class was over, and the instructor encouraged us to do so, but she did not lead us through it, and most people walked out of the room as soon as the music was turned off.

I loved the vibe of the studio! They even sell crystal jewelry at the front desk… that’s my type of place! I’m looking forward to trying The Class again. The location is inconvenient for me, but I’m going to give it another try next week when Taryn is back!

The Class by Taryn Toomey, 22 Park Place – 646-850-0937

 

 

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