A few years ago I made my way to a Soulcycle class with my buddy Jax on a weekend trip to New York. I’m pretty sure we’d read an article about it in a magazine and decided we had to be people who flew from London to NYC to ‘check out classes’ – and obviously eat, drink and shop too much; some might say that was the real reason. Whatever the reason, this started a love for good quality classes that push you to the point of feeling like you might potentially vomit but also provides lovely showers with nice products to use ☺️
4/5 years later I still love a good class and am now living in LA where I am pretty sure my options are 10x what they were in London.
First up had to be back at Soulcycle. You can’t not love these classes. I use to ride fairly regularly in London with Psycle but I find these Californian classes really kick it up a notch. I did a Monday 5.30 class which I think was a guy called Edward. First up the studio were really helpful, I’d done that thing I seem to do where I book one class but turn up for a different one and they were nice enough to let me in to the earlier one no worries. They’ll set you up on your bike and you’re good to go.
I’m pretty sure everyone by now has at least heard of Soulcycle, they can probably be attributed to a real change in mentality of exercise classes. You get banging tunes, you ride your butt off, incorporating press ups on the bikes and a whole pile of other things that test your coordination – but you do it in a low light room with a pile of other people sweating their own butts off so there’s no need to worry how you look.
The instructor was really good. When I rode at Psycle London I always tried to go to @salnidai classes as he is by far the best – helps you work on your form while kicking ass at the same time- so I am looking out for instructors as good as he is, which Soulcycle delivered on. Same quality of class with more growl in the roar when he yelled at us, which worked for me (an incite into my psyche I’m sure).
The hardest thing about Soulcycle? Not buying everything in their shop! I think half my workout wear comes from their line.
The next place to catch my attention was Y7 Studio on Melrose. I have to admit their big window with #tribecalledsweat was what did it for me. I went online and found out it was hip hop hot yoga and I just knew this was going to be the place for me. My regular yoga place for London was Fierce Grace which was less of a traditional approach than Bikram so I like the idea of hot yoga doing things a bit different. I find I get distracted really easily so throwing hip hop in the mix would definitely help my attention span.
They do things a little different at Y7 Studio, which when they described it freaked me out a little but the reality was excellent. Basically they do 3 flows with each flow having 5-10 moves. Each flow is done 3 times: first slow making sure you have all of your form correct, then moving 1 breath 1 move and finally music pumping on your own with no guidance from the teacher. This is where I thought I was going to fail massively but I really surprised myself. This makes me concentrate so much more on the moves and the music makes you really push yourself through. I’m going out in a limb and saying this is the perfect yoga, I can’t get enough. You will sweat like a mo’ fo’ and love every mom out of it. But word of warning: it is almost all standing poses, so if like me, you are waiting for the lovely lay down ones, you will be waiting awhile. These classes are working on your strength and balance massively.
They do a really good first timer package. I stupidly opted for the 2 weeks when I should have done the month. I went I think 7/8 times in the 2 weeks and could have gone more. I’ve now discovered it’s on ClassPass so will be getting those in while I explore some other studios in the area.
No surprises, there’s the merchandise here too (I’m sure life was cheaper before studios realized we loved all their branded cool stuff) and it looks good! There’s a hat I love & a top I really, really want but I am on a shopping ban until I become a productive member of society- but don’t worry, they’ll be mine soon 😉
*** here’s something I have found a little different so far from the London studio scene: no one uses the showers. I guess because people mainly get around on public transport, but in London you will almost always queue for a shower after a class but over here people just seem to get in their car and leave. I think I was one of the only person showering at Soulcycle (lovely showers, thanks) and Y7 Studio doesn’t have any – which I actually prefer over London yoga studios’ obsession with communal showering, that is not for me!