Over Labour Day weekend 2017, we paid a visit to New York City to seek out the new and upcoming trends in fitness and wellness – like meditation studios, wellness lattes, athleisure collabs and more – and bring them back to our Toronto community in an NYC Wellness Guide. We’re no good at keeping secrets, so we’ve put together this series to report back on all the amazing stuff we found.
The amazing thing about New York City is that whatever kind of fitness your into – yoga, boxing, screaming mantras while doing five minutes of consecutive burpees – there’s a studio (or 10) for that. The overwhelming thing about New York City is figuring out just how many classes you can do in a day without collapsing. So we’re bringing you our favourite studios in this installment of the NYC Wellness Guide, to take the guess-work out of your next trip!
Remember the most sore your abs have ever been after a workout? Imagine that but about a hundred times more intense. That will give you a decent sense of what you’ll feel like after a class at SLT.
Done entirely on the Megaformer (think: a pilates reformer on crack), the workout is 50 minutes of fast-paced, muscle-shaking, strengthening intensity. All the movements, which are done at a slow, deliberate pace, require you to activate and use your core. By the end of the workout, our muscles were shaking, our abs were on fire, and we couldn’t wait to come back.
At $37 USD (before tax) for a first class, Physique 57 clocks in as the most expensive workout we tried (SLT is $40 for a drop in but the first class is just $20). But we loved that the instructor worked hard to make sure we were getting a good ROI. Think: a regular barre class but on speed. There was limited rest, moves done to total muscle failure, and a lot of very toned people clad in the latest in athleisure. We left feeling a little longer and leaner, and a little more exhausted.
Pro Tip: If you can’t make it to NYC for a class, Physique has a series available online!
Sky Ting Yoga
Where Physique57 and SLT had a decidedly “uptown” vibe, Sky Ting is all about that downtown cool. We headed to the Chinatown location where we found the studio tucked away in an nondescript building on busy Chrystie Street. The lobby area which doubles as a lounge had an covetable selection of branded clothing and wellness products, but the real treat is heading up the twinkle-light wrapped stairs, to the bright and airy studio with the giant stuffed giraffe. If you want to do crow pose with the cool girls of wellness, this is the place – the studio’s co-founder Krissy Jones was named fashion’s favourite yoga instructor by none other than Vogue.
Alyssa was an instructor and personal trainer at Uplift and still has to stop in for a butt-kicking class every time she’s back in NYC. This women-only studio (and full on female strength society) is known for intimate classes, personal training, post-class socializing that often includes wine, and inspiring panel discussions. If you want to meet some of the most badass inspiring women in NYC, this is the place to go.
EPIC Hybrid Training
Another spot where Alyssa worked, EPIC is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Dubbed The Toughest Workout in NYC, EPIC is based around training for obstacle course races, but it’s so much more than that.
Classes are HIIT and strength training focused and utilize equipment you’re accustomed to (kettlebells, suspension trainers, med balls), and lots more you’re not (monkey bars, ropes, rings, sandbags) to build a totally unique, sweaty, butt-kicking workout.
For those times when you want to get in your yoga flow but you’re also kind of feeling like a sweat-fest and something other than Enya as a soundtrack, there’s Y7. The studio is beloved for its hot (not quite as intense as Bikram but you’ll still pour out some serious sweat) yoga classes set to a serious hip hop soundtrack. While you’re there, pick up some of their totally badass, limited-edition apparel (we have the Money. Cash. Flows. leggings).
There are countless studios in NYC, but we can’t fit them all in our NYC Wellness Guide! Here are just a few others we recommend:
- Studio B by Bandier
- Project by Equinox
- Soul Annex
- FlyWheel (multiple locations)
- BRICK CrossFit
- Rumble Boxing
- The Class by Taryn Toomey
- Mile High Run Club