Get ready for the ride of your life. You may not be moving anywhere physically but SoulCycle, NYC's hottest spin class, takes you on a mental journey of enlightenment. Marissa Montgomery tries it out
I always thought yoga was the class one should take to feel centered and happy, but it never provided me with that feeling of Zen or ecstasy like it did so many of my yogi friends. Instead, I finally felt the bliss, and was reduced to tears of joy, after my first SoulCycle session.
On entering the spa-like lobby of SoulCycle in Manhattan’s Union Square, I first noticed the clean fresh smell in the air - the source of which is the grapefruit Jonathan Adler exclusive candles that are burning.
Everything is white with hints of yellow; SoulCycle’s signature color. I head straight for the front desk and check in. I'm given spin shoes and confirm my bike, which I have booked earlier online using their iPhone app (I chose a bike close to the door so I don't feel trapped and can make an early exit should it become too much for me). I'm then offered a cool bottle of Smartwater to purchase and complimentary gum and hair ties should I need.
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I walk into the dark room filled with what seems like 100 bikes. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do and panic sets in. However, one of the many staff wearing a yellow SoulCycle t-shirt comes to my aid, smiling and guiding me through the setup of my bike. She clicks my spin shoes in and shows me quickly and easily how to turn the tension up.
My instructor is a total babe; fit and friendly. She mounts her bike which is facing us on a platform. and the journey begins. Candles are lit, the lights are out, and some of the best music I’ve heard begins to play. I'm instantly having fun.
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It's a lot like being at the best nightclub, where you know all the lyrics to every song. We are guided through a mixture of cycling exercises, from doing press ups while cycling to lifting weights on the bike so you feel a full body workout, we’re constantly shifting in and out of the saddle. Nothing gets boring or long; the babe instructor is switching it up all the time and dancing around the room encouraging each and every one of us.
She also reminds us of all the positive things in life and why we are there - each class I’ve been to since is the same. They help us cycle to a better us. It may seem cheesy, but somehow what they say feels real and we are all cycling and cheering along with the instructor. There's a real sense of community and kindness.
Each time I come out of a class I feel happy and grateful; maybe it's all the endorphins from the intense workout but I think it's something more. There really is a soul in SoulCycle.
Click here to watch Marissa's behind the scenes video and read the interview with SoulCycle's co-founder.