Studio Review: Soul Cycle in NYC

Following a 45 minute class at Cyc Fitness in Chelsea, me and the 3 other women I was traveling with raced to Soul Cycle to get to class on time (30 minutes in between classes in not enough time!). 1 protein bar, a few wrong turns & some serious speed walking later, we arrived at the Union Square Location in time for our 11:45 am class.

While I took my first-ever Soul Cycle class in San Francisco earlier this year, every instructor & location is going to be different. With that being said, Danny was the instructor, and he was a lot of fun! Even though my legs were a little burned out from the 45 minute Cyc Fitness Class, I was able to keep up, and the energy in the room was incredible.


photo cred:

Compared to the previous cycle class we had just taken, the room was smaller, and the bikes were very.very.close. You had to weave in and out of the bikes to get out of the room! Insert: Minor claustrophobic panic attack. I had to talk myself down from a ledge, so I focused on the instructor and ended up being fine. Note to self: next time, choose bike near exit.

The workout itself was great – legs were burning, although the arm workout with small weights wasn’t too challenging. Danny’s playlist was awesome, and he even ended up doing done high-kick dancer moves on the stage for the class… definitely kept us entertained the entire class!

soul cycle union square

post-sweaty cycle

Summary: While I don’t normally like cycling, the energy of the class & instructors is what pulls me in. I personally like Cyc Fitness better for various reasons, but Soul Cycle is still a great workout.

Pros: Towel set up on bike when you arrive. Showers at the Union Square location. Toiletries provided in the bathroom. Filtered water station.

Cons: Long line to the bathrooms, showers were dirty & gross at the union square location. Bathrooms/lockers were in the basement, which was super crammed & the air smelled & felt pretty gross. Pricey for a 45 minute workout class

Cost: $34 for a 45 minute single class pass

Studio Review: Tangerine Hot Power Yoga in Brooklyn

I’ve been wanting to check out Tangerine Hot Power Yoga since the beginning of this year, and I am so glad I was able to squeeze a visit in. Since I traveled with 3 other yoga teachers from Melt this time around, I wanted to make sure we hit a good hot yoga studio.

As our 8th class in 2 days, and final class on Saturday, we were a bit rushed to get to Brooklyn, and the trains were running slow. We ended up just catching a cab, and were 10 minutes late to class. With that being said, Tangerine has a 10 minute grace period for late-arrivals, so we were still able to take the class! Seriously, so awesome.

Luckily, the owner of Tangerine was teaching, and she was the sweetest person ever! She taught a nice, easy flow, perfect for beginners to advanced – and while she spoke a little softly & was sometimes hard to hear, it was the perfect, slow class to end with after taking 3 other yoga classes beforehand.

The studio itself was super clean, and I LOVED the interior of the studio. It was clean, organized, and looked brand new.

tangerine hot yoga 2

Entry of Studio

There is only 1 studio for classes, and the changing room area was pretty roomy. I never felt crammed like other studios, and I had enough space to move around in the locker area.  You get a free towel & mat for use during the class, which is unheard of in NYC (or most studios anywhere!). Following the class, we were handed a cold towel with essential oils on it, which felt awesome after the heat.

tangerine hot yoga

Inside the Studio

The actual temperature of the studio wasn’t extremely hot, and it was a drier heat than what I am used to. However, I loved it! According to their website – which, BTW, is pretty amazing (I build websites for a living, so I totally appreciate how awesome it is!) – “Radiant Heating Panels that simulate heat from the sun ” are used to heat the room. Since I normally teach & practice in a room at 99 F & 65-75% humidity, it was easier to breathe & not as intense. I would definitely come back to this studio for a light, easy class!

Summary: Perfect amount of heat. Not too difficult, great place for beginners. The staff & owner are very, very sweet. Very clean. Eco-friendly.

Pros: water filter station. Free mat & towel. Free cold towel post-class. Lockers. Eco-friendly products. Great class for beginners. Late arrival up to 10 minutes!

Cons: Only 1 bathroom

Cost: $22 for a 1 hour single-class pass

Learning how to Trapeze in NYC

While I spent the last weekend in NYC cramming 12 back-to-back fitness classes in 3 days, I decided to stay an extra day to actually enjoy the city. Which means, planning MORE things to do, because that’s what I do 🙂

I’ve been wanting to try a trapeze class for the past year or so, but unfortunately, there isn’t anything in Ohio that is remotely close to it. I googled “New York City Trapeze Class,” and I found the most amazing place to learn how to trapeze. Outside. Along the Hudson River. On a rooftop. What could possibly be more cooler than that?!

NYC trapeze nina elise

So, I convinced my friend to go with me, and we spent 2 hours on a Monday morning/afternoon learning how to fly. Since I have an irrational fear of heights, I thought this would be a lot scarier than it was. However, as I clipped myself into the rigging & walked up the ladder to jump off the Trapeze platform, I told myself nothing could be more scarier than bungee jumping. Besides, you are strapped in, and if your hands slip while swinging, you fall into a bouncy net. Pretty impossible to get hurt or die!

New york trapeze

Ready to Trapeze!

To start off, we signed in, and the instructor strapped a belt around us with 2 hooks on each side. There was someone on the ground instructing us when to jump, hook our legs, swing, etc… and was also holding onto a chord that would slow us down/catch us from even hitting the net if we did fall! I’m telling you, this was a really great, super safe to practice. The staff was so energizing & so helpful, and I highly recommend going to this location specifically to learn from them! (Mario, Annie, and Travis)

nyc trapeze lessons

After explaining to the group (there was about 10 of us) what to do, we went up for 2 rounds to get the hang of it.

For the 3rd & 4th round, we could add a backflip as a dismount (see the video below!). This as a lot of fun, just like dismounting off bars in gymnastics 🙂

The 5th & 6th round, we were instructed on how to catch someone swinging on another trapeze! This looks WAY more complicated than it was… The timing had to be perfect, but it was so easy because you were queued exactly when to jump and let go! Almost everyone did it right the first time they tried.

Overall, it was a ton of fun, and I recommend everyone to try it! Only $60 for 2 hours, and you get to go up & swing 6 times. (also, don’t forget sunscreen – I got a little burnt that afternoon!) The more you go, the more skills you can learn. There is also an indoor facility in the case that you don’t want to be outside. However, I recommend the rooftop, as the views are amazing!

Have you ever taken a trapeze lesson? What other fun things are there to do in NYC that i missed?

Studio Review: Ishta Yoga in NYC

Back in March, I signed up to take a class with Marco Rojas. Fortunately, it was cancelled.  I say this because I was planning to run a half marathon the next day, and now that I have taken his class & know how hard it is… it was a blessing in disguise! Otherwise, I would have been SO sore the next day for my race!

Anyways… I signed up to take a 1.5 hour class with Marco at Ishta Yoga (Downtown), thinking it would be a tough class. However, this class ended up being much, much more than that (but I must stress, it was still hard!).

Ishta Yoga

After taking a class with Dharma Mittra earlier and eating melted, gooey cheese & potatoes for lunch, I was ready for an advanced yoga class. Great decisions, I know… however, I was doing so much walking, my stomach was fine, and my body was stretched out and ready for round 2 (of 3 classes).

Upon arriving at Ishta, I found that while there was only 1 yoga room, the studio itself was so CLEAN. There was only 1 bathroom, but I arrived early enough to get into the bathroom and change before anyone else arrived. The bathroom was big & roomy, and it felt nice to not have to change in a cramped room with 6 other naked women for once. There was also a place to refill your water bottle with filtered water, and you could make tea.

Since it was my first time, I got a free towel to use, which ended up coming in handy as a buffer for my knee during class. The class was booked, so I went into the room as soon as the last class let out and secured a spot. I grabbed a block in the closet in the back, and placed my personal belongings in the cubby inside the room.

Ishta Yoga NYC

I sat down on my mat, waiting for class to start, when Marco came and sat down next to me. He got so close to me that I thought our noses were going to touch – and immediately began asking me questions – was this my first class with him? How long had I been practicing yoga? Do I have any injuries he should know about? I explained that my rotator cuff had been bothering me in my right shoulder, and he immediately instructed me on how I needed to externally rotate my shoulder while doing chatarungas – actually, my entire practice & everyday. He then began talking about Prana, and using the breath to heal my body. Use your prana – direct your lifeforce, your energy – while practicing.

Then – practice began.

Throughout the entire practice, I used my breath. A LOT. I’ve never been more present in any practice before – I felt like Marco watched me like a hawk, calling me out when I lost focus on my breath, when I was out of alignment. It was like he was in my body the entire class & knew it better than me. And the adjustments… I LOVE to be adjusted, and this man knows the body. He was aggressive, in a good way, and moved my body past any limits I thought I had. On top of all this, he talked about love… raising your consciousness… growing… opening your heart, your body… just amazing. Hands down, the best class I have taken to date in my life. By the end, my body felt amazing, like I had been opened up & stretched more than I have ever felt before.

Afterwards, Marco spoke with me in regards to working towards fixing my rotator cuff, which was extremely helpful. I wanted to stay and talk, but, class ran over 20 minutes (seriously, no complaints here, it was amazing!) and I had to run to my next yoga class at Equinox Greenwich with a friend.

In summary: Come take a class here, WITH Marco. The studio is clean, bathroom large, the staff is kind, and the instructor obviously awesome.

Pros: Inviting Staff. Large bathroom + personal space to change. Can store personal items in room you were practicing in. Filtered water refilling station. Lots of blocks, straps, blankets available for use. Can rent mats/towels.Free towel rental on first visit.

Cons: Studio was a little small, but most in NYC are. No shower (that I was aware of or told about).

Cost: $26 for a 1.5 hour single class pass

Studio Review: Dharma Yoga Center in NYC

After running 4 miles, taking a yoga class at laughing lotus, then at Y7 STudio, THEN going out for dinner and drinks until midnight the day before… My internal clock woke me up at 7:30 am, and I could not get back to sleep. Yes, my body was sore. Yes, my eyes were sleepy. But, fate must have known better, because I popped open my Mind Body app and searched for yoga studios nearby with an early class. Lucky for me, there was a 10 am class at The Dharma Yoga Center with THE Dharma Mittra, and only a 10 minute walk away.

My friend is doing her 500 hour yoga training under him next year, and was talking about it before I left for my trip. So, it turns out that the universe had plans for me to check out the world-renown yoga center this time around 🙂

dharma yoga

I took an elevator up to the studio, and stepped out into a large room. The staff was pretty friendly, and they took me on a little tour of the studio, showing me where the changing rooms & bathrooms were located.

dharma mittra

Everyone seemed pretty nice, and I went into the main room where I would be practicing for the next 1.5 hours. There was a place to store my personal items, so I set them in a cubby & grabbed a blanket & block nearby. Dharma came in and started his powerpoint for class to make sure it was working, and then chatted with a  few people.

dharma mittra yoga studio

Class began with Dharma talking about Prana, and chanting mantras that connected to the different chakras. We then did a few sun salutations to warm up the body. Dharma would change the slides every time we did a different move – the slides showed the pose to do, from beginner to advanced options. Then, you held the pose. For a really, really, long time.

Finally the class ended with 10 minutes of Yoga Nidra & Savasana (Pretty sure I fell asleep), then concluded with some more chanting/OMs. I felt so relaxed after that I felt like I was walking around in a haze! For being as hard as it was (you make it your own level of difficulty, which is something I like to do), I felt amazing afterwards!

Dharma was funny, did a few of the poses with us (a 77 year old man is more flexible than me AND can stand on his head… with no hands!! Incredible to watch), and taught an amazing class.

In summary: Take a class with Dharma! He is a kind, funny, man who is an AMAZING teacher. The studio is very inviting, has a lot of space, and supplies enough props for their very large classes.

Pros: Staff was very kind. Big changing rooms = good privacy. 2-3 stalls in the bathroom. Plenty of space to move around in the main area. 2-3 studios. Lots of blocks, straps, blankets, AND yoga wheels available for use. Can store personal items in room you were practicing in. Can rent mats/towels.

Cons: No shower. No filtered water station to refill water bottle (only sink water).

Cost: $22 single class pass (1.5 hours)

Studio Review: Y7 Studio in NYC

As a hot yoga teacher, I am always looking for other studios that offer hot yoga. The studio I teach at is unique – 99 degrees, 60% humidity, dimly-lit yoga… While it’s a little harder to take a class like this, it’s also a safe/non-judgmental place to practice. It’s dimly lit to give students the chance to practice in the dark versus a bright room where everyone can stare at you. And, you can always modify & drop down to your knees at any time to catch your breath at any time.

So, when I began looking for studios to practice at while traveling, I stumbled upon Y7 Studio in NYC. I wasn’t able to make it back in March, so I made it a point to take a class my very first day visiting the city. The studio is heated, but with infrared panels. It isn’t like normal hot yoga classes where heat is blown in – basically, the panels warm you up, from the inside-out!

I arrived at the studio in Flatiron after taking a class at Laughing Lotus, rushing to get there & eating the last half of my bodega bagel sandwich on the way. I walked up a few flights of stairs – check out the quote on the steps below – and arrived. Early. SUPER early. Apparently, I had registered for the 5:30 pm class, not the 4:15 class…. oops! Luckily, even though the classes were wait-listed when I signed up earlier that week, they were able to squeeze me into the earlier class.

y7 studio

The studio looked brand new – clean & tidy, and very organized (I am super OCD about clean space!). There was a fridge stocked full of Fiji waters, and across from it was a wall filled with cubbies to store your personal items. Around the corner was a changing station with curtains, where you could also refill your water bottles with filtered water. The hallway was filled with mirrors & hair dryers, for those wanting to go out immediately following class.
[Although, there were no showers at the Flatiron location (there are ones at the SoHo location), so I assume you could just dry your sweaty hair??] Face wipes, face wash, q-tips, hairspray, dry shampoo, and deodorant were available for use in the bathrooms – super convenient if you forgot your own items.

I went into the room (only studio at this location) after purchasing a towel rental – and it was DARK. Darker than the studio I teach at – the only light came from candles that surrounded the walls in the room. I will say that I could barely see ANYTHING, and I wasn’t really told what to expect when entering the room. So basically, enter at your own risk. There were raised notches on the ground to help you find where to line your mat up, which was a little annoying, but helpful so that the space could be maximized as much as possible. I kind of looked like someone with a blindfold on, touching the ground and trying to figure out where to lay my mat.


The studio infuses hot yoga, hip-hop music, and a dark, safe place to practice. The teacher came in, put on some music, and started the class. The format was:
3 different sequences performed 3 times – the 3rd sequence was performed by yourself, and a hip-hop song was blasted really loud until you were finished**
Final stretching/backbend
Savasana (with lavender sprayed around the room)
**I was a bit confused at first, as I wasn’t clear that we were supposed to flow on our own the 3rd time around… so I just kept moving until the instructor told us to do something else, and I eventually caught on. I wish I had been told about the format before class!

After the class, I chatted with the Instructor, Courtney, who was awesome (Her cues the entire class were on-point!)! She showed me an easy way to get into chin stand (which is my least favorite pose to do of all time) and talked to me a little about her teacher training.


In summary: If you want a good workout, head to Y7 Studio. Also, if you are a beginner & nervous about other people watching you, this could potentially be a less stressful place to practice since it is so dark in the room. I am a huge fan of hot yoga, and this is a great place to get sweaty AND flow at your own pace. Plus, it’s great for your skin 🙂

Pros: Helpful Teachers & Staff.  Filtered water refilling station. Can rent mats/towels. Hair Dryers. Personal items in case you forgot your own (hair spray, deodorant, q-tips, dry shampoo, face wash, etc). Awesome music. Awesome sweaty workout.

Cons: No showers. Wait-listed a few days before class (sign up early!)

Cost: $25 single class pass, $3 towel rental


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