CONFESSION: The first time I read an article covering the opening of Monster Cycle, I questioned whether the studio would be too alternative with me. I wear neon tights and sparkly headbands to class, and this is what their instructors look like. I was intimidated. However, I want to tell my fellow skeptics that the staff is as welcoming as they are edgy. The new work-of-art cycling and yoga studio in Soho is for anyone searching for a full-on cultural experience that happens to include a strong workout.
On Monday night, Meaghan and I met at Monster Cycle to knock out a cycling + yoga double. When I arrived, I immediately noticed the pink and black mural on the far wall next to an exposed brick wall, a chandelier, and an art installation made of draped cords. Talk about making a statement. After grabbing a water bottle from the filled chest, I was directed downstairs to the lockers and cycling studio. I was pleased to find that Monster Cycle offers showers, making it a pre-work option for me.
The cycling studio is as impressive as the lobby. It’s filled with brand new, matte black bikes that face an instructor platform. Flatscreens on either side of the platform play music videos while you ride. TRL, but way more badass. This is a big differentiator for Monster Cycle. While I’m used to riding to the beat at many other studios, Monster adds to the sensory experience by playing videos. The class was originally developed by Michael Macneal when he taught at Equinox for several years. Now, he’s built an entire studio with Sarah LaBier around the concept. Michael has an incredible energy and teaches with the do-what’s-best-for-you approach. He teaches a straightforward intervals class set to a killer playlist, including both popular and brand new music. My one criticism was that he didn’t ask about injuries or give many form corrections throughout class. But by the end, I was sweaty and still dancing to Bang Bang. Meaghan and I ditched our shoes and headed back upstairs for yoga. (One more note on shoes–Monster doesn’t offer rental, so bring your own or ride in tennis shoes with baskets on the clips.)
The yoga studio is very large compared to others around the city. It also has high ceilings and mirrors across the front. Oh, and a lighted pentagram in the back corner. Lindsey Valdez welcomed the group, helped set up black mats, and launched right into an abs series. She explained that she starts a yoga practice by working the abs to help keep them engaged throughout the flow. It was like taking a yoga class in reverse. She also encouraged everyone to move at their own pace and offered great hands-on corrections. The flow portion of class was slow and deep, a great stretch for a runner. Meaghan and I decided that it felt like a massage after a heavy spin class. Lindsey closed the class with a few motivational words during savasana. Overall, the class was relaxing and easy to follow–my kind of yoga. After our second workout, Meaghan and I grabbed smoothies at the Salud juice bar in the lobby. It was a night of trying a new twist on two tried workouts, and I loved it. #hellyeah
NOTE: The Monster Cycle + Studio allowed me to visit for a free cycling and yoga class, but I was in no way compensated to review it on my blog. These are honest opinions.