First Stop: Cyc Fitness at Astor Place
The location: If going clubbing in the Meatpacking District and indoor cycling were combined into one location, it would look like Cyc Fitness at Astor Place. The first floor (and entrance) could be mistaken for a hotel lobby: high ceilings with large columns, lots of plush seating, and gorgeous lighting. The downstairs looks just as sleek, and there's a second reception desk with complimentary shoe rental and merch for sale, plus cubbies (but no lockers) to store your stuff. Inside the (dark, club-like) studio, the bikes are arranged in a U-shape around the instructor's, ahem, cycologist's bike, and each one comes with a towel and two weights.
The review: Getting started was easy—cycologist Tyler was on hand to adjust my bike and to help me click my shoes into the pedals. A few minutes later, the class began with full intensity—a beat-based ride following a pop-based playlist that did not let up during the entire 45 minutes. There were calorie-burning endurance intervals and weighted sectors that included movements from boxing (jabs and punches) and volleyball (bump motions). There was enthusiastic encouragement from cycologist Step Dietz. And, there was lots and lots of determination. Afterwards, Crystal, 33, said, "I really liked the instructor and the class. The music was great. I usually do Soul Cycle, so I liked the arm work in this class."
Second Stop: Yoga To The People on St. Marks
The location: On busy St. Marks, there is a quiet oasis on the second floor of a nondescript building that also houses Hanjoo Korean Restaurant. Somehow, the noise of the city outside does not reach up here. The studio has exposed brick, spotless hardwood floors, and cubbies for your stuff by the entrance. It's also a shoe-free zone, so be prepared to leave your shoes on the rack by the door before stepping in.
The review: Yoga instructor Jessica took us through a 30-minute cycle that started with Child's Pose and finished with Savasana, a pose of total relaxation. In between, we did a series of quick, simple poses that made this class one of the easiest I've taken as a beginner. "After spinning, yoga was a great way to find inner peace while also letting my body cool down slowly," said Alice, 31. I couldn't agree more.
Third Stop: Pregame with Rawpothecary Juice
The review: Right after our yoga class, we were treated to a delicious pregame of two Rawpothecary juices: Kalefornia and Sun Coffee. By now, I was feeling hungry and a little tired, but the mini-bottles were a great energy-boost—not too sweet and packed with nutrients. Of course, I had one of each. "I've never tried these before," said Kate, 34. "The blend of ingredients is very interesting. I'd never think to put Kale, kiwi, and dates together [in Kalefornia]."
Fourth Stop: Juice Press in the East Village
The location: Juice Press now has 23 locations in NYC and is still growing—so this small shop off Second Avenue is just one of three East Village locations alone. One thing that stands out: It smells incredibly healthy inside. Another thing? Lots of free merch—pro-juicing stickers, postcards, and flip books that come with a cheeky attitude (i.e. "Assertive women who drink juice are fucking sexy.")
The review: Juice Press boasts that they are "the best organic beverage, food & wellness brand on the planet" and they're happy to demonstrate. We did multiple shots of nine different juices that ranged from sweet-tasting (Cookies & Cream) to mild green (Omg! My Fav) to a total kick in palate (Mother F'ing Fireball). Before each new round, Colby from Juice Press explained the ingredients and answered all of our questions. "If you take anything away from today," he said, "it's that our juices are organic, cold-pressed, and fresh—never HPP'ed." That, and I also took away a bottle of the Clean Green Protein.
By Ona Abelis
Ona is a Brooklyn-based writer who will spending the next year getting back into her fitness groove. And maybe skydiving.