I am screaming a throaty, full-body yell echoed by 30 other women in a fitness studio as we bounce up and down on yoga mats. A Whitney Houston dance mix blares while the instructor shouts, "Don’t let anything hold you back." Forget how much your body hurts, forget all the things that weigh heavy on your mind—release them. Free yourself." And for a moment, I do. I feel light and strong, smiling despite how tired I am. This is The Class, part intense interval workout, part spiritual journey.
On Wednesday, I braved The Class, an hour-long workout pioneered by instructor Taryn Toomey that is part high-intensity yoga and part motivational seminar. Think: lots of yelling, interval-training, and jumping around while releasing spiritual toxins, all set to thumping dance music, of course.
The Class is just one offering hosted at fashionable fitness apparel company Bandier's new four-floor flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. For Bandier, style, exercise, and music fit seamlessly together, and their store embodies that mission. Along with classes and clothing, Bandier is planning to launch a food and drink station (fingers crossed for a juice bar) in the next year, as well as hosting live sessions with various musicians.
"Our goal is not to make the studio a primary revenue stream," Ashleigh Hults, Bandier's director of marketing and communications, told Fast Company in June. "We're really interested in creating a reason for customers to come to the store several times a week. We're seeing people spend their entire Saturday at the store."
And in case you're looking for some tunes to accompany your new outfit, Bandier founder Jennifer Bandier (who used to manage the group TLC) offers up her go-to workout playlist:
1. "Devastated" by Joey Badass
2. "Monkey Man" by Rolling Stones
3. "Controlla" by Drake
4. "I Specialize In Love" by Sharon Brown
5. "Trust Me" by Guru Feat. N Dea Davenport
6. "Super Rich Kids" by Frank Ocean