Three wacky workouts you gotta try
Classes so insane, you won’t even realize you’re working out.
Crunch 59th St., www.crunch.com
Members: Free; Nonmembers can buy a day-pass
Spinning is hard enough — why make it even harder with the added component of singing? “Adding the singing component can actually help you breathe in a more consistent, controlled manner,” says Marc Santa Maria, Crunch’s National Group Fitness Director. So, like the title implies, expect your normal high-energy spin class, but instead of just listening to the tunes, you’ll be singing along for some of them. A teacher will throw a mic in your face probably more than once during class, and you’ll do your best to breathlessly pant along to Rihanna. Though our group seemed a bit shy during chorus sing-a-longs, we did spy smiles on participants’ faces throughout the ride. Added bonus: “Since you are focusing on the karaoke screen, singing, and your co-singers in class — all the components of Cycle Karaoke can divert your attention from how intense the class may be,” Santa Maria adds.
Bold & Naked Yoga
Boldnaked.com; email firstname.lastname@example.org for location details
First class: $35, after that, $25
What makes a yoga experience sans clothes better than your standard om-sesh? “You will save a lot of money; you don’t have to buy highly expensive pants,” jokes co-owner Joschi Schwarz. In all seriousness, though, Schwarz — whose studio just started allowing women — says “it will help you to empower yourself.” Just think — if you can sit naked on a mat for 75 minutes, in the presence of strangers, what can’t you do? Schwarz and his business partner Monika screen all participants in advance to make sure they’re there for yoga, not for the hot bodies. But if one’s body does get turned on during class (which Schwarz says is a rarity, honestly) “be happy that your reproductive system works,” he says. Ah, ever the yogi.
Restorative Aqua Cycling
78 Franklin St., 212-966-6784
First class: $34, after that, $40
Picture aquarobics’ hip, young Parisian granddaughter and you’ve got the classes at Aqua, a studio devoted to cycling…in a pool. Inside the Tribeca studio, you might overheard French accents bouncing off the walls of the locker room (the program was founded by Esther Gauthier of Paris). Rinse off before dipping into the heated pool, which is set up with 15 stationary bikes. For our first venture into underwater spin class, we opted for the gentle restorative class, which focuses on stretching and breathing as opposed to interval spikes and major sweat (there are also high-intensity interval classes, as well as solo men’s and solo women’s classes). As our limbs gracefully made figure-8s throughout the heated pool, we can’t say we felt more at zen with the universe, but it was an hour of playtime that we surely were grateful for after a stressful week. After a hot shower and mug of cozy tea, we were wishing we could just curl up in the spacious lounge and call it a night.