The latest celeb fitness trend is what happens when a yoga-style boot camp meets a rock concert, according to fans of Taryn Toomey’s The Class.
Drew Barrymore raved about it on Instagram in February. Jennifer Aniston is a huge fan, according to The New Yorker. And model Christy Turlington gushed about it to Vogue in a video shared on YouTube. The Class is the latest celeb buzzworthy workout that’s coming to a smart TV near you via digital subscription, if isn’t already being held at your local studio. Created by Taryn Toomey it demands that devotees focus on particular moves (like a leg lift or squats) for an entire song throughout an hour. If their muscles burn and shake with intensity, it’s no surprise that students are encouraged to scream at the top of their lungs with a ferocity that can only be described as cathartic and primal.
It’s hard to describe but, according to Taryn, 40, fans have attempted to do just that. “The Class has often been described as a spiritual fitness experience that borrows from yoga in its spirit, a rock concert in its energy, and a boot camp in its grit,” she tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY about the regime that also involves freestyle dancing. “It is a music driven practice that exercises the body to engage the mind. Through physical conditioning, participants ‘work out’ mental and emotional behaviors to create new tools for experiencing life.”
“Through a series of simple, repetitive cardio and strength-based exercises, students are invited to witness their response to whatever arises during the movement,” Taryn adds. “This can be anything from physical discomfort to unexpressed emotions, leading the participants through a journey of engaging with the body as a lever to the mind. More often than not, the same internal dialogue that shows up during The Class is also showing up off the mat.”
If The Class sounds like moving therapy – a way to process emotions and mindsets that are blocking you – it’s no coincidence. The fitness instructor says that coming up with the routine was “an organic process.” “It really began with the intention to combine my self-prescribed medicine of music and movement with community and strength,” she says. “I experienced quite a bit of turmoil during my childhood, as many of us do, and I always felt better when I moved.”
While Taryn refuses to expand on that turmoil, she believes that the holistic approach of The Class – including the screaming – helps to “unblock some of the weight that keeps us feeling stuck or stressed.” One move that she suggests readers try at home involves putting on a song with a “solid beat” (she suggests “Little Lion Man” by Mumford and Sons), doing eight jumping jacks, followed by eight beats of shaking your body. Repeat for an extended period of time. She then recommends doing a “jack and clear” – jacking the arms up, throwing them forward and then making a loud exhale from the guts several times. “At the end of the song, place your hands on your heart and feel it beating,” she says. “Acknowledge your ability and begin.”
The Class sessions are held in New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver. For more information go to TheClass.com.