New Year’s Eve–the one day when everyone on earth bonds over new beginnings, open bars and questionable judgements. A time of joy. Of festive gatherings. Of unmitigated stress.
To make it through the grand finale of the holiday season, the old you might opt for a spin class and ride the adrenaline train straight into the New Year. But a brand-new decade calls for a new kind of workout. One that keeps you on your game, mellow, focused….
You know, you should really decompress from it all I thought to myself as I skimmed through my little black book of workouts (a.k.a.ClassPass) on that fateful New Year’s Eve morning.
Therefore, after stumbling upon Circuit of Change and reading the class description:
Mind Body Bootcamp (signature class) combines all the key elements of martial arts, cardio core strengthening, gymnastics, plyometrics, yoga, and meditation for the ultimate mindbody experience. With innovative sequencing, playful transitions, and a surge of positive vibes, this class will have you feeling energetically pumped, allowing the real YOU to shine through.
I thought, OK, you had me at hello.
Now here’s a spot where I can really contemplate the meaning of life, the infinity of the universe and the value of a well-cushioned mat. Some place Zen, with a nightclub’s energy. So I decided to harness my chi for a little slice of solitude to meditate and reflect upon the year that was. Ha! Boy was I in for a rude awakening in every sense of the word.
Upon arrival it was immediately apparent that this wasn’t the upscale Asian temple I had envisoned, just a modest workout spot with a little Feng shui flair. The entrance is pretty bare bones, there’s one bathroom/shower, a large wall of open faced cubbies, and a coat rack. The studio itself is very quintesential New York, heigh ceiling with beams in odd places, old glass pane windows that let just the right amount of natural sunlight in, or lack there of considering it’s winter. There were mats neatly lined up in rows on the beautiful refinished hardwood floors, spaced just close enough that one false move might lead to a neighbors foot in your mouth during a downward dog split. Eww!
Instructor Jason Ostrander gave us a brief crash course on what to expect. We started off with a meditation, relaxation and some breath work. Then we progressed into a sequence of yoga-esque type moves. This was quickly followed by some serious samurai warrior, ninja turtle looking shiznit (yes, that is a word, because Urban Dictionary said so). Sayonara relaxation. Just a release of aggresion. Full-on assault.
The grunting, jumping (till your legs fall off), crawling, and rolling like a ball around on the mat barefoot all felt very primal and cathartic. There were bursts of conditioning circuits; bicycle crunches, mountain climbers, planks, push-ups for days and a few jumping jacks. The class ended in savasana, which by that stage in the game was greatly appreciated when you’re lying on your back sweating like a pig, feeling stiff as a board light as a feather.
Jason basically threw everything but the kitchen sink into this workout, giving us a full 60-minutes to reach Nirvana. Don’t let his initial friendly demeanor and sweet smile fool you, this is a man who knows what he wants, and how he wants it done. He’s got a natural born leader quality about him, authoritative and borderline bossy. He worked the room like nobody’s business, facing us in the appropriate direction of the room regardless of our mat orientation, which changed frequently throughout the workout.
There were no official water breaks or rest periods between exercises, so I’m not sure that the novice exerciser would fair well in a class like this, however it does fit the bill for someone with moderate to high endurance looking for a swift kick in the ass.
The overall collective energy of the class, and the loud crazy music was infectious. I felt motivated to push myself to jump, squat, crunch, and, well, TRY.
They say the only thing constant in life is change, and this workout certainly speaks to that notion.
Circuit of Change 57 W. 16th Street – 4th fl (btwn 5th and 6th ave) New York, NY 10011