restore balance to the world, internally and externally with Taryn Toomey
“We’re moving to process as opposed to re-live” -Taryn Toomey
We are all about fitness in all forms here at rē•spin. From strength training to yoga — animal flow to running — and all the things in between. Our team is doing it, dabbling in it, or has slated to it tryout in the New Year.
In 2020, one of our go-to mental health saving ways to sweat has been Taryn Toomey’s The Class.
I’m going to get real with you here; it’s a unique practice that is hard to describe, but I’ve not had a single friend come back to me, having had a less than mind-blowing experience from their first Class. And since no one knows The Class better than Founder & CEO Taryn Toomey herself, we’ve reached out to ask her to help us enlighten our readers — and maybe find a new way to workout.
Let’s begin –
So tell me, what exactly is The Class?
The Class is a cathartic workout experience that guides you to strengthen your body, notice your mind, and restore balance. It 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. With guided instruction and powerful music, The Class creates a safe space for people to “work out” whatever they need – mentally, psychically, and emotionally – in order to evolve.
How can The Class support people through tough moments or periods in their lives?
A holistic approach takes place in The Class, where we use the intensity we create in the body, by CHOICE, to notice the thought around the feeling, and then observe how long we have been having the same thought with other experiences outside of the room. If you’ve been around The Class long enough, you know that we refer to the practice as an “inside job,” the kind of work where true transformation takes place. It is only you, done through you, by you.
There is true empowerment that occurs when you provide a space for people to self-actualize and witness their own potential. In The Class, it is not a guru mentality, the teachers are simply holding a space for the students to experience themselves: their own responses, instincts, thoughts, what has been repressed or unexpressed. We do this through the physical, so it’s YOU doing it. In that space, you can physically release what is not serving your higher purpose, through and out of the body. When the proper scaffolding is in place to ideate and explore without judgment, a real shift can occur.
The Class can stir up and aid the release of emotion – do you have any recommendations for how to work through the feels beyond the Class?
First things first, use the awareness that something is coming and get IN your body. Focus on your breath, place your hands on your body, and feel your own presence. If the body feels you with it, and you are in a safe space with yourself – my suggestion is to simply FEEL it. Whatever IT is. Notice what the thought is around the feeling and where it came from – is it old, new, recurring? Be curious. And then feel it while you receive the information IN it.
Whether it’s celebration or grief, allow it to move through you and process. There is a big difference between complaining and processing. Use the body as the instrument to feel, breathe, and practice awareness of thought. Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or destabilized, I use the above practice. I notice when I’m spinning, then I place my hands on my body and come back to my breath. I hang out there for a bit, and information gently comes up and guides me – knowing when to listen, know when to act, and when to not. The key is to stay present in each experience.
You embody allowing all to feel whatever they need to feel during classes and release energy – what are some examples of what that might look like during Class?
The Class has a special arch that the teacher leads students through. We repeat one movement per song, working one muscle group at a time. This repetition, combined with music and movement, creates a fire in the body. At the top of the arch, when that fire is lit, the teacher will ask students to bring something up. It’s in that place when you feel most strong and embodied – but also the most vulnerable. Oftentimes this creates a response. Sometimes people make sound, whether it be laughter or tears, people often describe it as catharsis. Whether you want to join the 5-minutes of burpees or simply stand and be actively present with the magnetic energy around you, the purpose of The Class is to drop into and listen to your body. After a healthy expression of this, we seal the students up, leaving them feeling embodied and empowered to take on whatever life throws at them from a clear space in the mind and body.
How can we take what we practice within The Class into our everyday?
I say it in Class all the time – we are practicing life – so you can use the same practices we do in The Class in your everyday life to help ground and stabilize. You can use this practice anywhere – your room, bathroom, office – any place you can slip into and get a few minutes by yourself when you are feeling stressed or tense. Put on a song and let the body move – hop, shake, jump – however it wants and use the sound from the guts as a way to help flush any of the pent up energy that has been stored.
Taryn offers many different ways to make The Class personal and work for your life. You can join a live streaming class, press play on a quick 20-minute subject focused class, or my personal favorite, her collaboration classes where she takes her community through a 60-minute workout set to a single-artist soundtrack.
If you want to try The Class, they offer a 14-day free trial to stream and various workshops and virtual retreats if you’re going to delve deeper.
— visit theclass.com to discover your favorite new way to sweat.