Moonlighting as a spin instructor, while continuing my daily existence as a fashion stylist, means that I can corral actors, designers, and industry insiders to burn calories after enjoying craft services; it keeps it all nicely incestuous.
The unexpected part for the fashion folk, who regale me with tales of their “unbeatable” spinning experiences, is that the RealRyder bikes found at Lomax, a fitness studio in London’s Chelsea neighborhood, move with you as you ride. You’re not bunny hopping, exactly, but you take the bikes in a low lean on each side—meaning that when you’re riding out of the seat a full-body workout is unavoidable. While this technology is available at select locations dotted across the globe, the large majority of classes are still taught on stationary machines.
Killer playlists (including Scarface, Cali Swag District, and Florence and the Machine), plus toning you don’t realize is happening until your body tells you so the next morning, gives cycling aficionados everywhere reason to get back in the saddle while spending time across the pond.
Lomax Chelsea, 293 Fulham Road, London, +44 871-512-0770, www.lomaxpt.com.
“If the mountain won’t come to the Mohammad”—well, you know the rest, and apparently so do Max Henderson and Nick Higgins, two entrepreneurs and yoga warriors who are bringing a steamy version of the ancient practice directly to the people. They do it with a contraption called the Hotpod—part bouncy castle, part gigantic balloon, and 100 percent portable—so they can tote it around to workplaces for classes in situ. For a sprawling, traffic-clogged city like London, taking the commute out of yoga is genius, and probably why the Pod is patent pending.
A cozy capsule that fits about twenty mats, the Hotpod comes complete with soft lights, ambient music, and state-of-the-art heaters. Participants do an hour of Vinyasa-style yoga in 97 to 100 degrees, lower than Bikram’s 106 degrees. The difference is that you don’t feel on the verge of fainting, barfing, or reaching for the defibrillator. “While the heat is a key part of what we do, we are adamant that yoga stays the focus—not the heat,” said Henderson. A midlevel heat with humidity allows the muscles to warm up very quickly, the body to sweat, and the heart rate to increase, but the temperature isn’t overbearing or a distraction.
Not that the five-degrees difference reduces efficacy. It’s still hard work that can burn up to 700 calories an hour, and trust me, you come out drenched as well as stretched. But the best part is, at the end, when in relaxation mode, you get a little head massage from the practitioner. That in itself was worth climbing back into the womb.
For class schedules and more information visit www.hotpodyoga.com.