What Is It: The Class by Taryn Toomey is described as a “75-minute cathartic mind-body experience.” It’s a part-physical, part-mental workout that really works the entire body inside and out.
Who Tried It: Gabrielle Olya, PEOPLE writer and reporter
Level of Difficulty: 8 (on a scale of 1 to 10). The class is very physically challenging – you do one exercise per song, and some of the moves were extremely difficult to maintain for four to five minutes straight.
The room was set up like a yoga class with rows of mats, but the actual workout was much more intense than a yoga workout! Each high-energy song is accompanied by a single body movement that is repeated for the duration of the song, and we were basically in motion for the whole duration of the class.
For some songs, we simply bounced around, waking up our bodies, as Toomey called on us to expel harmful thought patterns. Other songs required more physically challenging moves — doing five minutes straight of plank jacks and jumping jacks is no easy feat! I definitely had to take breaks during some of those movements.
“We do a series of conditioning and plyometric movements designed in a specific sequence to sculpt and strengthen the body,” Toomey tells PEOPLE. “We work with the theories of contraction and expansion — contracting the muscle and then flushing the body with shaking, tapping and cardiovascular movements.”
Throughout the class, Toomey encourages everyone to push themselves mentally and physically, which definitely helped me get through some of the more challenging moves.
By the end of the class I was physically exhausted, but also mentally charged at the same time.
“The idea behind The Class is to find peace through strength,” says Toomey. “The reason people are drawn to The Class is not just because their bodies change, but because their mindset and relationship to themselves does too. We use the body to access emotion, to release it, and to become lighter in more ways than one. It’s a transformation from start to finish.”
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The Verdict: The Class is intense! Do not come in expecting to do downward dogs and child poses for 75-minutes (while those moves are part of the class, they are a very small part of it). Aniston’s description of The Class as a “yoga bootcamp” is pretty accurate – it combines the spirituality of yoga with the physical challenges of a bootcamp class for a one-of-a-kind experience.