Fitness Classes in NYC
By Juliana Brenner
Readings, problem sets, and short-essays are already beginning to pile up. One of the best ways to preemptively fight against the increasing stress is to work out. You’ve definitely heard that before. Although making your way through the crowded floors of Dodge and jogging on a treadmill for 30 minutes might work, a stress-relieving workout outside of the Columbia bubble can be a lot more fun. This semester, step (or sweat) a little further outside your comfort zone, and try some classes around the city. The trip to and from class may just be the perfect early-semester break you’re looking for, so here are some options to check out:
BeFit NYC is located just a few blocks away from campus on Broadway between 104th and 105th streets. This studio is small with a big window overlooking Broadway, and can add a change of scenery to your day. This studio offers classes from 7am to 7pm every day of the week, ranging from slow flow yoga to kickboxing, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), and Tai Chi. You really can get anything you might want out of this studio, which also has a small gym attached. The instructors are well-trained and enthusiastic, and the wide array of equipment for each class is nicely taken care of. You will leave glowing with sweat and ready to take on the rest of your day, rejuvenated by the workout and the quick break from campus. A single class at BeFit NYC is $25 and a monthly unlimited membership that gives you access to every class and their gym is $120. Even better news is that BeFit NYC offers student discounts — so don’t forget your ID.
West End Health and Fitness
This next studio/gym combo is certainly not as nice as Dodge, or even as well-maintained as BeFit NYC, but they have a special introductory offer of 3 days of classes completely free! West End Health and Fitness similarly offers a wide range of classes at all times of day and is only a mile or so away from campus, which makes it easy to pop in and out whenever it’s convenient for you; you can even jog there and get a workout in before even starting the class. The studios are small, but you’ll find some of the most fun, challenging, and well-taught classes around. The cycling classes feature great playlists and are full of locals from the Morningside Heights Area. It’s always nice to feel a bit more integrated with your community and the free three day trial is definitely a good way to start.
SLT - Strengthen, Lengthen, Tone
When you arrive at SLT, you step right into the workout room, where there may even be a class happening. SLT is perfect if you love yoga or pilates but want to challenge your muscles even more. The workout is all about slow and controlled movements, which may sound easy, but don’t worry, you’ll wake up sore the next morning. The Upper West Side Studio, the closest one to campus, is inviting and clean. The first class at SLT may be a little intimidating, especially if you’ve never used a pilates Megaformer™ (essentially a fancier pilates reformer) before. Don’t sweat it because the instructors show you everything you need to know and the classes are limited to just a few people, so you get individualized attention. The unfamiliar exercise names and wobbly feeling in your legs quickly won’t matter because of how fun and engaging the class is. SLT is pricey at $40 per drop-in class but for a first-timer, you can get two for that price! And, if you refer a friend, you can both get extra SLT credits. The intro special pricing is worth it for a self-care splurge, as you’re guaranteed to be sore for days after.
Now fitness isn’t all about pushing your body to the max. We often forget to pay attention to our minds and mental health and take a break from reading, thinking, memorizing, and problem-solving. Inscape doesn’t offer workout classes but instead offers audio guided meditation sessions. Inscape is located on West 21st street, which gives you the perfect excuse to get downtown on a weekend, maybe do some studying or exploring down there, and then sit quietly in a calming and beautiful environment fully equipped with blankets and pillows. At Inscape you have a choice between a meditation session in The Dome (seated) or in The Alcove (lying down). Both rooms are ambiently lit and filled with relaxing music and sounds. You may be a meditation skeptic, or resistant to spending even a half an hour “just sitting,” but you will thank yourself after taking the time to visit Inscape. Until November 3rd, Inscape is offering 20% off any of their packages for students or giving 2 week access for only $50. The regular price of a Inscape experience may be a deterrent but with these discounts, I urge you to go, find some calm, take a breath, and tackle your tasks with a clearer mind.