Lately, and without any luck, I found myself interviewing every healthy body I encountered for an inspirational and meaningful fitness routine. (Apologies if that was you I approached in the Whole Foods line—you just looked so chic and satisfied with your workout.) But, truth be told, I had given up on finding something new. So instead, I opted to return to my old steady: yoga, a practice I have known and loved for more than two decades.
Funny what happens when you go back to where you feel at home.
While swiping through Pineapple Yoga and Cycling Studio's class schedule, I found precisely the thing I was seeking. There it was: my new workout, called CycleOM. It's a strength-building, calorie-torching, sweat-inducing indoor cycling, scored by a killer playlist, finished with yoga stretching.
This class is thoughtfully devised to meet you where you are each day, with Patanjali's Yoga Sutra concepts of sthira (steadiness) and sukha (ease) in mind. And the instructors are trained to teach safely, in a manner that protects the body's connective tissue, muscles, and joints from damage.
The first 30 minutes of class takes place on a Schwinn bike and consists of intervals—a choreographed mix of high- and low-intensity, 10-minute blocks. You're encouraged to hold steady in body, energy, and mind to preserve energy rather than depleting it; the ultimate goal is to conserve it for the day ahead. Brilliant. Especially for me, since HIIT workouts tend to either leave me fully drained, in need of an excessive amount of carbs, or wanting a nap. Or all three. And in that order.
The second half of the class is on the mat. It's 30 minutes of yoga, designed to elongate shortened muscles, realign the body and restore a blissful balance of mind, body and soul. The finale, of course, is the asana yoga lovers crave: savasana. And here's the cool takeaway: I left feeling energized and centered, which lasted well into the late afternoon.
Pineapple Yoga and Cycling studio owner Claudia Baeza explains that's a normal reaction from her clients. "It’s addictive! Not only are you getting an awesome workout, shedding unwanted pounds, improving your heart health and stamina but you are connecting to your body in a more positive way by honoring it with a sustainable practice that preserves your energy and enhances your aliveness," she says.
Bonus: There's no special equipment necessary; the studio provides everything you need. Just bring a bottle of water and wear sneakers. However, if you get hooked like I am, you can upgrade to a pair of performance cycling kicks, which need an additional SPD clip, like these three options: the Bontrager Solstice Road Shoe, $99.99 at Sarasota Cycle; the TIEM Slipstream, $130 at tiemathletic.com; or the "Pearl" iZUMi X-Road Fuel v5, $110 at Village Bikes.