This week's 'Happy of the Week' comes from Jennifer, a rider in TriBeCa and Scarsdale. Thank you Jennifer and welcome to the Soul Clan!
My name is Jennifer and I'm a new member to SoulCycle. Between taking classes both at the Scarsdale studio and the Tribeca studio, I have had many wonderful experiences. I just wanted to contact the team at SoulCycle and thank you. Coming in as a new rider, the instructors made it very easy to catch on and adjust, and the rest of the staff has been helpful with my many questions and understanding of SoulCycle. While my journey at SoulCycle only started a week from today, I have already seen drastic results. Prior to spinning, I ran as my primary source of working out but after taking classes with your company, I can't imagine going back to that routine. I look forward to going to a class after work and getting an optimal workout. Thank you!
Instructor extraordinaire CLARE WALSH tells SoulCycle about her first year as a vegan! But be forewarned: As anyone who has taken her class before can tell you, Clare is very convincing!!!
Why did you become vegan?
I became vegan kind of by accident about a year and 2 months ago. I was having a cup of tea with Danny Kopel (if you haven’t taken his class RUN don’t walk- he is truly an amazing Soul) and he began to tell me about his vegan lifestyle.
This email comes from EMILY, a devoted Scarsdale rider. Thank you Emily -- you totally made our day!
When I took my first class last summer I didn't realize how much my life would change! Whenever I'm not at class, I wish I was and whenever I'm at class, I wish it could just be a little bit longer. Every single person I meet manages to bring up, and rave about, SoulCycle (it doesn't hurt that I usually have my SoulCycle bag on me). I really can't complain about a single teacher, staff member, or neighbor on a bike because being in SoulCycle just has the power to make everybody so much happier.
Thank you for all that you do!
If you would like to share your experience at SOUL, please email email@example.com!
Whole Lotta Extra Dougie (Cali Swag District vs. Led Zeppelin vs. Katy Perry)
Ni**as in Paris by Kanye West & JAY Z Watch the Throne
The Edge of Glory Lady Gaga (Sultan & Ned Shepard Remix)
Around the World by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Introducing our next Random Act of Soul honoree... BETH CLARK! Beth's sister nominated her saying, "My sister Beth is a champion. It’s not just about the weight for her. It’s about a deeper connection between mind, body & soul. SoulCycle has sparked a light in Beth that has pushed her deeper into her own personal potential."
We get so many amazing emails from riders who love SOUL, that we thought we'd start a new section on the blog called "Happy of the Week!" Our first happy email comes from Erica on the Upper East Side!
I love SoulCycle. It has completely changed my life. Also worth mentioning that I love your staff. The UES staff is amazing...Erin, Lauren, Raia, Hannah, Anthony, Kelly and I love Liz Weiner and Natalie! Erin and Liz give me good guidance when I need it.
If you would like to share your experience at SOUL, please email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Hard as we try, it's impossible to be in every Soul class at every Soul studio. So we've decided to document the Top 5 Soul Moments of the Week. Now you won't miss a thing!
5. TriBeCa got new bikes seats.
Now riders won't feel this anymore.
4. Soul Staff spotted at Phoebe Rice's 6th birthday party. Believe us, there's nothing more soulful than 6-year-olds singing to Justin Bieber.
3. Three generations of Sheinbaum women rode in Melanie's class in Scarsdale. Huge shout-out to our grandma riders!
2. Tom Kendrot DROVE all the way from Nashville to take a double with MB in East Hampton! That's dedication.
1. Our first proposal at SoulCycle West...
Which brings our total up to two! Not bad for an indoor cycling studio!
If you'd like to send in your own Soul moment, email email@example.com!
Last Thursday, the SoulCycle Staff had its very first book club! Our first read: “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. Why this book, you ask? Because Zappos believes that a focus on customer service, passion for your product, and company culture will lead to happiness, which in turn, will lead to success. We couldn’t agree more.
We rode together (thanks Kym Perfetto), ate delicious Chinese food (thanks Amy Peck) and then got down to business. Check out some of our discussion points and pictures from the night. And be sure to scroll down and see our surprise dessert!!
Here on the Soul Blog, instructor JENNY GAITHER writes about one of her biggest fears: teaching class in just a Sports Bra. Now Jenny is calling on all SoulCycle riders to challenge themselves, face their fears and join her in the Sports Bra Challenge on June 29th!!!
This summer, the key to staying inspired is finding something that will get you out of your comfort zone by pushing you over the edge. Finding your edge requires risk. We all have our own insecurities and fears whether we want to admit them or not. Our fears can act as limits or they can become challenges. Instead of letting our insecurities hold us back, let’s use them to move us forward. Pushing past uncomfortable, let's challenge ourselves this summer by facing our biggest fears!
In June, I attempted this challenge on my own and told only a few people about my goal to wear a sports bra only (well, with pants of course!) in my Rihanna themed ride. My biggest fear is revealing my midriff during an exercise class, especially one I am teaching. I taught the ride in a sports bra with a gold jacket on. That gold jacket got EXTREMELY sweaty because it never came off. I couldn’t do it. Terror struck me as a full class of 57 people stared up at me. I even tried pretending I was Rihanna for a moment...ya, that didn’t work.
I realized I couldn’t do it alone.
At that moment, the SoulCycle manifesto truly sank in, “We are a fitness community... we are a pack.” The energy, desire, and perseverance from each rider and their willingness to work together is what makes SoulCycle classes so magical. We are each others' biggest support systems. When we stick together, our biggest fears become obstacles that we can easily overcome. The only way I am going to get over my fear of wearing a sports bra in class is if you are there to support me (and hopefully wear a sports bra too)! Not to mention, two of my personal heros, NBC’S The Biggest Loser Season 11 Finalists Olivia Ward and Hannah Curlee will be there riding in their sports bras. Olivia and Hannah were so excited about the sports bra challenge they made it a Nationwide event. Check out their blog.
Riders - be a part of the Sports Bra Challenge on July 29th at 9:30am at Soulcycle Union Square. Help support me face my fears, and hopefully, you will be inspired to face yours.
We're starting a new section on the Soul Blog called Random Acts of SOUL! SoulCycle riders who are doing something noble, charitable, inspirational (you get the point!) are nominated and the winners receive three free SoulCycle classes!
Last night, in SoulCycle Union Square, LAUREN BRUKER led an amazing Harry Potter Ride to celebrate the premiere of the new movie. 'What's involved in a Harry Potter Ride?' you might ask. Check out the playlist below and pics to get a sense of the night. Who knew that fitness and sorcery could go together so well?
Eyeliner lightning bolts were being given out by request!
SoulCycle is still reeling from SUPERMODEL CYCLE!!! Last night, SoulCycle and Victoria's Secret partnered for a ride to benefit Pelotonia, a charity with one aim: to end cancer. We enjoyed an ELECTRIC night of inspiration and celebration with VICTORIA'S SECRET ANGELS Alessandra Ambrosio, Candice Swanepoel, Lily Aldridge, Erin Heatherton and Lindsay Ellingson riding in the pack!!!
Riders also had the chance to bid on Victoria's Secret wings and an exclusive photo-op with a supermodel! 100% of the proceeds went directly to Pelotonia and, if that weren't enough, Victoria's Secret pledged to match every single dollar raised! All in all, we were able to raise over $200,000 for cancer research and Victoria's Secret is hoping to contribute roughly $1.5 million to Pelotonia over the course of 2011. For more information about Pelotonia, please visit Pelotonia.org
Our very own angels!
The angels in the front of the class!
Getting ready to work!
After numerous requests, we're posting LORI ABELES 4th of July playlist!! If you do nothing else, make sure you listen to the last few songs. You can relive the holiday all over again.
Richie Havens - Freedom (live from Woodstock)
Ne-Yo- Miss Independent
Estelle feat. Kanye West - American Boy
Lenny Kravitz - American Woman
Greenday - American Idiot
Elton John - Philadelphia Freedom
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Born on the Bayou
Katy Perry - Firework
Chrissie Hynde w/ Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech - State of Independence
Ray Charles - America The Beautiful
This instructor hardly needs an introduction. LOUISE GASSMAN has been a SoulCycle employee since day one!!! From front-desker to sandwich board holder to corporate office assistant to instructor... Louise has truly done it all. But Louise is full of surprises and there's always more we can learn from and about her. Enjoy!
FIVE THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT ME...
1. It's my dream to BE a Disney Princess when I grow up. ... And not just dressing up like an already existing one at the theme parks to sign autographs, but ACTUALLY be a NEW Princess OR a Fairy... The cartoon's voice, original songs, the animation drawn with my likeness in mind, merchandise, the whole nine yards! Dream! DREAM! (Um... And I cry for joy every time I see Mickey Mouse.)
2. I am IOWAY born and bred and on IOWAY corn I'm fed.
3. I'm an actor! I moved to New York City - center of the universe! - more than 7 years ago. I've originated roles in both plays and musicals, toured nationally in Seussical - The Musical!, been in a number of commercials, recorded voiceovers and performed in benefit concerts on Broadway stages. Living the dream.
4. I'm super brand loyal to Coca Cola - I will NEVER choose Pepsi. If I?m at a restaurant and ask for a Coke and the server says “Is Pepsi, ok?” I will change my order. Stubborn. My current favorite flavor - Diet Coke with Lime.
5. I love fireworks!
MY CLASS IS UNIQUE BECAUSE...
I'm the active president of the Sweat & Smile Club! And my music is an eclectic mix of merriment! I like to incorporate honesty and comedy into my classes. Storytelling to provoke a response. Having a good sense of humor while we put our bodies through the wringer is mandatory. And it's thrilling for me to figure out what each individual rider needs. Some riders respond to mechanical commands - “Drop your shoulders, open your chest” - while others responds to image prompts - “Imagine you're a mermaid on the front of a ship. Beautiful, proud, strong.” Whatever works. I'm here to facilitate change. Shared experiences bring us closer together, working toward the same goals. And how amazing is that?!?!?!
MY FAVORITE WORD...
To whisper is "Iris." My favorite word to say in regular voice, but in slow-motion is "toast." My favorite word to hear is "Yes." :-D
IF I HAVE AN HOUR TO MYSELF, I?M...
Surprised! Ha ha. Most likely planning for the “next thing”, whatever that may be.
PLAYTIME IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME.
It's the magical secret to life, as far as I can tell.
MY FRIENDS KNOW ME AS...
The extreme one. All or nothing. (But I?m trying to learn and understand the importance of the ever illusive middle). :-D
Master Instructor SUE MOLNAR has written a beautiful post for the Soul Blog paying her respects to the Big Man, saxophone player Clarence Clemons. Spoiler Alert: It's a tear-jerker!
Come celebrate Clarence's life and music with us at Sue's second annual Bruce Springsteen ride, BridgeHampton Barns, Sunday July 3rd at 5:00 PM!!
Just a short note to pay my respects and offer my gratitude to The Big Man, Clarence Clemons – Bruce Springsteen’s saxophonist and right-hand man for the past 40 years. When I heard that he had had a stroke, I was concerned, because I had seen him performing with Bruce over the past few years and he seemed to be in a lot of pain. But I really didn’t think that Clarence was going to die – probably ever. He was too full of joy, and passion, and life! -- and only by my intense shock and sadness at his passing did I realize what a significant part of my rock’n’roll world he was.
I was about to say that I had never met him, but I just realized that I had him on my flight once! After he was finished with his first class snack, I offered him another, which he sweetly and enthusiastically took me up on. I was too shy at the time to tell him what a fan I was. I didn’t have to. I just thought to myself, “He’s the Big Man, he needs more than one snack!” And his happiness at my offer was enough for me. I’ll just say that in my experience, you can tell a lot about someone’s character (especially a well-known person) by how they treat a random flight attendant. Clarence was an absolute doll.
I do remember how fun it was the day that I taught class at SoulCycle on the Upper East Side, and knowing that Bruce and the E Street guys were playing Meadowlands that week, I played a triple-shot of Springsteen during the ride. A handful of riders were really enthusiastic about the songs, and the whole room was energized by their happiness. Especially ME after class, when that group turned out to be personal friends of Clarence’s (in town for the shows) and they insisted upon giving me tickets to the show that night! It was one of the last shows at the old Giants stadium, and they played Born in the U.S.A. in its entirety – the soundtrack of my college years. I’ll never forget how magical that night was for Sister Mary and me... Thank you sweet soul rider Thea!
One of my favorite Bruce lines is “Will you walk with me out on the wire?” Well, fortunately for all of us, Clarence was willing to fearlessly and passionately walk on that wire at Bruce’s side, which according to Bruce’s statement at Clarence’s death, allowed us all to feel his music on a deeper level, and connect more profoundly with the story in his songs. That is exactly the kind of sentiment that for me, makes SoulCycle a unique sanctuary of physical and spiritual transformation.
If you “get” SoulCycle, you’ll know that’s how I feel about every class… Will you walk with ME out on that wire? Are you willing to fully participate, heart and soul, not just in an exercise class, but in an intensely challenging and self-revealing musical journey? If so, climb aboard. On this train, faith shall be rewarded.
Thank you, Clarence, for helping make the kind of music that moves and inspires all of us to a level of health, fitness and quality-of-life that we would otherwise not have reached. You will be missed, but your music and legacy will live on forever.
“When I’m dead and gone, people will know that the twenty-first century was started by Alexander McQueen.”
- Alexander McQueen
If this quote seems outrageous upon reading, it will seem less so after seeing "Savage Beauty," the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Tailor, designer, artist: McQueen's works were inspired by everything from Flemish masters, to gospel singing, to Surrealism, to Scottish history. In the exhibit you'll see dresses made of razor clams, jackets with antelope horns sprouting from the shoulders, epaulettes made of vulture skulls, and angel wings made out of balsa wood...to name a few. But what's most striking is how McQueen is able to make his fashion feel personal. Each dress and every headpiece was a mode of self-expression and self-discovery, so that you leave the show not only feeling that you've seen works of art, but also the artist.
If that didn't convinced you, maybe these pictures will...
“I’m not big on women looking naïve. There is a hidden agenda in the fragility of romance.”
“We’re not talking about models’ feelings here. We’re talking about mine.”
"I oscillate between life and death, happiness and sadness, good and evil."
Check out this video, shown in the exhibit, of a McQueen dress being created.
And if you can't see the exhibit (open through August 7th), check out this video tour!
Master Instructor, SUE MOLNAR, recently led a ride in Union Square with
Check out the playlist (with videos) below!
Summer is here and it's hot. One of our favorite summer treats also happens to be a super food: KIWIFRUIT. Though kiwis are often overshadowed by superfoods like blueberries, here are some great reasons to load up your grocery cart with these fantastic furry little fruits.
So pick yourself up some kiwis and begin the summer slimdown!
If you ever need a extra dose of inspiration sign up for Brian Johnson's "A Philosopher's Notes" emails. SoulCycle came across an interesting post about exercise that stuck with us. Here's an excerpt:
I decided to study how to optimize my energy. I figured going thru the certification process to become a personal trainer would be a good way to introduce myself to the subject.
When most people get into fitness they’re ALL ABOUT IT—hitting the gym (or track or yoga class or trail or whatever) hard for a couple hours, feeling all geeked up about life and their extraordinary commitment to really crushing it this time.
That commitment lasts right up until the next morning when they’re so sore they can’t get out of bed. Ouch.