Written By: Hayley Bradbrook
Photo: Courtesy of SoulCycle
The American spinning studio just opened its first international spot in Toronto yesterday on 435 King Street West. I was lucky enough to attend one of the classes before the studio opened and let me tell you it is LIFE CHANGING. When I left that class I felt more confident and ready to conquer the world – seriously it is that good.
Each SoulCycle class is held in candlelit studios, making riders feel like they are partying in a nightclub. During the forty-five minute classes, riders also get a chance to listen to amazing hyped playlists to really get in the zone when working out. And if you think you’re just getting some exercise for your legs you are dead wrong.
Each class is designed to be a full-body workout that includes choreography to work your core and hand weights (which is A LOT harder than it sounds!) But I would have to say my favourite part about SoulCycle which will definitely have me coming back is the sense of community. The instructors are always with you every step of the way while cycling and have such positive energy.
JossBecause was lucky enough to talk to one of the uplifting coaches, Pascale Yensen at the Toronto location to talk about the energetic and life changing workout space.
Photo: ASC Public Relations, Inc.
Instructors are seen as inspirational coaches, pushing riders to do their very best. How do you push yourself in your day-to-day life when you’re not on your bike?
Music is a big factor to get myself pumped during class and it definitely has that effect on me outside of the studio as well. One song can change your entire mood so I choose great music to set the tone of my day. I’m also very driven and staying busy helps me focus. When I’m not on the bike, you can find me in a ballet class, at hot yoga, on dates with friends or photographing interesting parts of Toronto.
You are a trained modern and ballet dancer, what made you decide to take up cycling?
I stopped pursuing dance as a professional career due to a back injury, but when I found SoulCycle, I quickly realized I was dancing on a bike! As an instructor – I have a mic, a room full of people and a dance floor – so I still get to perform every day.
Why did you want to be a part of the SoulCycle team?
SoulCycle is the most supportive environment to work in. I don’t even want to call it work because when you do what you love, its not “work”. There’s a lot of room for improvement, development and growth as a person, motivator and fitness professional at SoulCycle. They drive me to be the best I can be, its truly a perfect fit! (no pun intended)
What is your favourite part about cycling and the SoulCycle environment?
SoulCycle is definitely a community space. You feel included as soon as you walk in the door. Riders become friends with one another, the studio staff are always there to help with smiling faces, and when you hop on the bike – that’s your time. You get to turn off from the world for 45 minutes and let yourself be taken on a crazy ride. You start to feel the energy as you sync up with the rest of the class. When you push your body as hard as it can go, the bass drops and everyone gets up from their saddle – it’s bliss.
In three words, how would you describe the SoulCycle experience?
Inspiring, hardcore, life-changing
What advice do you have for anyone who has never done an indoor cycling class?
Come with an open mind! It takes time getting used to this new way of using your body, but once you catch on, it feels amazing! You can go at your own pace and sit down if you need to concentrate on catching the beat. Plus, the room is dark so that helps ease people into it.
What is one motivational quote or mantra that you live by?
My mantra of the moment is “Life is just too short to hold back.”
So many A-list celebrities attend classes such as Madonna and David Beckham. Who is one Hollywood star that you are hoping to meet in the studio?
We never ride and tell!