Confused about choosing the right workout class? Perhaps the renowned name of Alicia Keys and the class she attends can serve as a reference.

I Experienced Workout Class from Alicia Keys’s Preferred

I struggle with letting go. When I attend yoga class, and the instructor urges us to release our tongues from the roof of our mouths, I purposely keep mine in place out of spite. So when I decide to try “The Class,” Alicia Keys’s favorite workout class led by Taryn Toomey, I already feel uncomfortable.

Essentially, “The Class” involves repeating a single movement throughout a song to generate body heat and encourages participants to observe their emotions. Natalie Kuhn, Co-CEO & Founding Teacher at The Class, explains that unlike other practices, participants are guided to be aware of their movements rather than zoning out. Alicia Keys is a dedicated fan and has collaborated with The Class for Mental Health Awareness Month and her Athleta launch in January.

I’m not sure if I’m willing to let go, but I’m curious enough to give it a try. I focus on one of Toomey’s mantras, repeating after her: “Show me.”

I try The Class at home on a sunny Sunday in Arizona, feeling slightly anxious but pleasantly surprised as the 60-minute session begins with a lively atmosphere reminiscent of a psychedelic yoga disco. Opting for a session taught by Toomey herself, I join the class in bouncing and shaking. Toomey encourages us to embrace unique movements, giving us permission to let go.

One of the aspects I enjoy most about The Class is the opportunity to move freely throughout a whole song. I find joy in the playful and somewhat absurd experience of prancing around my living room.

After the initial burst of movement, there is a pause for observation. I notice my heart racing, but the rest of my body remains still. It seems like there’s nothing more to express.

Despite incorporating guided meditation, The Class maintains a genuine physical practice. Many movements resemble yoga poses, and the repetition allows me to establish a strong mind-muscle connection and experience the expected burn. I am slightly thrown off by unconventional instructions like “soften your scalp.”

Sound plays a significant role in The Class. Toomey guides us to make deep, guttural sounds from the root to counter tension and demonstrate a willingness to evolve. Even though I’m alone in my living room, I feel a bit embarrassed.

Midway through the class, I realize with dread that we are building up to a full song of burpees. It feels strange to hear a spiritual mentor like Toomey use such a casual term, like seeing a teacher outside of school. I wonder if it’s just a segment meant to challenge our discipline, but I soon realize I’m mistaken. When Toomey asks what I would like to express during mid-burpees, I respond with anger.

If my body was quiet before, it is now protesting loudly. In a subtle act of rebellion, I take a 10-second water break, considering it payback for the burpees. It takes time to rebuild trust, but as we progress through planking and curtsy lunges, I reluctantly admit that endorphins are flowing. Eventually, we return to my favorite segment of free movement.

Whether it’s the colorful shadows through my stained glass window film or the absence of burpees, the final round of dance unlocks a new level of uninhibited play that I’m not accustomed to in my usual workouts. I let my hair down and fully embrace the moment, even though I am alone. The class concludes with a meditation, using our arms to release and redirect any lingering energy.

Letting go can be uncomfortable, as Kuhn acknowledges, but it is not impossible. She explains that everyone struggles with letting go because of the different ways they seek safety, recognition, security, and love. These mechanisms become attachments, and being asked to let go can feel like being asked to abandon a life raft in the middle of the ocean.

The Class is aware of this. Toomey acknowledges that the first step in any new endeavor, such as trying a new workout class, can throw a person off balance. The practice involves practicing and acquiring the necessary tools for success. I acknowledge that there is still much I would like to release, and I understand that it won’t happen in a single workout. However, The Class provides me with the space, freedom, and perhaps the willingness to recognize the work that still lies ahead.

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