You are a fitness fanatic if you know who Taryn Toomey is.
With studios in New York, LA and Vancouver, her name is definitely being talked about in the fitness industry. And not just because of her celebrity clientele (although she has that – Naomi Watts and Jennifer Aniston) or her buzzy locations. It’s because it’s like no other fitness class you’ve ever taken and because of her fashion collab with lululemon.
But first, The Class
Toomey’s approach is pretty amazing and very difficult to describe. As part of a five-city tour with lululemon, I had the opportunity to take Toomey’s The Class in Toronto, taught by Jaycee Gosset. (That is her above, dressed in lululemon x The Class by Taryn Toomey). It is a fusion of studio styles (think: yoga, pilates, barre and so much more) as well as freestyle dance (think: just letting it all out on the dance floor) and a bit of therapy.
“I have always used my movement practice to connect to my emotional state,” Toomey tells Best Health. “Through my own self-study I have experienced how much one is able to process through the body. To do this while creating a strong lean body to live in, just made sense.”
While you may have dedicated your workout to someone in other classes, thanks to the nudge of the instructor, this class asks you what is holding you back and why you’re holding in any negativity in the form of stiffness and pain.
Then, you do an exercise (hip raises, planks, donkey kicks) for the duration of a song with great “drinking with friends” tunes by bands like Kings of Leon and Mumford & Sons instead of loud techno beats. And the dance moves involve pushing the arms and jumping off your feet. It’s not about being precise. The more you let go, the better you feel and, frankly, the better you look.
“The work isn’t really about ‘yoga intention’ – it’s more of a ‘getting to know yourself’,” she says. “What you tell yourself, what you believe, where that belief came from, when it started. It’s more observing yourself in these different states. While I believe strongly in the power of intention, it helps to make a clear statement to yourself to be able to reflect back to.”
It’s hard! But getting inside your head that way is really eye-opening. I’ve often struggled with “being in the present” and “emptying the mind.” But, The Class takes the opposite approach. By thinking about what is affecting you, you end up really being in the present and getting the most out of class. At least I did.
The clothes to wear to The Class
It is oh so very pretty.
With colours like white, faint mauve and misty moss, and cuts that are very 1970s ballerina, the lululemon x The Class by Taryn Toomey collection will sure to be sold out fast. The ruched leggings, thin-knit wraps, tissue-like tanks and bodysuits – each piece feels delicate and beautiful.
My fitness fashion style is usually pretty athletic and functional – all black with mesh panels. But I am in love with the Awakening Tank and the Heart Opener Knit Wrap. The names are apt with The Class’s philosophy. They’re meant to be moved in and comfortable.
“Lululemon was such a huge supporter of mine from the very beginning, even before The Class had a name,” Toomey says about the lululemon x The Class by Taryn Toomey partnership. She was teaching grass-root classes in rented spaces in New York and Los Angeles before she set up The Class in 2011 and 2016 in Vancouver and LA.
“I am such a believer in community supporting one another to be able to inspire and create as does lululemon. lululemon is so much more than just ‘fitness’ and so is The Class.”