Prior to the Sports Bra Challenge, I was invited to test out a brand new studio in SoHo called Aqua. It’s a combination of my two favorite activities- swimming and spinning… put it together… underwater spinning!
I’ve seen these bikes in Italy when I used to visit the termes (spas) in Abano (near Venice). If you haven’t had the opportunity to see underwater spin bikes, just imagine a standard swimming pool with a jacuzzi section (without the jacuzzi) featuring two vacant, metal, spin bikes side by side.
At the time I didn’t really think anything of those bikes. I sat on one, I pedaled, and then I got bored and moved onto the thermal pools.
Now that I’ve entered a spa-like facility that focuses solely on the underwater spinning as a class with 15 bikes… I was pumped!
PS: Aqua Studio is still closed to the public and limited to Women Only, but I’m sharing my studio experience with you.
STUDIO: Aqua Studio NY
EXERCISE: Underwater Spinning
INSTRUCTOR: Julia Baggish
LOBBY: When I walked into the studio, the space was quiet, light and airy. I felt as if I had entered a really long living room, with natural wood and chic, modern elements.
When you sign in at the desk you receive a pair of clear/jelly underwater spin shoes and a towel.
LOCKER ROOM: When you walk down the stairs, you’ll find the locker room. It’s pretty dark in there but the industrial lights glow above the lockers, showers, and mirrors. It took me a few minutes to find the bathroom since the doors haven’t been labeled with signs, but the space it quite beautiful.
POOL AREA: My class was scheduled at 8pm, so I waited outside of the pool area until the class prior was finished. While waiting, I noticed that there are 3 showers, 16 bikes in the pool (1 instructor bike) and 1 bike set up on the deck. The pool is pretty small so I’m interested to hear how 16 people spin together.
INSTRUCTOR: At 7:45pm, I walked in to greet my instructor Julia. She welcomed me with open arms and set up my bike according to my height, with resistance on medium (level 1).
When the music started to play, Julia welcomed us to Aqua by explaining the positions on the bars and inquired about any modifications/injuries. Shortly after, we were told to pedal to the beat and zone in. When my eyes were closed, it almost felt as if Julia took me on a SoulCycle ride underwater. We jogged, tapped it back, traveled, isolated and sprinted; however, Julia made this ride unique by incorporating pilates and swimming techniques.
- Pilates? To my surprise, we were told to place our feet on the handle bars, keep our butts on the saddle, and to lean back as we crunch and pulse our way to the top. Hell-to-the-yes.
- Swimming? While our feet were in the cages, we were told to come off of the bike completely. Legs still spinning, Julia had us hold onto the saddle as we sat behind the bike. Once we got comfortable in that position, we were told to let go of the seat and tread with our arms in the water for resistance (instead of using weights)! Holla!
OVERALL: I adore Julia. 45 minutes went by really quickly and I loved how she gave me an underwater soul experience, while using the pool to her advantage.
As for the studio, I’m eager to see what it will look like when it’s complete. I hope it stays relaxed, quiet and organized once its open to the public. And I hope they use the upstairs space in the back for an open cafe like the MoMa in San Fran; but instead of coffee and sugary snacks, I picture green juices, a kombucha bar, and healthy treats like Vegan/Raw brownies…
#LML #VIDEO #UPLOAD