Trusting Yourself Enough to Break

Taryn Toomey’s “The Class” is an intense dive into physical and spiritual catharis—an exploration of self on the edge of what’s tolerable.

Michael Safranski

Editor’s note: Mindfulness is a fast-growing field. As new interpretations of mindfulness appear, Mindful will help explore those with you.

“Tune in to yourself,” says Taryn Toomey, the latest étoile du jour to light up the fitness world, addressing a women’s retreat in upstate New York last summer. “Know there’s a part of you that really wants the suffering and part of you that really wants the awakening.

“Know who’s running the show.”

Therein lies the essence of the Taryn Toomey phenomenon—suffering and awakening, hurting and healing. Toomey is the birthmother of The Class, a body-depleting, mind-bending workout that defies both definition and category. Physically demanding and emotionally exhausting, it is, to its throngs of acolytes who sweat regularly in her signature TriBeCa gym, spiritually and psychically cathartic. 

The hallmark of The Class is a series of repetitive motions devoid of rep count; there is no telling when the torture will end, an approach that plunges you entirely into the moment.

The hallmark of The Class is a series of repetitive motions devoid of rep count; there is no telling when the torture will end, an approach that plunges you entirely into the moment. Meshing high-intensity calisthenics with impassioned, confessional,…

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