The lights are low and the bass is thumping, but the cycle room at Rev Cycle Studio in McHenry Row is no dance club. Halfway into the studio's Rev60 Zen class -- a "fusion" of 40 minutes of cycling and 20 of yoga -- a dozen cyclists are pedaling (and sweating) hard, following instructor Esther Collinetti's demands to go harder.
Fast-forward another 15 minutes. The same group is now quietly sinking into Warrior pose in the studio's small, warm yoga room, with Collinetti directing stretches and meditation.
Rev Cycle Studio is new, outfitted with state-of-the-art bikes and fabulous, spa-like amenities. The combination cycle and yoga concept is new, too. "Forty minutes of cycle is really good cardio," explains Collinetti, who owns the studio with partner Rick Zambrano. "Then you move into a yoga room that is warm and cozy to deepen your muscles and also work your core."
Collinetti is "intense," says Alex van Leen, a Locust Point resident. "I like how much she makes you sweat."
The cycle portion of the class is, in fact, intense, as Collinetti directs the class to speed up or slow down, to sit or stand over the handlebars, and to increase or decrease resistance (to mimic going up and down hills).
Cycling novices can go at their own pace. "You control your intensity," Collinetti promises. But with her guidance, even newbies find themselves pushing hard (newcomers should also expect their legs -- and backsides -- to be sore the day after class). Foul-mouthed and funny, Collinetti runs her cycling room like a sergeant at boot camp.
The yoga part of the class is simple, straightforward and focused on stretching the muscles used most during cycling -- no need to be a serious yogini to make the most of the session. Alex van Leen has been practicing yoga occasionally for the past year but admits that he's no expert.
"I like the way yoga slows you down and helps with flexibility," he says. "This class is good because sometimes I forget to stretch."
If cycling is the yin, yoga is the yang -- one pumps you up; the other cools you down.
REV Cycle Studio
McHenry Row, 1718 Whetstone Way
[$18 per class, multi-class discounts available]