Daley Quinn is a former magazine beauty editor turned full-time freelance journalist, blogger, and content strategist. This is The Daley Dose, a place to get your fix of everything from working in the NYC media industry, Daley’s favorite beauty and fashion finds, life updates about sobriety, and so much more.
I first wrote about my obsession with the no equipment full body workout called “The Class by Taryn Toomey” ($40/month) in May 2020. I had been panting, groaning, and crying my way through The Class for months after the pandemic had first hit, and found it to be so much more than just an at-home workout subscription service—it became my pandemic lifeline. Two years later, and I still find myself tearing up during this intense, emotional practice.
I’ll admit that I did take a six-month hiatus from The Class by Taryn Toomey in 2021, but resubscribed to the digital studio about a month ago. I’ve rediscovered my love for this workout, and have been trying to incorporate it into my workout routine every day. Before each Class, I like to light incense or a candle to cue to my body that it’s time to move.
There are so many reasons why I love, and continue to return to, this workout. Below, you’ll find 5 reasons why I love The Class by Taryn Toomey, and why I think you should try it out, too.
How many at-home workout subscription services have you signed up for only to find yourself $300 deep in strength training equipment you “need” for the workout class? Thankfully, a yoga mat is the only thing you need to be able to exercise in The Class. And honestly, you don’t even necessarily need a yoga mat to do The Class—you could easily complete a session on a carpet or on a towel if you’re really desperate. In fact, I used both on a recent press trip to Aspen when I did the workout in my hotel room. I love that The Class offers both upper body, lower body, or full body workouts for whatever your needs might be for the day.
If you’ve ever seen me on any type of sports field, whether that be for soccer, softball, or anything involving a flying object, you know how uncoordinated, clumsy, and fearful I can be. I’ve always found it very difficult to follow complicated dance moves in any dance-related workout class (looking at you, 305 Fitness), and I also have trouble remembering which weight exercises I need to complete when “on the floor” at Orange Theory.
In The Class by Taryn Toomey, I never feel uncoordinated because there’s very little coordination involved in the practice. The starting position for every Class is to stand with your feet flat on the floor (feet shoulder-width apart), slightly bend your knees, and place your hands on your chest and your stomach. This signals to your body that you are ready to turn inward and begin to release energy from the inside out.
When it’s time to dance, each instructor allows you to dance freely without restriction, and any of the specific moves you do need to nail are pretty standard and repetitive—think jumping jacks, skaters, mountain climbers, burpees, and some easy-to-follow Pilates movements and bodyweight exercises. You’ll be engaging your core, practicing a high plank position, doing reverse lunges, and will want to squeeze your glutes, too.
I never feel out of sync when taking The Class, and I love how much it focuses on freedom of expression through movement. It makes me feel as though any movement I choose to do in The Class is okay and even welcomed.
I also love that, because there are so few movements to remember, it allows me to really hone into my body, rather than frantically remembering which dance moves I’m supposed to be doing next.
While some folks love a good Kanye West beat to get them through a workout, other people love a Bon Iver mashup to move through—you can find me in the latter group. I love the music in The Class, which ranges from occasional Beyonce tunes to lots of alt-pop, alt-rock, and singer/songwriter picks found on my own Spotify playlists. It always gets my heart rate up. In each Class, you’ll find a mix of upbeat and slower songs throughout the workout, depending on how much recovery and “heart-clearing” (IYKYK) is involved.
I love that The Class pairs the various movements to the music so, so well. The music is a huge part of The Class, and is incorporated beautifully into every workout I’ve done on the digital studio platform.
I think The Class by Taryn Toomey is the only form of exercise I’ve ever looked forward to. This is one of those no equipment workouts that requires so little to get started, and has truly become more of a spiritual practice for me than anything else. I find that when I’m doing other forms of exercise, like running, for example, I blast my favorite tunes on my Airpods as loud as possible, doing anything in my power to distract myself from the misery that is running.
When I practice The Class, I am so much more aware and in tune with my body, and I never really dread doing all the jumping jacks and burpees involved. I think another thing that really helps is that the instructors in The Class really encourage you to “show up as you are,” meaning if you’re not feeling super strong or amazing that day, don’t push yourself too much. There are days when I feel crappy and I do the easiest movement available, and then there are days where I will do the hardest modification because I know my body can handle it, and because I actually want to do it. Although The Class isn’t marketed as or technically considered a somatic therapy practice, I find The Class to include a lot of somatic therapy exercises that have helped me release past trauma, feel lighter, and make me happier.
I’ve done a bunch of in-person and online workout classes on various platforms and in different studios, and I find The Class instructors to be the most genuine and inspiring. Their words have really helped me get through some painful times (hello, pandemic) and I find them to be incredibly motivating when I’m in the last leg of a set and need that extra push to finish. The energy levels of the instructors vary—some are more lively, while others are more carefree and relaxed. Additionally, some instructors are a bit more grounded, while others are more woo-woo and spiritual. After trying out a bunch of classes, you will find which instructor(s) you admire and align with the most.
The bottom line is, you will either love The Class or hate it—I believe there is no in-between. This incredible no equipment full body workout has allowed me to release negative energy I’ve kept inside for a very long time, and it’s also kicking my ass in the best way, too. While scrolling through the private Facebook group for The Class Digital Studio members, I saw someone ask if others have lost weight while practicing The Class regularly. One member shared a brilliant response that really sums up The Class perfectly:
“I joined The Class hoping to lose weight. Listen. I lost weight. And I lost the weight of my emotional baggage. I lost the weight of my own self doubt. I lost the weight of outside expectations and inner conflicts and fear and judgment and crippling depression and anxiety…
… oh, and about ten pounds.”
Want to read more about my health journey? Check out this blog post about my latest Dry Month Challenge.