Category Archives: indoor cycling

My First Spynga Class

spynga yoga spin class studio toronto

I’m not a gym rat or fitness guru, so when faced with my first ever spin class I was excited but intimidated. I haven’t been into biking since I was kid; I enjoyed it when I was young but lost interest as I went into my preteens and never looked back. I was worried my legs wouldn’t be up to intense spinning, but since I love a challenge I signed up for my first ever spin class and began to prepare.

My workouts are usually done at home and combine yoga, cardio, and some exercises I learned in my preteens when I took dance classes. I wouldn’t say I’m in bad shape but I do tire easily and live a fairly sedentary lifestyle with a few workouts sprinkled in.

After a little googling I learned what basics I needed to bring to spin class: sports bra, sweat wicking shirt, running shoes, and an easy to open one-handed water bottle (no screw caps). My essentials ready to go, I arrived about ten minutes early for the Saturday 9am spin class with Casey.

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7 ½ Weeks Post Baby – First Cycle Class – Getting Back on the Bike

Me pictured here with cycling Instructor, Joanna Perlmutter

Me pictured here with cycling Instructor, Joanna Perlmutter

At seven-weeks post baby, I woke up and no body part was screaming pain. Sleep deprived, yes, but I can cope with the fatigue much better if my body is not in any pain.  After trying my first yoga class last week, I though I would brave the bike. I have to admit, I was scared to even sit on the saddle, afraid of reliving parts of childbirth and embarrassing myself with the thought of not even getting through the class!

I went to a dear friend and staff member’s class, Joanna, who is a mother of two as well. Comforted by knowing her style of teaching which is commanding, high energy as well as inclusive of all riders, I knew it would be a good class to find my legs again.

I sat next to loyal client who comes to Spynga 3 x a week and is there to work hard.  She was my secret inspiration to keep pace with.   Truthfully, I was just happy being in the excitement of a cycle class again. Those who are indoor riders seriously love the endorphin rush, music and challenge of it all, not to mention the continued results they see and feel in their body.

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stumbling upon inspiration



A message from Liz Rykert  


Sometimes you stumble upon inspiration when you least expect it.

Regan Leader looks like  many of the  young women I spin with at the cycle and yoga studio in my neighbourhood, Spynga. She is fit, focused on her ride, and a regular. Like me, she spins most mornings at 6:30 am. Just before the holidays she approached me after class:

“Are you Liz? Do you do the Ride to Conquer Cancer?”

“I am Liz and yes this will be my third year riding. Are you doing the ride?” I asked.

“Yes” she said.

“Are you riding for someone?” I asked. She paused, and quietly nodded yes. I felt her hesitation. I worried I may have over stepped my bounds.  Then she asked me:

“Are you riding for someone?”

Smiling, I said: “Yes, I ride for my husband John who had lymphoma, and over the years I have also ridden for a group of other people  we know who have also been diagnosed with cancer.”

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Band It! Change Your Body! Change Your Life!

ladywithbandsBy:  Tanya Carinci


Its 6 AM, the alarm clock rings and the snooze button is oh so tempting…but the morning grind must begin and with it, the daily checklist: Kid’s Breakfast. Check. Make Sandwiches. Check. Pack Backpacks. Check.  The list goes on….


But where does “ME” time and exercise fit into this equation?


As a mom of three kids (all under the age of 7), I know what it’s like to multi-task and the importance of being efficient.  I need to squeeze in as many things as I can in a short period of time.  Exercising is one of them.


For me, nothing beats the benefits of an indoor cycling class for a high intensity workout. More importantly, there is no better way to enjoy cycling’s benefits than being in a fun and supportive group setting, led by energetic instructors, with motivating music to push you to your max.


Whether you are just starting an exercise regimen or you are an advanced fitness enthusiast, a cycleBands class gives you the cardio fix & and an opportunity to sculpt your upper body muscles and ultimately muscle burns more calories. If you are looking to shake up and reinvigorate your workout routine, give this a go! 

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Spynga and Body Love


I’ve always been an perfectionist. For seven years through my late teens and early twenties, this trait manifested as a roller coaster of yo-yo diets, disordered eating behaviour and punishing workouts, in an endless pursuit of my own concept of the perfect body. Four years ago, on the verge of starting yet another diet cycle, I discovered an online community of people who believe in size acceptance and Health at Every Size (HAES), drastically shifting my goals and my frame of mind.


HAES posits that pursuing improved health outcomes can occur independent of deliberate changes in body size. In other words, healthy behaviours like eating well and exercising have value whether or not you become thinner as a result of these behaviours. From its website (, HAES encourages:


     Accepting and respecting the natural diversity of body sizes and shapes.

     Eating in a flexible manner that values pleasure and honours internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite.

     Finding the joy in moving one’s body and becoming more physically vital.


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confession of cycling convert


If you’re here, on this website, chances are you already spin.  But maybe you’re just thinking about indoor cycling.  And maybe you are scared.  I wouldn’t blame you.  The first time I came, I was scared to death.  I was also embarrassed.  Would I really be able to take this seriously?  A preacher-woman yelping over throbbing pop to sprint like I meant it?  To “get to the top” of an entirely fictional hill?

Well, I emerged a little queasy, sweaty from eyelashes to forearms to knees, and a TOTAL CONVERT!! 

There is no better way than indoor cycling to plunge directly into your body, fast  fast  fast!  The music blurs your thoughts right out, endorphins flood your bod, suddenly Katy Perry’s the most meaningful thing you ever heard, you truly believe this wild-child on the bike up front, shouting that you can do anything.  You can!  It’s a beautiful feeling – cinematic, inspiring and fun.  Not to mention the calories burned and the myriad muscles strengthened, including the all-important heart!  

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bounce- no bounce

I think if Spynga has an unofficial motto, it would have to be ‚ÄúBounce/No Bounce!‚Äù¬†¬† For those yet to experience this particular cue during a cycling class, it refers to alternating between letting the body be loose and, well, bouncy for a length of time, and then, upon the ‚ÄúNo Bounce‚Äùcommand, tightening the core to slow the legs down and still the upper body.¬† It‚Äôs hard!¬† But the stillness feels pretty great after all that goofing around, just as the bouncing feels pretty joyful and delicious after that kind of discipline.¬† So it struck me recently — is it possible that Bounce/No Bounce provides us with a useful metaphor for the well-lived life?¬† Aren‚Äôt there many times in life when we tense everything up and try to control things when it would perhaps be wiser to let go and just bounce?¬† And what about those times when we know we need to hunker down and do some serious, committed hard work ‚Äì disciplined work that will feel great once we‚Äôre in it ‚Äì yet we‚Äôre flitting all over the place, procrastinating, prioritizing poorly, getting distracted.¬† Wouldn‚Äôt it be nice if Joanna called you those days and shouted, kindly yet firmly, ‚ÄúNo bounce!‚Äù¬† until you finally just got down to it?

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So does anybody else get crazy-creative on the spinning bike?

I know for me, when my legs are flying, my heart is pumping, the Madonna’s blaring, Casey’s cheering me on, and I think I’m not thinking at all…blammo. Idea town! Whether it’s a creative solution to an issue of family dynamics, clarity around a niggling decision I need to make, or an artistic breakthrough, the missing piece of the puzzle so often strikes like lightening in the middle of my ride. So what’s happening there?

My theory is that I’m so engaged with my body that the parts of my brain I usually put fences around are able to run free. What do you guys think?

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