Class Action: Shrink Session at the Movement

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(Photo: David Gazzo)

On Erin Stutland’s last night in Cancun for her bachelorette party, she and her friends went down to the beach. They saw a security guard studying the sand who explained he was looking for baby sea turtles to help (females lay their eggs in the sand and their babies emerge at night to make the long journey to the water).

Stutland and co. joined in, and the experience got her thinking about how we ask for help—or sometimes can’t bring ourselves to do it. It inspired a recent (and totally packed) Shrink Session class at The Movement—which started with the mantra, "I am willing to be guided."

Shrink Session is a mix of yoga, cardio dance, kickboxing, and HIIT—all with meaningful mantras you say (or yell) throughout. She teaches it in New York City at Crunch and The Movement—and on December 1, she’s launching another installment of her Say it, Sweat it, Get it Free Challenge, emailing out a five-minute video workout every day for a week.

Stutland’s background is in dance and, though she doesn't talk about it, she’s a former intenSati premier leader—and studied closely with the founder Patricia Moreno (so the class is reminiscent of that training).

“The workout requires your mind to stay connected to your body, but it also requires that you use muscles you might not use in just a regular workout class,” says Stutland. (Photo: Erin Stutland)

Her choreography is relatively simple—think some step-touches into a grapevine, followed by a forward and back four-step run. The moves correspond with the mantras—think, "I release my worries," while shimmying. Stutland breaks up the dancing with planks, pushups, and squats.

And once you get the class' rhythm, you kind of bliss out on the moves. Muscle confusion is important, Stutland says, but she believes there's also something powerful about being able to go deeper into a series of movements.

"You no longer are trying to figure it out," she says. "So it can become a moving meditation." As spiritual as helping baby turtles to the water—only sweatier.  —Molly Gallagher

Who's it for: Anyone looking for a sweaty (and spiritual) workout.

Shrink Session at The Movement, $32, 32 W. 18th St., Flatiron, www.themovementfitness.comTo sign up for the challenge, visit 


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