Bethany Lyons has a fitness habit of going where no one has gone before. First, the former regional group fitness manager at Crunch took a leap of faith and joined a little 72nd studio called SoulCycle as an instructor back in 2006 before it was SoulCycle. And “before they even had bikes!” she remembers.
And last November the telegenic blond opened Lyons Den Power Yoga, New York’s first studio dedicated to Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, a challenging hot yoga style named for its internationally recognized innovator, Baron Baptiste (who’s based in Boston). It’s a no-mirrors method that gets your sweat pouring and your heart pounding. And Lyons just couldn’t let New Yorkers live without it.
“Baptiste Power Vinyasa yoga is a powerfully flowing vinyasa class done in heated space [90 to 95 degrees with high humidity] that embraces meditation and inquiry,” Lyons explains. “Sometimes we’re taking one breath per pose when going through the sun salutation, raising the heart rate. Sometimes we’re in a pose for 10 breaths. It’s definitely not a light workout.”
Because the workout and New Yorkers are equally intense in nature, says Lyons, who’s been doing it since 2001, she came to believe it would resonate with New Yorkers deeply—if only they had a place to practice it. “It allows an intense person to find a flow and relaxation within the movements.” And the countless chaturangas build some serious heat.
Lyons Den has become that sweaty spot where intensity is channeled, favored, and released. “You get a full rinse, a full-body workout,” Lyons says, evoking the cool language she uses during a sweat session. “It doesn’t make you feel half baked. We get a lot of athletes who love this style because of the strength it demands. It’s strength and stretch and some cardio.” —Jamie McKillop