New York gets its first cycling-yoga combo studio

Williamsburg's new Syncstudio, which opens today, pairs pedaling and pranayama.
Sync’s dance-based cycling classes pair with yoga classes—under one Brooklyn roof (Photo: Christopher Starbody)

Syncstudio opens its doors in fitness-booming Brooklyn today, as the first boutique fitness brand in New York to host cycling and yoga classes under one roof.

The two workouts seem like a natural pair, since cyclists have notoriously tight hips and hunched shoulders. Studios in other cities have successfully executed the concept, and Flywheel is taking it on at its just-opened cycling studio in West Hollywood. “When I started to do research, I thought it was crazy and impossible. But the two combined in a non-gym setting really doesn’t exist in New York,” says 26-year-old Ashley Lively, Syncstudio’s co-owner.

The North Carolina-based company launched in April 2010 and has two locations in Durham. Lively partnered with her best friend Karla Misjan, a New York PR girl turned yogi, to bring the workout to the Big Apple. And while she hopes to open Manhattan locations in the future, Lively says the creativity and energy in Williamsburg seemed like the perfect fit. “It’s young, fresh, and edgy,” she says. It also puts Sync in competition with SoulCycle, which is set to open six blocks away in May.

The studio is two levels, with yoga on the first floor and the cycling studio in what Sync calls the “Bassment.” There are no locker rooms or showers, just restrooms, changing rooms, and cubbies. (Photo: Chase Mendoza)

Sync doesn’t offer combo classes—yoga and cycling are two distinct entities in the same space. Its approach to cycling is dance-based, and the biggest point of difference from other indoor cycling brands is that riders are out of the saddle for the entire class (with the option of resting on your seat during song transitions). Standing allows cyclists to move to the music, which is the main goal, Lively explains. “What we’re doing is all beat-driven. The entire class is moving together all of the time. It’s distracting; you forget you’re on a bike.” There are no weights and no screens for (obsessively) your checking RPMs.

Yoga classes are flow-based with an emphasis on alignment, and many of the instructors recruited were trained by (and taught at) Yogaworks. There are also less-frequently-scheduled Cardio Circuit classes that focus on body-weight interval training.

And Sync is doing things differently when it comes to price, too. “Day passes” give you free reign for same-day classes, so for just $25, you can take a spin and a yoga class. If you buy a 5-class pack, class price drops to $23, which is dirt cheap for spinning in New York, but slightly expensive for yoga. Towels and filtered water (not bottled) are free, and they won’t have rental shoes—the Schwinn bikes allow you to clip in if you own, or use a cage with regular sneakers.

If the concept’s a success, pedaling and pranayama may be seeing more of each other in the future. —Lisa Elaine Held

Syncstudio, 133 South. 2nd St., between Bedford Ave. and Berry St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn,

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