Spinning Workouts

10 Mantras From “Soul Original” Instructors to Celebrate Soulcycle’s 10th Anniversary

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Photo: SoulCycle

The year was 2006. A workout studio offering only indoor cycling classes called SoulCycle opened in an unmarked building on West 72nd Street on the Upper West Side of New York City, its future unknown. This was a time when only gyms and yoga studios dotted Manhattan, you wouldn't have found a single Juice Press anywhere, and Lululemon was pretty much the only game in town for looking sharp.

Fast-forward 10 years and 59 studios later, and SoulCycle has officially positioned itself as a household name, not just in the New York fitness community, but nationwide. Its yellow-wheel-adorned hoodies, bike-dancing choreography, and talent for hand-picking star instructors have helped it become a shorthand for boutique fitness at large.

Its laser focus on tapping teachers who don't just convey a method, but who can own the podium, captivate a room, and inspire (often jaded) New Yorkers was a whole new fitness consideration.

Many of SoulCycle's now master instructors were there for its modest beginnings, including 10 "Soul Originals." Think super-talents like Stacey Griffith, Laurie Cole, Kym Perfetto, and Janet Fitzgerald.

Their super charisma and gift for inspiring riders during class with great music and personal mantras have made them fitness celebrities.

In honor of SoulCycle's 10th anniversary, we chatted with the 10 Soul Originals and got their most inspiring mantras both on and off the bike.

Photo: SoulCycle

Laurie Cole

Favorite in-class mantra:
So I have a plethora that I use.... but some of my favorite ones are: 1. Instead of listening to the voices in your head, listen to the choices in the room. 2. Nothing feels as good as strong feels. 3. Happiness doesn't happen by accident, it is created by design."

Top tip for life off the bike:
"A wonderful tool if you set a goal or resolution, [is to] set an action to hold yourself accountable. So instead of simply saying 'I want to lose ten pounds,' 'I want a new job,' or 'I want to have children,' create an action plan for these wonderful and attainable goals. If you are committed, connected and consistent, everything is possible. The best moments in life are always filled with some level of discomfort."

Photo: SoulCycle

Stacey Griffith

Favorite in-class mantra:
"Easy doesn't change you. This is what everyone should remember when you are training. If it's easy, it's not working, it's simply maintenance. Push, heavy breathe, sweat, recover. Push, heavy breathe, sweat, recover. It's that attitude that will take you to where you need to be."

Top tip for life off the bike:

"Sleep 7 hours a night
Drink water all day long
Eat clean
Enjoy birthday cakes
Workout six days a week [and] rest on Sundays
Stay informed (CNN App)
Nap 10 or 20 minutes at some point in the day
Take a break from your cell phone sometimes
Watch some mindless television
Enjoy heartfelt documentaries
Love through the hard times too
Listen more than you speak—you aren't learning when you're talking
Take spiritual baths
Lastly, enjoy life—you only get one!"

Photo: SoulCycle

Sue Molnar

Favorite in-class mantra:
"I won't give up if you don't give up. We're in this TOGETHER. One of my favorite quotes is 'What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?' by George Eliot. So I try to incorporate that feeling in the workout. We're so much stronger together than we would be alone. I happen to ride most of my classes as hard as my riders. I don't get off the bike. So, my riders know that I mean it when I express these sentiments."

Top tip for life off the bike:
"Give gratitude for your blessings, and don't take anything too damn seriously."

Photo: SoulCycle

Ayana Wiles-Bey

Favorite in-class mantra:
"Inhale your power, exhale your desire. I say this when I feel there is a need to remind my riders that they are in control, they have the power, they are the captain of their ship.... if they let the universe know their desires and goals, then they will receive exactly what they want. When you believe that whatever you want will truly happen, you trigger the Law of Attraction and therefore your thoughts become manifested and you enjoy living the life you want to live."

Top tip for life off the bike:
"Decide what you want. Write it down. Make a plan. And work on it EVERY SINGLE DAY!"

Photo: SoulCycle

Melanie Griffith

Favorite in-class mantra:
"It is so hard to pick a favorite. I have several tattooed on my arm that began as mantras in class and are words I find my way back to over and over in life and in class. My favorite is probably: Be what you need. (If you need strength, be strong... if you need connection, be connected.)"

Top tip for life off the bike:
"In so many ways, my top tip for life would also be one for SoulCycle. Right where you are is right where you need to be. I believe that the challenges of life are actually opportunities. And if you can trust what you are going through and where you are, you can find your way—regardless of anything else that's going on."

Photo: SoulCycle

Rique Uresti

Favorite in-class mantra:
"My favorite thing to say is: You can't fail at wanting to be more amazing. No one else is telling your story and no one else will ever live it. I have never compared my life to anyone's age, success, timeline, or achievements—and neither should you."

Top tip for life off the bike:
"Arguments are a waste of time. Acknowledge differences and move forward accordingly. This is everything that keeps me happy and sane. Oh, and sleep is the greatest reset button—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually."

Photo: SoulCycle

Mb Regan

Favorite in-class mantra:
"Obstacles are a gift from the universe. Fall down and get up stronger!"

Top tip for life off the bike:
"Be your own Guru. You have everything within you."

Photo: SoulCycle

Kym Perfetto

Favorite in-class mantra:
"Practice courage. I really like the idea of practicing something that you do daily, in small or great ways. It takes courage to ask for a raise, to stand up to someone, to make a change, or even just to ask someone out. Courage is like a muscle that can be flexed, and the more you do it, the stronger you become."

Top tip for life off the bike:
"Considering my life challenges outside SoulCycle are racing bikes and creating exciting videos for YouTube, there isn't much time off the bike. But I like to challenge my fears. It keeps me full of life. Recently, upon wiping out on some loose dirt trails, I laughed a big belly laugh and did a wiggly end-zone dance to celebrate my failure—because it just meant I was one step closer to nailing it."

Photo: SoulCycle

Janet Fitzgerald

Favorite in-class mantra:
"I don’t plan out what I am going to say in class...I don’t believe in that. I plan the music and then narrate the feelings of the body moving to that music. But, if I had to choose one message that comes across in my class it would be: Rather than being critical about yourself, ride with a sense of self acceptance. Focus on what is good in [your] life."

Top tip for life off the bike:
"1. Your home is like an altar to the universe—keep it clean, clear, and creative so that you can manifest what you want in life. 2. Don't wait for a dream to be perfectly executed—the soul doesn't know perfection. Just JUMP. 3. Drink wine and eat oysters. 4. It's important to always remember that you cannot create a new reality with old thinking."

Photo: SoulCycle

Daniel Wiener

Favorite in-class mantra:
"You have to challenge the body to change to body."

Top tip for life off the bike:
"Today is the first day of the rest of your life! So give your all to every moment and make it count."

Feeling inspired? See Misty Copeland's top 5 tips for living your best life and Kate Hudson's advice on loving your body.

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