Magazine article The New Yorker

Getting It Out

Magazine article The New Yorker

Getting It Out

Article excerpt

Getting It Out

Taryn Toomey

The first thing the exercise impresario Taryn Toomey did after she leased the third floor of 22 Park Place, a former construction office, last November, was to pour concrete over the scuffed floorboards and scatter hundreds of bits of smashed crystals on top. Black onyx, hematite, and black tourmaline, to "draw energy out," and transparent quartz, rose quartz, and amethyst, for "clearing, love, and processing." Then she covered them up with new oak planks. "I so strongly believe in the power of intention," she said, tugging at the sleeves of her black bodysuit. "Whether or not it works, it's there."

One morning last month, forty of Toomey's acolytes flocked to the studio for its inaugural edition of the Class, a yoga-cardio-strength workout that Toomey, who is thirty-eight, began offering in 2011. On yoga mats, in expensive athletic apparel--one of the students, the supermodel Christy Turlington, wore hot-pink Nikes--they did everything Toomey's deep, raspy voice commanded: squats, hip bridges, jumping jacks.

"Whatever the fuck you need to do, you do!" she told the class, as a drumbeat pounded through speakers. "If you need to run and scream, if you need to stand and hold your space, whatever you need to do--four, three, two, one." On "one," all the women (and one man) screamed and pitter-pattered their feet so hard the sound system almost toppled over. During leg lifts, Toomey urged, "Go ahead, get fucking angry! This is not about being polite, this is not about being pretty, this is about feeling." Someone yelped. One exercise involved thumping one's body the way Matthew McConaughey did in "The Wolf of Wall Street."

"Do not deny yourself your strength because you're hooked into some bullshit story," Toomey bellowed. "Allow yourself to clear the depths of you." A woman in a blue sports bra roared.

Depths cleared, there was juice to be had. "Did you survive that?" Turlington asked a fellow-student, draping a grapefruit-scented towel around her neck. "It has been a difficult several months. Something like this, it restores hope and faith."

Near a display of thousand-dollar necklaces (designed by Toomey; also crystal), the fashion designer Mara Hoffman wrapped a sweatshirt around her head like a turban. "I come when I need to weep, sweat, pee my pants, and get shit out," she said. "I like to freely scream. I always leave with a really good idea. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.