That's a grand ole statement "the best workout I've had in months". I mean, what could have possibly happened that was so magical that I'm deeming it "the best". Was Channing Tatum live stripping as we boxed our hearts out? No, but that would have been nice.
The last year and half I've set out to redefine my relationship with movement. Taking it from what I once saw it as, a way to alter my body composition and only make myself smaller. To moving because I love it and because of how it makes me feel: grounded, powerful, connected to my body, happy and calm.
On my most recent trip to NYC I set out to try a handful of different classes and studios here. My goal was to move in new to me ways, to show my clients and all women that the only way to move your body isn't by going to a gym and doing a "normal workout".
I Stumbled Across Box + Flow
In my search of "most popular workout classes in NYC", I found Box + Flow.
I saw Box + Flow and I knew this would be my jam. A 55 min class, the first 35 min spent boxing, the last 15 spent doing a yoga flow---yes seriously, you get to beat shit up then flow it out and center yourself before leaving. Sign me up, I need no further convincing.
Coming from coach to student use to be hard for me to transition into when I would take other peoples class. How well do they know the body? Will I be just 1 out of 30 and looked past? To me, being in a class isn't just sweating it out for 60min. I'm invested into the form of movement I'm showing up for. I'm invested in my own body and I hope that the coach or teacher is just as invested in both as well.
I felt good about Box + Flow from just reading and exploring the website & my gut usually knows what's up so I emailed the owner, Liv, and asked if I could drop in. She quickly responded and we made plans for me to drop in.
This was the first place I navigated to on my own in NYC and surprisingly, I found it with ease. Located in NoHo, on Bond St. You have to buzz up to get in, as it's located on the second floor. Upon finding it, I met a new friend who was visiting from out of town! She boxed at a local studio in Boston, where she lives, and wanted to try out Box + Flow--perfect I thought, I wouldn't be the only newbie!
We went up together and were greeted by Caitlin, who's also a coach there.
She got us set up with our wraps, instructed us to remove our shoes so we'd have an easy transition from boxing into flowing and we grabbed some light weights + a mat.
The class was taught by Toussaint, it was his very first class teaching and he CRUSHED IT. More on him later.
We did a little warm up with some bodyweight movements + dumbbells and some shadow boxing to help learn the movements before diving in. Then we got into the boxing portion of the workout.
From the absolutely perfect playlist, to the vibe of the class--everyone cheering each other on in such a genuine way, to Toussaint spending time with each person in the class making solid corrections and suggestions...it was PERFECT.
Toussaint's coaching was what really made the class awesome. When you hear boxing, you typically think of a beat you into the ground kind of workout (or at least I do). That type of training isn't my jam. Don't get me wrong, I love to work hard, but I love being supported and feel empowered--not demoralized.
His coaching brought me to a place of focus, strength and empowerment. I honored my body and knew my limits (I can get a let go of form when I go balls to the wall, so I made sure I pushed my personal hardest while keeping technique).
The vibes in the class made it that much more enjoyable. The founder, Liv was in class with us as well and she remembered our names and cheered us on as she worked hard too.
When you feel seen and valued in any environment, you know it's good.
We boxed through six rounds, two of which were 'rumble rounds'. In the rumble rounds you give it all you have, and as Liv likes to say, you focus on purely being in the fire.
After our last rumble round, we ripped our wraps off and got ready to flow. This was a perfect gentle flow to finish such an awesome class with.
Toussaint's coaching really stands out the most to me here. To be able to go from a fiery, intense class, to a gentle and calm yoga mood with easy transition was quite stunning.
Meet The Founder
With such a unique and bad ass concept, I knew I had to sit down with Liv and get to know her.
Needless to say, she is one of the most genuine and kind people I've ever met who throughly has taken on living and creating a beautiful life to the fullest.
What brought this idea to life?
Liv had been doing yoga for 15 years and boxing for 10.
"Boxing gave me strength, confidence and focus. It made me feel like I could do anything. I woke up and felt like Rocky. But I needed yoga to slow me down, it made me listen and introspective. Boxing closes you, and yoga opens you up so you leave leveled and powerful."
Liv says that boxing gave her fire, and yoga gave her power to feel.
CAN I GET AN AMEN?
Such a powerful and beautiful mesh of two very different forms of movement, yet you can find where they overlap in the oneness they bring into the body by following the breath.
Who Is This Class For?
Liv says this class is for "women who aren't afraid to get messy and aren't ashamed to flow." She's right, this class welcomes all fitness levels but be ready to show up for yourself.
In our conversation she said something so spot on, "let yourself be in the fire, thats when you find your strength".
That's who this class if for, the woman (or man--yes, men can 100% Box +Flow) who wants to find her strength and connect with her power.
So why was this the best workout I've had in months?
I stripped away every fear and thought I had about being "good" or "bad" and showed up for me. I was empowered to let myself be in the fire--this was hard. I could have given 30% of my max effort and it wouldn't have been as hard, but I knew how I could show up (with good form), for myself and choosing to be in the fire was exactly what I needed. I needed to get messy, to create impact and then to connect to me.
Box + Flow was everything I never knew I needed. It's very message spoke to every fiber in my being and aligned with how I feel about honoring your body through movement to a T.
As someone who honestly doesn't love group fitness (this is the furthest thing from "group fitness"), this was perfect.
I couldn't recommend Box + Flow enough--if you find yourself in NYC. You MUST drop in.
As I leave NYC, I'll continue to remind myself to be in the fire--as Liv says, that's where you find your strength.