After some post-holiday yin-ing, Yoga Sleuth was ready to yang. And there are few things yang-ier than the new Box and Flow on Bond Street, an innovative hybrid of boxing and vinyasa yoga co-taught by owner Olivia 'Liv' Young and Brian Pedone. The first half is a vigorous boxing sequence while the second half is a sweet yoga flow.
The dimly lit room was filled with boxer/yogis (bogis?) on black mats, each holding three pound weights. Towards the side of the room was a row of black punching bags. An LED clock at the back counted down the seconds to savasana.
Brian led the first segment of class, a shadow boxing routine on the mat. Before beginning he asked us to say a cheery hello to the student nearest us. Then he took us through the fundamental boxing moves, adding on elements with each sequence. We jabbed, hooked, crossed, slid, uppercutted and weaved, weights in our hands and feet dancing. "I wanna hear you breathe!" called Brian. Olivia worked the room, demoing proper technique and offering resounding encouragement.
After some squats, it was time to put on the gloves and hit the bags. Brian called out sequences and we flew into a flurry of punches, sometimes simultaneously, and other times holding the bag while our partner let loose on it. We were spurred on by an inspiring rock soundtrack, the highlight being "Machine Head" by Bush with its fitting chant of "Breathe in, breathe out."
The punching sequences changed every minute and grew more complex, so we had to focus both our bodies and our minds. It was an intense, sweaty and invigorating 20 minutes, and Brian assured us that we'd truly feel we earned the cool down on the mat.
Olivia took over for the yoga sequence—"the sweetness after the struggle"—as it's described on the website. We ripped off the gloves and sank into a sweaty supine baddha konasana before revving up again for a series of vinyasa flows and standing poses that included lunges, warrior twos and extended side angles.
"Everything you need is inside," said Olivia, quoting the studio mantra as we flowed and stretched together, shifting our bodies from a sense of fight to respite.
We held a forearm plank, arms quivering after the intense workout. "You can do it. The only way out is through!" reminded Olivia.
Our strength and stamina were summoned again in side plank, but we found post-plank release in pigeon. When the clock ran out, we collapsed into savasana, down for the count. Rising to a seat, we applauded our teachers and each other.
"You all deserve a big brunch!" grinned Olivia.
—Jim Catapano for Yoga Sleuth
Drop-in classes are $31 including mats, gloves and towels. Wraps are required and are $4. New students can try an introductory class for $20 or a three-pack for $80.
Sunday 12:15-1:05pm Intermediate
Box and Flow 55 Bond St, 2nd Fl New York, NY 10012 (212) 228-3569