BUSINESS May 17th, 2007

By Lorianna De Giorgio

Spynga newest yoga trend

Yoga and spinning might seem like an unlikely combination, but try telling that to Casey Schacter and Sari Nisker.

The best friends are combining their expertise in the two fields to open Spynga, a new yoga and spinning studio on Bathurst St., two blocks south of St. Clair Ave. West.

Spynga incorporates both spinning and yoga techniques to create a workout that benefits one’s body, mind and soul.

But if you’re picturing performing the downward dog pose while peddling your hardest on an exercise bike, then you’re mistaken.

Rather Spynga involves a one-hour workout with participants beginning on a bike and performing yoga poses using their upper body.

Proper breathing and stretching techniques are stressed during this portion of the class. Schacter and Nisker then introduce a 25-minute rigorous cycle, which is followed up by a relaxing yoga class of the same length.

The entire workout takes place inside one studio, with yoga mats set up beside the bikes allowing the participants to quickly switch from cycling to yoga at the end of the routine.

"It’s an all encompassing workout where you can get everything you need within one hour," Schacter, 32, explained a few weeks before Spynga’s grand opening on April 16.

The idea for the studio came up where the best ideas do – over a good cup of coffee.

Friends since they were 11, Nisker, 32, a devout yogi for ten years, and a teacher of the ancient practice for the past five, would often drag Schacter to her yoga classes. Schacter, who has spent the same length of time immersed in the world of spinning, would do the same.

While they trained in New York City and Los Angeles, the two eventually conceded to each other’s passion and came back home to introduce Torontonians to Spynga.

While the studio is the first of its kind in the city, the combination of spinning and yoga has a huge following down in the U.S. with celebrities such as Pink and Julia Roberts hopping on the Spynga bandwagon.

While they hope to attract a fresh crop of Spynga lovers here in Toronto, Schacter and Nisker know they are competing with a slew of different types of yoga.

But how the two friends stand above the rest is in the way they treat each of their clients, Sisker said.

"Ultimately people go to the studios for the teachers, for the vibe of the class," she said. "We want to make sure people are enjoying themselves."