There’s so much to be missed this year, but one of the little things I often find myself selfishly thinking about is my Saturday morning workout. Not so much the calories burned (the local virtual options are truly very good), but the luxury of gathering in a dimly lit room with blaring music, moving yourself into a sauna-like sweat and leaving with an endorphin-fueled high to carry you through your weekend.
After fast and furious boutique fitness openings in 2019, it’s uplifting to hear about brand new concepts still planning to open in the year 2020, especially studios that aim to provide exactly the exact experience I miss so much.
Ritual One, a new yoga-centric concept coming to Travis Walk this fall, isn’t a fitness franchise or entrepreneurial vanity project. Co-founders Kalene McGraner and Nicole Preston are longtime Dallas yoga instructors, who — whether they were aware of it or not — have been crafting a unique flow that’s been leaving new students feeling rejuvenated, and a little addicted.
“It’s like a SoulCycle class, but it’s yoga,” McGraner tells PaperCity of the Ritual One experience, which includes dim lights, loud music, a shock-absorbing antimicrobial floor, and infrared heaters that turn the act of a sweating into a true detox. “We heat your body from the inside out with the breath and the asana that’s so thoughtfully laid out by our teachers,” McGraner adds. “It’s so much more than just going through the moves of a yoga class. You just leave feeling invigorated.”
It’s rare to have devotees before you open your studio doors, but Ritual One has been finding unique ways to bring their yoga sculpting classes to students since the start of summer. Their first Instagram Live garnered close to 100 viewers at one point, prompting a virtual class move to a password protected Vimeo.
“The classes are different than you’d get anywhere else, even what you would get across the country,” says Preston. “We have a lot of people that follow us from New York, Canada, and Los Angeles and they’re like, ‘I’ve never found this style of yoga anywhere. Where did this come from?”
Both Preston and McGraner had been asked for years when they might stike out on their own. An open-air cardio space (Ritual One is taking over the former El Vecino space), infrared cabins, a well-curated retail section, and a Shelby Wagner-designed interiors are just icing on the studio cake. Classes will include infrared yoga, sculpt, and HIIT.
“I’ve always been very particular about how I think classes should be, and having the right atmosphere. I felt like there was a real need to create something that had all of those elements in Dallas,” McGraner says.
Ritual One has also been hosting daily classes in an interim space. I visited last weekend (my first in-person workout in months) and was surprised to see a packed room of people who already seemed like regulars, spaced at least six feet apart. I wore a mask and felt pretty safe, though (personally) I may just wait for the official Travis Walk studio and its air purification system before attempting another IRL workout again. (Sign up for their newsletter to stay up to date on Ritual One’s opening.)
That said, it felt so good to be starting my Saturday in a studio again. I left feeling impossibly sweaty and — true to their word — invigorated.