The Madison Improvement Club popped up on my radar maybe a few months ago. It’s a trendy little yoga and spin studio with a healthy cafe in Arcadia. I have a crush on Arcadia. If not for my full-blown love affair with North Scottsdale, I would totally move to Arcadia. For yesterday, though, I just went there for a yoga class at Madison.
They’ve been open for a while and seem to have grown a decent little following, but did a grand opening party yesterday with $5 classes all day and fun events, all to benefit families of fallen officers. I would have liked to do a spin and then yoga, but the spin classes were already on waitlist when I tried to get a spot on Thursday.
The grand opening party was a fantastic idea from a marketing perspective. I don’t know what their normal Saturdays have been looking like, but the little club was swarming. In fact, I pulled up to see they were valeting cars. Valet for yoga? Am I in LA?!
The building is nice, a repurposed club with great outdoor and indoor space that also used to be called the Madison Improvement Club, only the original was a meeting place for a women’s society, and has a lot of the “old is new and now modernly green” Arcadia charm. It was crowded with everyone rushing around, but had a great vibe among the staff and students.
I found a spot in the large yoga studio – I overheard that about 50 people had signed up, and it was pretty tight, but the room was somehow designed to fit something like 75 – the 90ish degrees a welcome change from the cold spell that had hit overnight leaving Phoenix in the 30s outside. The class was clichely full of mostly young women and middle-aged men who needed attention. I ended up next to a woman about my age who asked if I was spinning too and said she had been to the club before and that it’s “addicting.”
The flow itself was good – traditional Vinyasa, somewhat basic and I worked up a good sweat in the heat – but it was definitely more of a dictation vs. instruction and the dictator (haha) walked around reading her phone?! It was like those restaurants where the waiter explains that he’s not being a douche on his phone, but it’s how they enter the orders because it’s cool. In the yoga setting, it felt like she didn’t know what she was doing and was reading a flow cheat sheet! I’m always super impressed with teachers who can give the class a great, intricate flow and then not miss a beat when repeating it on the left side. Then again, maybe she was bored and checking out Twitter!
The class didn’t start on time and didn’t end on time, which I chalked up to the rush of the party day, but don’t worry, plenty of yogis decided to leave whenever they found it appropriate for them! I hate that! I also noticed before class started, people were stepping on others’ mats and some wore their shoes into the space (though, thankfully not the same ones stepping on mats). I know a lot of newbies commit these faux pas just because they don’t know, but they need to figure it out! Yoga snob rant over.
So, a good workout, a little trendy for my tastes (try not to laugh if you check out the website), but I do like variety every now and then. The Madison offers first yoga class and first spin sesh free for locals so I’ll probably go back and try out the spin “party on a bike” or another yoga class with one of the big names in valley yoga circles – they have quite a few teaching for them!