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Finding Sweat-Chill Balance at WeWork's Fitness Studio

The spa at Rise by We
The spa at Rise by We | © Eric Rivera
New York City is saturated with co-working spaces, each vying to offer its community better perks than the one down the street. At WeWork’s 52 buildings, health and fitness programs—from running clubs to yoga classes—were always a part of the membership deal, and as popularity soared, the next logical move was to branch into wellness.

Rise by We, which opened last fall, is the first fitness studio from the company. It has the high-end feel of an Equinox—with nice products in the changing rooms and expert trainers and physiotherapists on-hand—but with a strong emphasis on community.

Boxing classes happen in the Fight studio © Eric Rivera

“We wanted to create a studio environment, but with more options and more variety,” explains Avi Yehiel, Rise by We’s Head of Wellness. “And the most important thing is for people to be able to connect, because that’s the WeWork way.”

The studio facilitates this connection primarily through its “Superspa”—a nod to the communal bathing traditions of the Roman Empire, which includes an aromatherapy steam room, mineral pool, cold deluge, sauna, and a café/hangout spot. It also hosts weekly events, like Sauna Sessions—a kind of guided meditation in the dry sauna incorporating aromatherapy, and hot and cold recovery spells.

The Insight studio: a chilled space for yoga and meditation © Eric Rivera

Rise by We wants to help New York—a city where most people won’t even stay for a quick stretch at the end of their workout—achieve a bit more balance. The idea is that members can take a class in its Fight or Flight studios (boxing or treadmill intervals), followed by an Insight session (yoga and meditation). Or even wrap-up their workout with a chilled 20-30 minutes in the spa.

“It’s nice if you can do this very hard workout and then come here and relax; it’s more of an experience than just going in and out, and running back to the office,” Yehiel says. “If we all had a few sessions a week when we move and then recover, we might be in a better place [mentally and physically].”