Nov 20th, 2017, 11:49 PM

American Athletic Cult(ure) is Taking Over Paris

By Lillian Giler
Photo Credit:
How Spin Studios Have Spun Out of Control in France

The lights fade on and the beats slow down, you feel charged and ready as you complete your 45 minute spin class. Before you carry on with your day you have to stop and refuel with some green juice and possibly an açai bowl from the closest juice bar and it is only for a fleeting moment that you realize that you're not in NYC or LA. You are in Paris.

According to Vogue, Paris fashion icon Sonia Rykiel's granddaughter once remarked, "You’ll never see SoulCycle in Paris". Paris, being a walker friendly city, didn't have the need or demand for independent athletic studios. Within the past three years, however, exercise joints branded as "mental releases" have begun to sprout up across the city. And while there is no SoulCycle yet, there are studios that are essentially the same.

Image Credit: Instagram/Letsrideparis

The leading spin studios including Dynamo and Kiwlii started in 2015 and have become overwhelming popular amongst both expats and locals. For a whopping €30 per spin class, you can listen to the catchy music your instructor plays while you cycle your soul out with lights dimmed. While spin classes remain the soul of institutionalized athleticism, hot yoga and barre studios have begun to appear frequently here as well. The fad and cult-like obsession with exercise and athletic lifestyle has crept into and taken hold of Parisian culture, especially with millennials, but of course this trendy new health realm doesn't just end with gyms and studios. 

Of course, where there is a spin class or yoga studio, a juice bar is not too far out of sight. It's unavoidable to mention the Juice Bar scene when talking about spin studios and so on. Why? Because that's just part of the culture. Some yoga studios or spin studios such as LET'S RIDE and Le Tigre have juice bars in the establishments making for a one-stop-shop while others leave the "freedom of choice" in the hands of their patrons. Juice bars, like spin studios have been popping up all over Paris, with places such as Juice Lab which has 4 stand-alone stores and can be found in 8 other retail locations including Colette, UMAMI Matcha Coffee, Hotel Molitor, and Fouquets Paris. 

While these wildly modern consumer spaces are proving to be all the rage for millennials across Paris, it is hard to reconcile them with not only the historical aesthetics but also the traditionally leisurely lifestyle of Parisians. It is difficult to know whether or not this growing trend will become a full blown subculture in Paris, or if it is just a blip on the radar fad - either way this trend is here for now.

Image Credit: Instagram / wildandthemoon