At a Glance:
Address: 624-630 North La Cienega Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Length: 50 minutes
Price: first class free
Sweat scale: medium
Energy level: medium
This studio is literally in the Cycle House parking lot so I see it pretty often. I’ve heard music blaring out of the open doors and spotted the ballet bars from below but never been inside. Finally, that all changed.
Give yourself some time when arriving to Studio Soma. Not only is there no designated parking lot, but the studio is also in a very inconspicuous place with no view of it from the main streets. Soma is located in the middle of the triangle made by La Cienega, Melrose Ave, and Melrose Place—on Melrose Alley. I parked at a meter in front of Alfred Coffee (the main one on Melrose Pl) for $1/hour. It’s best to walk down the alley off of La Cienega (follow the Cycle House parking signs) or off of Melrose. When I entered Soma I was in a room full of reformers where private classes were taking place. I signed in, filled out a waiver, and Thalia—the instructor and studio owner—showed me how to get upstairs where I grabbed a mat and bosu ball.
Although the class starts at 6pm according to the schedule, it really begins at 6:15. Those 15 minutes are a time for the regulars to catch up (it was a close knit group, but very friendly) and stretch. When class started, I quickly learned that the main goal was to mimic every movement that Thalia made, as she didn’t give any verbal directions. Throughout class we used the bosu ball to do push ups, lunges, unsteady kicks, a variety of crunches, and tricep dips. Some movements were quick while others required concentration to slowly maneuver the wobbly ball without toppling over. It’s definitely a learned skill as I was the worst at maintaining my balance. We stretched in between most exercises with a longer stretch period at the end.
This little corner has it all, but here are my personal favorites. LA Juice or Beaming for a post class juice or smoothie. If you hit up a morning class, definitely swing by Alfred and take a pic of the iconic “But first, coffee” sign. Ink Spot has amazing and SUPER cheap sandwiches. For shopping…it’ll be mostly through the windows…but there’s Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Joe’s Jeans, Oscar de la Renta, Alexander McQueen, Theory, DASH, and Monique Lhuillier, to name a few.
Tricks of the Trade
- If you’re up for the challenge, grab a light set of hand weights to use. I opted out of this but would probably have some nearby in the future.
- Keep your eyes on the regulars, as they know the drill. The movements change slightly every minute or so and it’s easy to get left behind if you aren’t paying attention.
- Everyone did the class barefoot but you could use sticky socks if preferred.