Kristin Tice Studeman
When it comes to fitness, boxing and yoga are not a likely pairing. In fact, they seem like the very least likely of bedfellows. But for Olivia “Liv” Young (how perfect a name is that?), founder of the newly opened Box + Flow studio in NYC, boxing and yoga make for the yin and yang to the perfect workout. It only made sense to combine the two complementary forms of fitness into one, 50-minute class.
“Yoga hooked me when I was 15 and then, about five years later, I needed more fire so I started boxing,” said Young, a Miami transplant. “I did them in tandem because that to me was balance. It’s what I have done every single day for the past 10 years, and I realized I needed to bring this to the world.”
She went to work making her dream a reality, all while she was juggling her demanding day job as Brand and Communications Director for restaurant powerhouse Altamarea Group, where she started seven years ago, as Chef Michael White’s assistant.
Cue Box + Flow on Bond Street (right across from the lululemon lab and surrounded by a smattering of good restaurants—Fish Cheeks and The Smile, among them), which Young opened in November. Walk up the stairs and into the dark, candlelit studio and you’ll find yoga mats on one side (the class is split so clients face each other while moving on the mats), punching bags on the other, and no mirrors—something that was very important to Young. “It’s set up like you are fighting someone else and flowing facing each other,” she said. “It’s about connecting to yourself and to others. You need to feel it instead of focusing on a mirror.”
On the black walls, where you might normally find a mirror, there are words and phrases like ‘swagger’ and ‘focus.’