Why Taryn Toomey Loves Bathing in the Fetal Position
In our Sleeping With… series, we ask people from different career paths, backgrounds, and stages of life how they make sleep magic happen.
Taryn Toomey’s The Class is not your standard workout. Known as an inventive blend of yoga, meditation, HIIT, dance, Pilates, and something that feels a lot like prayer, the exercise method leans into burpees and makes people cry (in a good, cathartic way). What Toomey launched in 2013—then a small business maintained in a rented children’s dance studio space—has become a national phenomenon, beloved by spiritual wellness enthusiasts, hardcore fitness lovers, and celebrities alike.
Toomey, who acts as both founder and CEO of The Class, lives in New York City with her two daughters, ages 10 and 12. She still teaches regularly. Over the course of the pandemic, The Class expanded its virtual platform, where members can stream live classes or watch on-demand from an extensive library of prerecorded workouts. The Class has also grown in scope, collaborating on themed workout collections with artists like Alicia Keys and launching a line of skin, hair, and bath products in partnership with Canadian brand Routine.
Toomey might seem intense, and, well, she sort of is. She feels in big, capital-E Emotions, and when she does get active on social media, she waxes poetic about many of them. She wakes up at the crack of dawn and spends much of her nighttime routine “mothering” herself. She has an undeniable dedication to self-improvement and strength.
That said—Toomey loves her sleep. “I think that for too long I was like, ‘I know what I need to do,’ but you half-ass it, and then you start to realize how important it is when it’s not just one night that you don’t get a lot of sleep,” she tells SELF. “I think the cumulative rhythms in which you sleep are so important: It’s signaling to myself by shutting the lights down, walking upstairs, putting my stuff away, bathing, and doing a final check-in around when I’m shutting down so that I can check the boxes, and then put myself into a routine where I’m basically mothering myself.”
Here, Toomey walks SELF through her bedtime routine from beginning to end, including her transformative bath rituals, the realistic relationship she has with technology, and the merits of an early bedtime.
My routine—the cadence at which this flows—depends on if I have my kids or not.
That said, oftentimes when I do have my kids, I take them along for my routine because I think it’s important to show by doing. I’m an early-to-bed, early-to-rise girl. I usually start my wind-down process after I eat, and dinner for me is usually between 5 and 5:30 p.m.
Between 5:30 and 6 p.m., I turn the lights out in the kitchen and in the living room, just as a signal to close down the “doing” for the day and to start moving in toward the evening rituals.
It’s super important to set myself up for a good night’s sleep. I put some scaffolding around myself, as in when I do something new as part of my routine, I always take a moment to reflect on how I felt when I wake up the next morning. That way, I can have something to really ground myself into if I don’t want to do it the next time, or when I fall out of routine. The power of reflection is key to figuring out really what works for you.
I do a spin around my bedroom and fold up my stuff that I threw on the floor.
I just get the room ready visually. So I organize, get the bed set up, go and do all that kind of stuff.
I think one of the most important things to do at the end of the day is to take a shower or a bath.
I tell my girls all the time to “clean off the day.” I think baths, if you have a bathtub, are ideal. I say that because the body and the mind all have different ways to process, right? You can talk through something, you can move through something, and you can also process through your skin. So especially on nights when I want to just bypass the bath and jump in a shower because I’m exhausted, I often use that as a signal to get in the bath.