Class Descriptions - Group Exercise

The entire Yale Community is welcome to all classes! 

All Yale faculty, staff and spouses/partners are welcome to our classes.  The “non-member” rate listed is for those Yale community people who are not currently Payne Whitney Gym members.


A.M. Yoga: For the morning person! A Hatha Yoga class that will help you start off your day with a sense of relaxation and well being. Open to all levels.

Hatha Flow: This class focuses on the release of tension from the body and the mind. After a gentle warm up, postures are held for a deeper stretch, thereby increasing flexibility over time. The breath is used to help ease the practitioner into postures so that the sensations of each posture may be fully experienced and enjoyed. Throughout the practice, tension-releasing breathing techniques work to invigorate the body and focus the mind producing a state of joyful calm. This class encourages the use of props and modifications and is suitable for all levels. Beginners welcome!

Hatha Yoga: Developed over 5000 years ago, by the sages in India, this system includes physical postures and breathing practices that develop balance, flexibility and a relaxed state of mind. The fluid, graceful exercise helps develop muscle tone, flexibility, coordination, balance, breath control, and deep relaxation.

Intro. Kundalini Yoga: General Kundalini Yoga Class consists of Breathing Exercises, Warm-Up’s, Kriyas (specific set of exercises for a specific effect), Chanting, Relaxation, Meditation.

Sculpt Yoga: Combines yoga, free weights squats, push-ups, core strength, and cardio bursts to create a challenging full-body workout set to a fun music playlist. 

Healing & Stress Release: Keep up and you will be kept up!  Stressful and challenging times demand an effective approach to tame the mind and control the body. Investigate and immersive yourself in meditative techniques from the ancient science Kundalini Yoga and Nam Rasayan. We will use the tools of pranayam, warm-up exercises, meditation, sound and deep relaxation to guide you in a state of neutrality (shunjia). Your perception and self-awareness will change and your nervous system will be stabilized. The flow of like can open up and manifest itself in its highest vibration. Happiness, containment and contentment are the fruits of it as a direct result. 

Power Flow: Challenge both your mind and body with a powerful Vinyasa flow! This high-intensity yoga class works on strength building and flexibility training by connecting breath to movement and working towards peak poses. This class is great for anyone looking to advance their yoga practice through an athletic and aerobic full-body experience.


Pilates Mat:  The focus of Pilates is to build strength, improve flexibility, agility, posture, and balance. Most of the exercises focus on strengthening the ocoreo (abs, back, hips), but this class provides an intense total body workout as well. Proper breathing and alignment techniques are always practiced throughout the class.


Boot Camp:  A high-intensity cardio and strength conditioning class that includes athletic strength training and military-style drills. The instructor will stress correct movement technique and will show modifications for all levels.

Cardio Kickboxing: A fun filled cardiovascular workout that will have you jabbing, uppercutting, and kicking your way to a strong body. This class will invigorate and tone you from head to toe. 

Circuit Training: Circuit training builds cardiovascular fitness while improving muscular strength and endurance. The routines feature aerobic/fitness internal training with a combination of fast and slow moves that tone and sculpt the body. Looking for a way to infuse your fitness routine with some new energy and excitement? Whether you are a seasoned athlete or just getting started with physical activity, circuit training is a great way to challenge your body in a variety of ways while boosting the fun factor.

HIITThe total body workout you have been looking for! This specially designed high-intensity interval training (HiiT) program to provide both a bootcamp like, full body workout, sweat session, and the mental break you need every day to get yourself in the position to perform well in life. Our circuit based design will challenge you with varied functional strength and cardio movements designed to improve overall conditioning and flexibility.

Jump RopeThis class will focus on teaching jump rope skills and techniques. We will work on single rope, double dutch, and more - jumping along to the music and creating routines. Whether you used to jump rope in the schoolyard or are brand new, you’ll get a fun cardio workout.

Sculpt and BurnThis is a class that focuses on sculpting and toning muscle by using hand weights and your own body weight to maximize calorie burn while building muscle. 

SpinningClimb aboard our specialized bikes and enjoy this unique mind-body experience. Our instructors will lead you through a variety of courses as you “ride with the pack” in this class, limited only by your stamina and imagination. These classes are unlike anything else you’ve experienced before. The bikes are brand new and the music is loud. If you like cardio workouts, you’ll love spinning!

Zumba:  Pretty much the most awesome workout ever. Dance to great music (Latin and international rhythms), with great people, and burn a ton of calories without even realizing it. Join us for this fun, total body workout, combining all elements of fitness – cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility. Zumba is for everyone, and no, you don’t have to know how to dance!


Argentine Tango - Beg/Inter:  Essential focus for all levels: balance for individuals and partnerships, clear strategies for walking smoothly and to the music, techniques for creating and executing controlled turns, and a variety of fun and playful games within the tango vocabulary.

Because many people take this class multiple times, each semester we focus on different elements but always relate them to building and keeping the connection to your partner and improvising fun and interesting options using fundamentals that make everything easier. We will look at classic material from a variety of contemporary dancers and build opportunities for all the expressive elements so richly abundant in the traditions of this dance to make it your own.

You may repeat this class to continue developing skills in figures, improvisation, floorcraft, musicality, and partnering.

Singles are welcome.

Ballet - Beginner: For those with little or no ballet experience. Introduction to basic positions and movements of classic ballet.

Ballet - Adv/Beginner: This is a mixed level class for those with current or prior ballet experience. The class includes full barre, center, traveling and jumping combinations. Participants with a year or more experience work to increase their movement vocabulary, while current or prior performing dancers work on technique and performance skills. Class members collaborate to improve and enjoy their ballet experience.

Ballet- Inter/AdvancedFor those with several years of ballet training and current performers. Students should be able to execute the ballet lexicon with proficiency.

Intro to Pointe:  This class is for those who have taken at least two years of ballet and would like to try working on pointe. The first class will cover preparation for pointe work and how to assess a starting shoe for each individual. This first class may be taken prior to registration. The remainder of the semester will focus on beginning exercises to establish strong pointe skills.

Barre Fitness: Get ready to mix pilates, yoga, cardio, and ballet to give you a muscle-shaking, heart-pumping, full-body, low-impact workout. Improve your posture, gain muscle definition, and increase your flexibility as you fly through the choreographed movements at the barre - no dance experience required!

*Socks are required

Pregnancy Fitness: Combines yoga based mind-body and special pregnancy exercises as well as appropriate cardiovascular movement to prepare for labor, ease the discomforts of pregnancy and facilitate mother’s recovery. Class also provides enjoyable social support.

Post Partum/Mom and Baby Fitness:  Strength and cardio exercises to regain core body strength and ease the transition from pregnant to postpartum. The exercises help facilitate mother-baby bonding.

Martial Arts:

Self Defense: Learn vital self defense techniques in this valuable class, taught by our Martial Arts staff. Learn to defend against sexual and other forms of physical assault and partake in discussion related to general campus personal safety. A practical class for modern day city living.

Shotokan Karate is a traditional Japanese martial art. As a form of physical exercise, karate utilizes all parts of the body. Karate training increases the strength, speed, stamina, coordination, reflexes, and balance of the student. This traditional form of karate is not only a means of conditioning for self-defense, but it is a way to improve self-awareness, confidence and discipline. 

Sports Skills:

Squash Beginner: Intro to the world of squash, come learn how to play the game by joining our beginner’s class. A great way to socialize and have a fun workout. The beginner’s session will cover the basics such as grip, swing, and rules of the game.

Adult Beginning Swimming: For those who have minimal or no water skills, and/or limited familiarity with water environment. Learn to become comfortable in the water and improve some of the basic stroke techniques, including the crawl stroke and other elementary strokes as appropriate. Work at your own pace with close guidance from the instructor.

Adult Intermediate- Advanced Swimming: For those who have some swimming experience and are comfortable in the water environment. Coordination and refinement of strokes and water skills is the focus of this class. Instructors will challenge each swimmer as skill level and comfort level permits.


Level 1: Exploration: Help students feel relaxed and enjoy the water safely. Work with breath control, floating and kicking.

Level 2: Primary Skills: Achieve success with fundamentals of Level 1.

Level 3: Stroke Readiness: Practice Level 2, Coordinate crawl stroke, intro elementary back stroke, tread water, and begin to dive.

Level 4: Stroke Development: Develop confidence and endurance with strokes from Level 3; introduce new strokes and turns.

Level 5: Stroke Refinement: Coordinate and refine key strokes. Work on butterfly, open turns and surface dives.

Level 6: Skill Proficiency: Refine strokes for ease, efficiency, power and smoothness over greater distanced.

Refund Policy:  Requests for refunds will be pro-rated and must be made in person at Payne Whitney Gym, Room 509.  Hours for refunds are:  Monday-Friday, 1:45 pm-5:15 pm.  Deadline for refunds is Friday, 01/24 .  No refunds will be issued thereafter, except for medical reasons (documentation will be required). 

Questions about our classes? Please email us at or call 203-432-1431