Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Yoga Maniac

So I've been doing yoga every day now for the past 3 weeks. I have skipped maybe 3 days, and on those days I have either run or gone for a long walk (4 miles +). My goal is to develop a habit of having a practice every day, while taking advantage of the new student specials that are available to yogis in NYC and Brooklyn.

Studio: Integral Yoga Institute
Class: Level II with John Donahoe
New Student Special: 3 classes for $30, no expiration. With this pass, you get a one time only 20% discount in the book store, and a separate one time only 20% discount in the co-op like market next door, both run by the Institute

Yesterday I went to Integral Yoga Institute, a level 2 class. My previous experience in their level 1 class was disappointing. I won't get into the reasons why, but I am pleased to say that while the level 2 class was run in a very similar way to the level 1, this class was more satisfying and challenging. Both classes included a warm up exercise that consisted of slowly rolling the eyes clockwise, then counter clockwise. Both classes began with three "OM's" and featured chanting of a song that I do not know. Both included a savasana of decent length, and at least 2 types of pranayama. In all fairness, I would say the classes are very well rounded and include all of the aspects that should be experienced in a yoga class- warm up, pranayama, seated poses, standing poses, twists, inversions, savasana plus some bonus yoga goodness like explanation of mudras and sun salutations. The teacher even stayed after to assist with shoulder stand with a student who was having trouble in the pose. While the class did not grab me and would not necessarily draw me back for more, it was pretty good, well rounded, and I had plenty of space in the serene environment.

I finished up my visit to the studio with a stop in the book store and purchased two books that I'd had my eye on for a while. Ray Long's Anatomy for Vinyasa Flow and Standing Poses is a beautifully illustrated, complete anatomy book that begs to be studied. The anatomical diagrams look to be computer generated and are precise and clear, and his approach is to help the reader gain an understanding of the physiology behind the movements in order to deepen the practice. I've only read the introductory chapters and skimmed the book but I already feel that I am grasping the concepts more quickly than I have with other anatomy books because the illustrations are so helpful and so so beautiful!
The second book I purchased was Autobiography of a Yogi, which I have yet to crack open.