Friday, April 19, 2013
Twists and Cellos!
So last weekend I went to two very different workshops in my neighborhood. The first was Yoga with Live Cello and Beats, at Brooklyn Yoga Collective, and the second one was focused on Twists at Shambhala.
Without going into a thorough critique of each class, I'll try to focus on what I can take away and use (or not) in my own classes.
Live Cello with Beats: I loved the idea of this class. I love Cello. I love music. I love yoga. Perfect. I even did a little warm up at home while listening to Yo Yo Ma to get myself into it. The live cello part of the class was the best aspect, and it worked. During some moments, the volume was a bit high, particularly in the opening (grounding) and closing (savasana) which was distracting and made it a little difficult to become centered. But overall, the cello was a welcome addition.
There were some other aspects of the class that I was not expecting, and in moderation, I think little extras- such as the use of essential oils, spirit cards, etc. can be a nice supplement to practicing asanas. However, this class had not only the two extras listed, but also more, more, more.
First off, the class was rather full, and the teacher had us set our mats up in a circle, so everyone's head was in the center of the room. I wasn't into that because I don't really want to look at a bunch of strangers faces while I'm doing yoga, unless I'm teaching. It's kind of like that sensation of being on a subway, where you are kind of forced to make eye contact with people because there's nothing but faces everywhere, but you can't really make eye contact or connect because people will think you're a freak, or more likely, they are a freak and you don't want to go there. (okay, that's an exaggeration but if I'm feeling anxious sometimes it feels that way)- anyway, it was kind of awkward. Everyone was asked to introduce themselves, which I think is unnecessary in a yoga class. Then we had surprise partner exercises. I never like surprise partner exercises. Then we had to switch and make a new partner, surprise! At 2 points in the class 2 different essential oils were used. I like using essential oils, but I don't really think 2 are necessary in one class, unless that's what the focus is on....
Then we were encouraged to crawl around on the floor, and explore all parts of the room, exploring our neighbor's spaces. While it was playful and inspired opening up for some, to me it did not feel like yoga, but more like exercises for actors. Some time around savasana, we were asked to choose a card from a pile of spirit cards (?) and to reflect on it. Mine had an image of a woman riding on the wings of a giant white bird (not to scale, of course! haha) and said the words "Free Flying" which I did appreciate. The class was not offensive in any way, and in fact I left feeling good and decided that it was a more positive experience than negative, but in my opinion, it would have been amazing just to simplify the class with only the live cello as the special added bonus to the class.
Notes on my Twists workshop will be coming up soon!