Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dhyana Yoga - Sara's Vinyasa class

See the other Dhyana post for all the directions and such, but I went again for a vinyasa class this time.

Sara is a lovely teacher. She was very supportive and I liked her approach. She feels like the kind of person that would offer you a bite of her organic, homemade granola bar if you looked hungry on the train, but that makes her a wonderful yoga teacher.

She had a very clear and concise way of explaining things. She read some things that were nice, but also explained things clearly and used good analogies. She definitely let you be wherever you are in your practice. (That was good because I'm a bit sore from this crazy week... and it's only Wednesday!)

I wanted to try Wake Up Yoga in West Philly... maybe next week. This week I needed something closer and less scary. This class was perfect. I felt great afterwards and Sara was extremely sweet and welcoming. I really like everyone at Dhyana... good vibes everywhere.

Power Yoga is scheduled for Friday. I'm intimidated, but ready. Type to you then.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Yoga Squared (Yoga)2 - Rittenhouse area

Where:1923 Chestnut Street, 3rd Floor (above the bike shop)
What kind of yoga: Ashtanga yoga

What to expect: Ashtanga yoga, or in this case myesore, takes you through a series of movements in a particular order. It's similar to a vinyasa class, but some of the movements are different.

The best part: The owner, Karen, is awesome. I felt like she would really help you get into the class, learn the yoga, and would be open to as many modifications as you need. She's had injuries before, so she's sympathetic and open to lots of individual attention and questions.

The worst part: I had to be there at 6am for a promotional event... the alarm clock was rude and annoying at 5am. I suggest joining one of their afternoon or evening classes so you aren't caffeine-dependant like me for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bliss Yoga at the Print Center

For the last two Mondays I've been attending a restorative class at the Print Center. It's like the best night's sleep you've ever had. I've rarely gone to restorative classes before, and now I wish there were more of them around the city.

Where: The Print Center (may be private - by special invitation only)

What type of yoga: Svaroopa or Bliss yoga

What to expect: The basic idea is that your body opens into support more than it does while working. So all the poses are held for a long time, but the body is fully supported in each pose. I felt like I was in shavasana (or corpse pose) even when doing a lunge - how often does that happen? The teacher, Liz, is a master at alignment and adjustments - every time she adjusts your position, you feel like a new person: taller, stronger, faster and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

The worst part: Can't think of a bad part of this class. Very nurturing.

The best part: You leave with that feeling that you've had a full-body massage. I want to learn how to do this style of yoga on my own... and for other people. Everyone needs this in their lives.

Dhyana Yoga - Rittenhouse area

Last Sunday I went to Dhyana Yoga for a Kundalini class. Here's the breakdown of what it was like:

Where: 1737 Chestnut Street

What kind of yoga: Kundalini (but they also have Vinyasa classes)

What to expect: The Kundalini practice is done with your eyes closed. The teacher, Dhyana, likened it to swimming - which was a helpful analogy for me. There were times I needed to open my eyes to orient myself, but it did help me stay inwardly focused. The emphasis was strongly on breathing, especially "breath of fire" which my abs weren't accustomed to. The movements are different than Hatha yoga practices, but felt very energizing. While I didn't feel like it was a tremendous workout during the class, I did feel my hamstrings the next day.

The best part: The focus on your chakras. If you're not used to this kind of practice, it might seem like hocus pocus, but I enjoyed the chanting and the emphasis on moving energy through your body.

The worst part: This is a style of yoga that might offend fitness buffs. Living on sunlight for 411 days is okay by me, but I know there are some that would go running for the hills at the very thought.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Welcome to my blog about yoga in Philly.

To give you a little background on myself, I've been doing yoga for over 15 years. I started as a teenager going to Hatha classes with my father. It was a great way for me to spend time with him - even at a time in my life when my dad seemed not-so-cool.

Now I'm living in the city and spending alot of time doing yoga at different places. I thought I should share my findings with you.

I just did two new classes, so reports on those will be my first posts!

Be sure to leave me comments, if you have any questions or if you want me to try something out for you!