Category Archives: Classes

Little Lesson: Pull Back!

Visvamitrasana, from Yoga Journal
Visvamitrasana, from Yoga Journal

From Tara Glazier, at Abhaya Yoga:

Student: Why do I feel like I’m pulling my shoulder out if its socket? [in Visvamitrasana]

Tara: You might be!

This wake-up call drew a big round of laughter from the class. It’s easy to forget that the asanas are serious challenges for the body. (She went on to explain that we need to draw the shoulder strongly back into its socket to counteract the force of the leg.)

Full on Breathing

I’m still chewing on an idea from yoga this morning, a delicious treat. Even better than weekend pastries.

Tara Glazier, the owner of Abhaya Yoga in Dumbo, was teaching us the concept of arm spirals. (It’s an alignment refinement she said she just figured out last week, after 10 years of practice.) We would internally rotate the arms, rounding the shoulders, to feel the width across the upper back, the spreading between the shoulder blades, and the expansion of the breath in the back of the body.

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Strong Vinyasa with Tara Stiles at Strala Yoga

Tara Stiles
Tara Stiles

The new house of (Tara) Stiles, Strala Yoga is a breath of fresh air downtown. I finally stopped by last week. A beautiful loft on Broadway and Houston, Strala has magical light and expansive space. A cozy little corner of art and couches invites you to move in. There’s a long wall of mirrors in the back, from its previous life as a Crunch gym, but that only adds to the Real World Yoga feeling. I kind of don’t want to share such a gorgeous uncrowded space, but I have to support their admirable affordable pricing just $10 for all classes! Even the 90-minute ones! And those with Ms. Supermodel herself.

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Chakra Slow Flow with Marisa Bonfanti at Shambhala Yoga & Dance

Last night I stopped into a cute center I’d heard a lot about Shambhala Yoga & Dance, in Prospect Heights. Friends were telling me that the owner really honestly tries to connect the community through her yoga center; classes are only $13 for a drop in, $6 community classes are offered at peak times, and social events like salsa parties bring neighbors together for some fun.

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Anusara with Tara Glazier at Abhaya Yoga

Abhaya Yoga
Abhaya Yoga

On Friday I stopped through Dumbo on my way home. A friend was having a party in her workspace there, and my can’t-make-it excuse (“I’m supposed to go to yoga”) held no water once she informed me that her office had a yoga studio ON THE SAME FLOOR. So, 6:30 yoga; 8:00 party it was. ($10 new student specials help with spontaneity.)

Abhaya Yoga just opened last week. It’s the only yoga studio in Dumbo, so it’s a welcome addition to the beautiful waterfront. (They lead free classes in the park at 2pm Saturdays.) The views from 10 Jay Street are ridiculous, so I was excited to test my focus against them.

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Vinyasa with April Martucci at Reebok Sports Club

April Martucci
April Martucci

I love lunchtime classes, even though I never make it to them. Short and sweet/sweaty, they remind me that it’s possible to fit a great practice into sixty minutes. (It’s the leaving work part that I can’t seem to manage.)

April Martucci, director of the Mind Body Studio at the swanky Reebok Sports Club, finally got me to a lunch class yesterday. I really liked her website, and her yoga style is called “The Fire Dragon Method” how could I resist?

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Open Vinyasa with Tanya Namad at New York Yoga

Tanya Namad
Tanya Namad

I was tempted to skip yoga today. Forty mile an hour winds kept me from crossing Third Avenue; my umbrella simply wasn’t going to make it to York. But, literally one minute after I’d given up, the cross-town bus arrived like a knight in screechy armor. I made it to class just a few minutes late.

Tanya Namad, a recent graduate of Atmananda Yoga, invited me up to her vinyasa class at New York Yoga. I did my first teacher training at Atmananda (albeit with different faculty), so I just hoped I wouldn’t be too adrift in memory bliss.

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Meditation with Alan Finger at ISHTA

Alan Finger
Alan Finger

Yesterday morning I headed up to Union Square. Slushy weather and train delays didn’t help the trip, and I began my meditation practice a bit early as I tried to let the irritable thoughts float up and away.

9:35 was still a fine time to arrive, it turns out. I settled onto a bolster and blanket in the middle of the large, elegant room. Plain white walls and smooth dark floors led up to a colorfully preserved door frame, in front of which sat a beaming Alan Finger.

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