Last week I was accosted outside the Food Co-op by one of those flyer guys. I managed to shrug him off, but as I glanced at his flyer I realized I actually wanted one. So I went back.
Brooklyn Outfitters, based in Williamsburg, is leading some cool outdoor adventures throughout the winter. This weekend there’s a 7.5 mile hike up Mt. Wittenberg, “the highest vertical ascent from base to summit” around. Later in the month they’re doing an intro to winter camping, and then a door-to-door ski trip for the same price it would cost to buy a lift ticket.
Elias, demonstrating Bakasana: You can stay here, with the toes on the ground. That’s the pink variation. Or you can lift one foot, that’s the blue variation. Or the other foot, that’s still blue. Or lift both feet, that’s the purple variation. Any color you wish; all colors are light.
Rough quote, but it was a beautiful use of language. To get people to detach from chasing “advanced” variations, just because they’re there, we need to eliminate the hierarchy of Beginner < Intermediate < Advanced. The variations are like colors, distinct but equal; we just want to choose the one that feels right for the moment.
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.)
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.
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.
Sangha Yoga Shala, the new-ish “Community House” in Williamsburg, is offering a free class with founder Alana Kessler!
On Tuesday, Sangha Yoga Shala will make sure that finding yourself in an awkward position leaves you more centered than bent out of shape. As part of its “free yoga Tuesdays,” the studio offers a basic vinyasa class with a professional instructor.
These are the words of Gandhi, a man whose life was defined by selflessness, nonviolence and whose legacy ignited a spiritual revolution. It is true that humans must expand their own individual consciousness and integrate that awareness in themselves before one is able to offer that truth unto the world, but the real transformative power lies in the collective. Only in community can we transcend and truly make a positive impact on the world.
To share some holiday spirit, Resurgent Fitness offers a full day of excellent free classes, including abs at 11:15, capoeira at noon, Muay Thai at 1:15, bellydance at 2:30, Congolese dance at 4pm, yoga at 5:15, and Djimbe dance and drum at 6:30. Call for a full schedule.