What is Pralaya Yoga? Apart from a type of class offered at the beautiful and peaceful Live Fit Studio?
Jeff, my teacher for last Wednesday’s session, explained to me the concept: developed by a teacher in Houston, Texas, Pralaya is a “mild” ashtanga-like practice, with careful, violence-free poses and variations that protect joints and improve strength. After completing his teacher training at the original Pralaya Yoga Studio in the US, Jeff is now the only teacher in Switzerland offering classes aligned to this system.
And even nicer that he offers them at Live Fit Studio! This hidden oasis in Altstetten has been on my list for a while, for both yoga and pilates. It’s a place with sleek light-coloured deco, where supersized, tasteful art pieces overlook the reformers and the yoga mats. I joined the weekly Wednesday evening Pralaya Yoga class, following the invite from Paloma, the studio owner.
The yoga mats and props were already arranged in a semi-circle in the medium-sized practice room. I was joined by 6 other yogis, most of whom were regulars in Jeff’s class. The 75-minute session was very different from all the classes I have been to before: it had more or a workshop character, focused a lot on the correct mechanics of the poses and emphasized body awareness.
We did not start with meditation, but directly warmed up with stretches in standing, starting with the neck, shoulders, arms, and descending to the lower half of the body. With no background music, just guidance on the movements and the muscles in focus, everything becomes much more intense! I found that Pralaya preaches for consciousness of own body limitations and encourages ahimsa (non-violence) towards main joints. We did not pressure the wrists and shoulders as we usually do in vinyasa yoga, with all the planks, down-dogs and chaturangas.
A nice add-on in many classes is the targeted use of props, which I underestimated a lot, and now find essential to progress. In this sense, Pralaya is similar to Iyengar style in that it investigates the mechanics of the poses but is less religious about the props involved. In Jeff’s class we worked with two blocks and a strap, and I found them all very helpful to enter and hold a pose. We used the blocks to do some arm balances / hovers, inverted triangles and to just hold them between our arms – yes, sounds so simple, yet it is so strenuous!
The brief description of this yoga system is that it focuses on strength building – I can confirm! If you’re not a gym fan or are recovering after an injury and want to build strength and resistance, Pralaya is a perfect solution in my view.
We closed the class with a brief shavasana, and when we returned to our bodies we were greeted by refreshing herbal infused towels and collagen chocolate truffles! Our fellow yogi Eli from The Wellness Method shared with us these delicious, nutritious, guilt-free treats – check out the pics below.
We all stayed on after class to enjoy the treats and connect with these wonderful people. Paloma’s energy is infectious, and she just glows when she talks about her stunning studio – well-deserved, of course 😉
I’ll certainly return to check out aerial yoga and pilates… and look forward to more good vibes (and treats :D) from this great team ♥