the (yoga) place to be

Fridays are always tricky for me: I am relieved the weekend is starting, but so exhausted from the week that I can’t be bothered to do much. For half-lethargic people like me I feel there’s a few but not enough ‘TGIF’ yoga offerings in the city… yet I’m determined to test them out 🙂

After scanning the studios on my wishlist, I realized this one Friday could be a great opportunity to practice in the yoga place. The 5:45pm class is typically a bit too early for me, but general I’d say perfectly timed between the escape from the office and dinner time.

Lucky me, there were not a lot of yogis up for Friday practice on that sunny early evening, so me and two other yogis benefited from our teacher Joey’s less divided attention. Well, I certainly needed A LOT of attention as half of the time I was clueless – I’ll explain why 😉

This beautiful studio specializes in alignment based hatha yoga, and focuses a lot on precision, safety and the targeted use of props, as popularized by the genius B.K.S. Iyengar. the yoga place has a top notch yoga wall, and while I had used it in previous Iyengar yoga experiences, I am certainly still a newbie to this type of practice.

Class started with spine warm-up movements on the knees, such as cat-cow sequences and spine stretches, after moving into low lunges and hip flexor stretches. Every movement was complete in itself, and awareness was emphasized in Joey’s guidance. It’s a very conscious style of yoga practice, and as my mind lost focus at times, it reminded me how novice I am on my path of yoga. A few years back I would’ve never even entertained the idea of staying in a pose for 10 breaths – now I embrace the challenge and attempt to observe more and more: my body, my mind, my breath…

After mat practice we started using the yoga wall, which to me was a true revelation! It’s awesome how many things you can do and experiment, and how powerful the practice can become with a few well chosen props. I believe we only did 3 but very effective poses with the wall – headstand, shalabasana / locust pose and bridge pose. It’s almost magical to rediscover these known poses with the help of the wall… and, in my case, with Joey’s help as I was clueless at how to safely arrange the props.

With the help of the wall, shalabasana becomes a flying locust, and headstand becomes a “hang”stand, which we probably held for 10 minutes?! Exponentially more than what would be possible on the mat, and thus exponentially more powerful and beneficial! My headache was gone, and one of the fellow yogis almost fell asleep “hanging in there” 🙂 what a treat!

Back on the ground and after some final movements we relaxed into such a deep shavasana, that we didn’t even realize the beats from a concert nearby – we all spoke about this after class. This was certainly a unique experience for me and I am truly fascinated by the power of the yoga wall! Maybe I should get one installed at home 😀

Until then, I can certainly say that the yoga place is the place to be for all yoga lovers or beginners, and also those who need to get out of (..and on) their heads after a busy day! I’m looking forward to more sessions there to get a better grip on the wall (pun intended :)) and maybe join one of the diverse workshops offered by Joey and Tanja.

Namasté and thank you for welcoming me in this beautiful yoga place ♥

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