Sunday morning after a fantastic evening with wonderful people in Madrid: certainly not my fittest hour! But as I learned in my teacher training course, hatha yoga practices bring energy to the body, and then help calm the mind. I could use both 🙂
I found online that there was a 12pm class at Yogaconmigo, walking distance away from my hostel, and sent a text to register. I immediately received a confirmation from Nico who mentioned that it’s an open level class by donation, that aims to make yoga accessible to any- and everyone. I love this stuff, so definitely had to go!
I found the studio to be a room modestly decorated with Buddhist elements, a pretty altar, an old couch and props on the side. Certainly not pointing on design, but on authenticity. This was certainly a no-frills location, welcoming yogis of all ages, sizes, budgets. Grace, our teacher, welcomed me very kindly and helped me set up. There were already about 10-12 people in that medium-sized space and didn’t think it was going to get so super packed.
Our group had a nice gender and age mix, and to me illustrated the whole idea of a community class – as it was the illustration of a mini-community. And we all got very close! By the start of the class we were about 25 people, and our mats were max. 5 cm apart from each other… in all directions.
Grace started by presenting herself, introducing the concept of “yoga by donation” and setting the theme for this hatha yoga class. The high-level plan was to experiment with some arm balances, renouncing the aesthetics of the poses, and focusing on their impact on the body. In astrological terms, we were in Libra territory (which btw runs until October 23), which fosters harmony and beauty. Grace encouraged us to let go of our modern world obsession with superficial beauty, and embrace the harmony within.
The asana practice was combined with meditative sections, to observe and integrate the impact of the poses. We warmed up progressively, from more basic mobilization to sun salutations, followed by more complex flows. The experimental part of the class featured some “play time” stabilizing in the bird of paradise pose and arm balances in leg-over-shoulder pose. Everyone tried things out, laughed and ached 🙂
True to the name, it was a community experience: if you didn’t end up with a leg, knee or arm on your neighbor’s mat or didn’t dodge a foot in your face then you weren’t experiencing the class! 🙂 It was a great hatha practice, led with precision and care, in a no-frills environment. I honestly have no idea when 2 hours passed. At 2pm I was alert, alive, and ready to take on Madrid!
Namasté to the generous, open-minded yogis of Yogaconmigo who run such an initiative, and who make an impact on others’ lives every day.
Thank you for your selfless service & hasta luego ♥