I am a creature of habit – I find something I like, and I stick to it. Lately, that “thing” has been the Friday noon Flow class at Yoga Shanti taught by Jamie Lugo. It is a Vinyasa class – VInyasa is a faster paced yoga that moves from one posture (assana) to the next using breath to set the rhythm. Breathe in, upward facing dog; breathe out, downward facing dog. The classes usually build to one or two master poses – today we built to Crow (which I can do maybe 10% of the time) Bird of Paradise (which is newer and easier to me at the same time).
I love that Jamie will skip some poses at the end of class rather than rush us through the hour – as I have experienced at other studios. Jamie is encouraging in her instruction – asking that we be mindful of things, not judgmental. Asking us to be aware of breath and movement – but not necessarily change them. She asks rather that we note these realities, be conscious of how they change through the class and note the difference in breath from when you started to when you change. My favorite thing is that she tells us to “forgive” our body when it can’t do one pose and remember that this is a journey.
The studio itself is beautiful – hidden on a side street in the Flatiron/Chelsea area, it’s like walking into a little jewelry box. The staff is welcoming and friendly. If you tag them on social media (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram) you can get your rental mat for free – not that $2 is so much to ask but it’s great when I walk over to class with no cash in my pocket.
As you no doubt guessed, I found Yoga Shant via ClassPass. Drop in classes are $25 – not unusual. But memberships allow that number to drop significantly. The studio has a lovely changing area and lockers that don’t require you to bring a lock (I can remember my boss’ schedule for the next two week but heaven forbid I remember $2 and a lock). They don’t offer showers but as vigorous as the class has ever become, I haven’t found myself in need of one.
If you find yourself in the neighborhood on a Friday afternoon, I encourage you to drop by. I have also taken the evening classes which are equally restorative if more crowded. They also have two studios in the Hamptons (Sag Harbor and Westhampton Beach) that I will have to visit come summer.