Last week I was invited to try out a class at the east side location of Pure Yoga. Of the classes I was being offered the only one which worked according to my schedule was the Forrest yoga class. Not knowing too much about it other than that it sounded very earthy and grounded, I decided to give it a try. Best case, I would find something else to fit into my workout schedule and worst case I could still write about it on the blog. Also, I had been wanting to check out the east side Pure Yoga facilities so off I went.
|Pure Yoga East reception desk. Source: Pure Yoga|
|Waiting area. Source: Pure Yoga|
|The studio. Source: Pure Yoga|
The class involved holding poses for long periods including the longest warrior one I have ever done! At least that's what it felt like. There were backbends, dolphin poses, abdominal crunches with side twists, all while staying in "active hands and feet." This added a more challenging element to the class. There was a set of sun salutations that we performed near the end of the class and ofcourse the class ended with savasana (corpse pose).
The difference between this class and the traditional vinyasa classes that I have taken in the past is that Forrest yoga is slower paced, but involves holding positions for longer periods which can get really challenging. We also held poses such as tilting our head sideways to our shoulder and staying that way for a while. Initially, I was concerned that I would not get anything out of this pose but after coming out of it I immediately noticed how open and stretched out my neck area felt.
The class lasted an hour and 15 minutes and while I did not leave dripping in sweat, I did feel stretched out and limber especially around my neck and shoulders. Neck and shoulder pain are two of the "lifestyle physical ailments" that Forrest yoga aims to address, and based on the one class I took, I would say it did its job. Erica placed a lot of importance on breathing and alignment and that helped me get more out of this class than I initially thought going into it.
1. Instructor: Great instructor who knew exactly what she was doing, gave great cues and was watchful of the clients' alignment.
2. Studio: Beautiful space offering tons of classes with umpteen different yoga styles to choose from.
3 Location: Being on 86th street it is easily accessible by both subway and bus.
1. No Drop-in classes: Pure Yoga is membership-only. For someone like me who likes to drop in for the occasional class, this is not ideal. However, if yoga is your thing, getting a membership would be worthwhile.
2. Music: My Forrest yoga class was music-less. This is a personal preference and I prefer music.
3. Slow pace: While I appreciated the slow pace and poses held for long periods, I think I still prefer the faster-paced vinyasa style.
Pure Yoga East is a great studio offering many different styles of yoga. While Forrest Yoga was a little slow for me I did appreciate feeling more elongated and calm after the class. There was also temporary relief of the neck and shoulder pain I deal with daily (constantly having a baby attached to your hip does that to you...). Additionally, my instructor was great- she was knowledgeable and provided a lot of hands-on corrections. Since yoga is not something I practice regularly, obtaining a membership would not be worthwhile for me. However, I left feeling taller,with my neck long and my shoulders pressed back, and that has made me reconsider the back-seat yoga has taken in my life, and because of that I am glad I tried something I ordinarily would not have.