Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vino Y Yoga Event at Pure Yoga East: Ki Power Vinyasa Yoga

A few weeks ago I sent out a tweet asking other fitness-lovers for yoga recommendations in the city. One of the recommendations I received was for Isauro Fernandez's Ki Power Vinyasa class that he teaches at Pure Yoga and also at the 'hot yoga' studio, Earth Yoga. Out of sheer inertia on my part, I did nothing further. So I was thrilled when Sofia, who writes a great blog called Insightful Appetite, invited me to the Vino Y Yoga event that was taking place at Pure Yoga East. The class was going to be 60 minutes of a Ki Power Vinyasa class taught by Isauro, followed by a 30-minute guided wine-tasting focusing on wine regions throughout Spain.

Isaura Fernandez, also a practicing lawyer, created Ki Power Vinyasa, which according to his website is 'fusion of the movement and breath of vinyasa yoga with the grace, focus and physical intensity of martial arts." A dynamic and athletic style of yoga? Sounded like my kind of work-out.


Prior to starting class, Isauro spoke about his love for wine and his affinity for Spain (the home of his parents) even though he's originally from Queens. We then began the class with a tranquil meditation where Isauro asked us to dedicate the practice to someone. Before I knew it, the pace suddenly sped up, charging head-on into a fast-paced vinyasa flow which we repeated many many times. Interspersed into the sequence were balance poses like so...

Um, nope, I did not even try to attempt this. I know my limitations!

 ...shoulder stands, and  martial arts-inspired moves. The latter half of the class focused on abdominal core work including crunches, oblique crunches, reverse crunches, all done slowly, intensely magnifying the burn.

The class was amazing! It was just what I needed. I had had a few tough work-outs in the days prior and I really needed something to stretch me out and yet also be challenging and Ki Power Vinyasa did the trick. I felt completely stretched, leaving class with my shoulder blades pressed back, my neck long, my back straight. It was rejuvenating and also such a fantastic work-out. Isauro encouraged us to work at our own pace and to take a break if we felt it was needed. His calm demeanor, hands-on correction, and phenomenal music (oh, the music!) choice really makes this class.

The music is what really stood out for me! Classic rock staples such as Aerosmith's 'Dream On' and the Rolling Stones' 'Play with Fire', melded beautifully with guitar-strumming flamenco instrumentals. It was divine. It really transported me to another place. Music can really make or break a work-out for me and this Ki Power Vinyasa class really nailed it for me!

After class, I chatted with other bloggers, old faces and new, including SofiaAli, Melissa, Jess, Dori, Leslie and Danielle. Always fun!

Top (l-r): Dori, Danielle, Leslie, me, Ali
Bottom (l-r): Jess, Sofia, Melissa

Subsequently, Alex Elman from Alex Elman Wines led a tasting of wines from Spain's various regions. There were four flights; the first was a cava, followed by a rosé and then two reds. Before each flight Alex would give a brief introduction about the wine, its composition, where it was from and what to pair it with. To go with the wine she also brought some delicious hor d'oeuvres including roasted artichokes, manchego cheese, olives, tortilla espanola and dark chocolate. Yum!

Alex and her assistant

Good work-out. Good eats. Good conversation. All components of a great evening! I am so glad I was able to try out Ki Power Vinyasa. It is something I would love to incorporate into my life, and if you have not tried it yet do it now!


Thanks so much to Sofia for inviting me to this event and to Isauro, Alex and Pure Yoga NYC for arranging such a lovely event.


Ali said...

So great seeing you last night! Glad you enjoyed the class and can't wait to see you again soon!

Dori said...

I love your reviews so much. You are always so spot-on. I agree -- Play With Fire was INCREDIBLE in this class. I had chills. Amazing class!!! So great seeing you again!

sofia said...

great review! your way of writing is readable and enjoyable, and you are as wonderful in person as i expected :) i agree that the music piece is HUGE, and what's great is that isauro always switches it up so you're never hearing the same soundtrack, which really gets dull (i've taken classes with teachers where this happens repeatedly).

in terms of incorporating ki yoga into your life: come to earth yoga with me! it's not member's only like pure, and is a wonderful place to deepen your practice. you must like the heat, though!

Lauren said...

Sounds fun, I go to Pure will have to look for the class. Yoga and wine tasting- great combo.

melissa @ fitnessnyc said...

I need to learn not to speak during photos! It was definitely a great yoga class.

Sam @ Mom at the Barre said...

Ali: Loved seeing you also! Good luck in the race this weekend!

Dori: Thanks! That means so much coming from you.

Sam @ Mom at the Barre said...

Sofia: So enjoyed finally meeting you also! I'm not really a 'hot yoga' fan which is why I have never ventured into Earth Yoga, despite its proximity to where I live. But maybe it would be worth trying out Isauro's class in that environment to see what I think. Will let you know!

Lauren: Definitely try it out especially if you are a Pure member already. Everytime I go there I'm so struck by what a gorgeous space it is.

Sam @ Mom at the Barre said...

Melissa: Haha! I think you look like you're about to smile!

Amber said...

This looks like such a fun event! Here, lululemon has similiar events called Vino and Vinyasa but I have never been to one. It looks like all of the fun people were at this one!

Ameena said...

This is exactly the type of class I need right now! As I "enjoy" my detox I think that this would totally give me the energy that I am so lacking. That, and the manchego cheese! LOL

Sam @ Mom at the Barre said...

Amber: It was a fun group! You must try to make it to the barre bootcamp weekend Jess S is planning!

Ameena: I love manchego cheese! I made a trip to Spain while pregnant and against my OB's orders could not stop myself from indulging in all this amazing (unpasteurized!) manchego cheese! Yum!

Gina; The Candid RD said...

This was a great reminder that I haven't done yoga in way too long. I was so good at doing it at least once a week, now I'm off the wagon. Ugh. I wish we had fun yoga events like this around here!! That pose looks.....tough, to say the least.

Sam @ Mom at the Barre said...

Gina: That pose was impossible!

Sarah at The Stroller Ballet said...

This sounds like such a wonderful event!! I'd love to attend something like this, although I'm far from a pro at yoga ;)

Sam @ Mom at the Barre said...

Sarah: I'm hardly the yoga pro myself! The good thing I find in yoga classes is that there is no competition.
We've got to keep you in the loop for the next such event!

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