Relax here: "Balancing Poses" class at Integral Yoga Institute



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If you've ever been in a yoga class doing dreaded poses like utkatasana (chair pose) or vrksasana (tree pose), you know how tricky balancing can be. It requires a mix of strength, suppleness and mental focus that's difficult to achieve—there's simply no standing on one leg if your mind is racing all over the place, as anyone who's had a drunken run-in with the police knows too well.

If balance has eluded in the past, don't despair. Tonight at Integral Yoga Institute (227 W 13th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves; 212-929-0585,, yoga instructor and ex--ballet pro Melissa Elstein will be offering tips on how to stay "centered and grounded," in a workshop called "Balancing Poses" (6:30--8:30pm, $30).

As a youngster, Elstein performed with the New York City Ballet Company, the Royal Danish Ballet Company and the Berlin Opera Ballet; after a stint as a trial attorney prosecuting drunk-driving cases in NYC civil courts, she gravitated toward holistic healing and yoga.

Having juggled so many different careers, she certainly seems equipped to be talking about balance. Learn about weight-shifting movements, visualizations and core strengthening as you launch into previously impossible one-legged poses. As for balancing your checkbook while also making the most of NYC? We can help with that.

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