Individual postures and partner yoga is combined with chanting, meditation and discussion that's meant to facilitate a sense of community within the class.
Fri Dec 18 2009
All photos: Reflections Yoga
(250 W 49th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave, second floor; 212-974-2288, reflectionsyoga.com). Single class $15--$20, packages available.
Types of yoga offered: Acrospace Yoga, plus vinyasa, kundalini, ashtanga, Mommy and Me, rasa
Name of class: Stretch, Flow, & Fly
Length: 85 minutes
What to expect: Class opens with the participants sitting in a circle, introducing themselves and answering a question (we were asked, “When you’re reincarnated, what will you come back as?”). Then they warm up in assigned pairs, engaging in traditional poses and some yoga-inflected conditioning. After a quick instruction, groups of three (a base, a flyer and a spotter) work at their own pace through various inverted yoga poses. For instance, the base lies on her back, using her feet to support the flyer’s hips, while the flyer hangs her head toward the floor. Returning to pairs, participants give one another a prolonged Thai yoga massage.
Level: Yoga newbies can do it.
The verdict: I was initially anxious, but a friend assured me that AcroYoga is “just a lot of airplanes and massage.” She was not far off. I was especially challenged by the conditioning warm-up, and the rest was just fun. The inversions are tailored to your skill level (as a newcomer, I mostly hung upside down and tried to avoid putting my face in my partner’s crotch) and are often accompanied by light massage; in other words, I wouldn’t call it strenuous. Unlike most yoga classes, this one is accompanied by upbeat, popular music, and the instructors are boisterous. Still, chanting, harnessing energy and a whole lot of hands-on activities are major parts of the class, so don’t attend thinking you’ll be your own meditative island. Prepare to touch and be touched. A lot. The Thai massage, which my partner described as “the really yummy part,” is a relaxing, therapeutic way to end the evening, and I went home feeling cozy and not at all sore.—Heather Moore
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