This modern, Western-influenced practice focuses on core strength, breathing and vigorous sequences.
Fri Dec 18 2009
(265 W 37th St at Eighth Ave, 17th floor; 212-616-8662, omfactorynyc.com). Single class $14--$17.
Types of yoga offered: Forrest, AcroYoga, AntiGravity, restorative, prenatalp, yoga fight club, meditation, private sessions and corporate
Name of class: Forrest Yoga (open) with Erica Mather
Length: 90 minutes
What to expect: This class usually begins with guided breathing, some type of neck opener and a series of challenging abdominal exercises, followed by sun salutations, inversions and/or sequences based on a particular skill (e.g., back bends, hip openers, chaturangas). The session incorporates props (blocks, blankets, a rolled-up mat, belts), and the instructor offers individual adjustments.
Level: Some experience helps, though beginners are welcome.
The verdict: Forrest Yoga, named after its founder, Ana Forrest, uses intense pose sequences and mindful breathing to “bring aliveness to every cell of your body.” It emphasizes abdominal work (core strength), keeping the neck relaxed and the feet and hands engaged, along with a few other key principles that distinguish it from other yoga practices. TOm Factory, designed by architect and director Faramarz, is true to its name—the space itself inspires peacefulness. Mather manages to teach physical and spiritual intelligence through yoga without being dogmatic or hokey, and has developed a loyal following in NYC. While the pace of this class is moderate, it is a high-intensity workout. You’ll hold the poses for a longer amount of time than in a vinyasa class, and you’ll deepen your poses as the class progresses. Mather offers students the option to increase or decrease the level of difficulty of particular positions, and circulates to adjust students’ postures.—Shayna D. Skarf
Iyengar instructors put an emphasis on accuracy and alignment, often using props like blocks, pillows and straps.
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