That that don't kill me, can only make me stronger. I need you to hurry up now, cause I can't wait much longer. Kanye West, Stronger

Monday, March 10, 2008

Om Yoga

Om sweet om!

Entering Om is like entering a quiet beautiful yoga world. The studio winds and stretches on with ample closet space for coats and shoes, a cozy shop, a reading area with couches and yoga books, and that's before you even reach the studios. Most yoga studios are very small and pretty crowed, Om has an entire floor of lounges, changing rooms with showers for yogis and yoginis, nooks and crannies and of course several studios, everything is muted, peaceful and completely protected from the chaos that floods Broadway six floors below the center. You can take a virtual tour online.

My passbook only has one free class although I could have brought a friend (my yogi buddy was working). I was actually really craving yoga Sunday. I didn't feel very well and all I wanted was some inner peace and time with my thoughts. The staff was extremely friendly, and mat rentals were only $1!

I took a basics/intermediate class with Jeremy. It started out very different from any other yoga class I had ever taken. We rolled up our mats Buddha style and lay them along are vertebrae to feel the heart lifting and sides of the body falling down. It really helped me feel the proper alignment throughout the class. Then we did some strange shaking of the legs and arms above our heads while lying on our backs.

A lot of the poses we did were new to me, but Jeremy was by far the best instructor I have ever had. He explains everything perfectly! He corrected my position allowing me to feel perfect in every posture. The class was difficult in that it required significant strength and focus to hold the positions, but it was not a very fast class, so we didn't do any jumping from pose to pose.

Because I was feeling less than stellar it was great to go slow and learn exactly how to form each pose. Sometimes I want to take a really fast-paced class above my skill level to really work up a sweat, but it is probably better to be patient and learn how to do everything correctly in the beginning.

Halfway through the class I had a little moment of bliss. In a very Elizabeth Gilbert manner, I said to myself "is this me loving yoga?" And I think it was.

Not only was Jeremy very clear, but he was very complimentary. He kept us encouraged by telling us our poses were delicious. I guess I'm not yogini enough to forget about ego yet, I lapped up every sweet word!

By the end of the class I felt very restored.

Om also offers many interesting workshops like Thai Yoga Massage. They have a yoga workshop/cleanse combination in April that sounds really interesting. However, I am doing a half marathon the weekend after the last day of the cleanse, so I don't think it is ideal timing.

I will definitely be back to Om. They have several 1 hour express classes that cost only $12 each, a pretty great deal. Sweaty Express here I come!

If you are interested in learning more, you can buy the Om Dvds, books, box set, clothes and lots more in their online shop.


Lauren said...

Did you feel yoga was a good muscle building activity or more relaxation stretching activity? I know there is a debate!

You mentioned you are a student, what are you going to school for?

Melissa said...

Well there are several different forms of yoga:

Hatha/intergral forms focus on relaxation and stretching and lengthening.

Bikram on strength and stamina,

Ashtanga/power/vinyasa yoga works your heart rate if they have a lot of jumping around--it's the most cardio.

I think that Ashtanga and Vinyasa will definitely build strength, my arms are no where near strong enough to hold some of the poses.

Bikram made me incredibly sore.

So I think you will gain muscle definition, but I don't think yoga really counts as a strength workout. That's my personal opinion.

I included links to a few articles that explain the different types and what to expect.