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Local Yoga, YogaLocal

November 18, 2009

There is a place, in a land called Brooklyn, where the Bobos go, wine bars and eco dry cleaners are plentiful, Maggie Gyllenhaal is your neighbor, and double-wide strollers rule the roads. That place is Park Slope.

It would stand to reason that there would be plenty of yoga there.

It’s also where I happen to live. So I don’t know why, until tonight, it seems that I thought the most rigorous exercise I’d get anywhere west of Prospect Park was the stroller roll dodge I’ve finally perfected after three years of practice, because it turns out it’s easier to find a yoga class here than it is to find a beef patty in Crown Heights. Even as I walked up to Union Street towards the Park Slope Yoga Center tonight, I think I was expecting a little less “om” and a little more “serenity now.”Probably needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. The studio had a cozy feel, what I took away in terms of atmosphere was the sense that there were a lot of rugs around. There were also these great hanging plants surrounding the skylight in the studio itself. I was hoping for a rainforest mist spray like at the zoo or the Disney World Polynesian area or similar but no such luck. And the class was legit HARD. I took an open level vinyasa class, but was surrounded by these superstar sideways plank pose-holders. They were all over the handstands. They knew what to do when the instructor said, “start thinking about what inversions you’d like to work on for the next four minutes of self practice.” SELF PRACTICE. I don’t know how to do an inversion in self practice. This is why I have to come to a class. I wobbled my way into a shoulder stand and tried to own it, but based on the controlled movements of the feet I could see in my peripheral vision, it was like drowning in a room full of yogic Esther Williamses. Clearly I will have to go back. I also have to go back because I am now the proud owner of a 10-class card.

To recap, a Park Slope Yoga Center capsule review based on totally arbitrary criteria I am thinking up right now:

Value: Wallet-friendly. First class is $10 (walk-ins typically $16), and they offer a 20% discount if you buy a package on your first visit.

Atmosphere: Rainforesty, carpety, cozy, Navajo blankets, slightly dampish in the studio, mysterious space heater in corner.

Location: Nothing beats not having to leave Brooklyn on the weekends for yoga class.

Mouthfeel: Just kidding, but this would be useful to employ at one of the many Park Slope wine bars.

Pain level: Mid to high – haven’t taken a class since before the sick. I could keep up, but my wobbly shoulders will be hurtin tomorrow.

Variety: With another studio across Union Street, and apparently other or partner locations in Manhattan, it seems that there could be a lot to explore.

 

And speaking of local yoga, is anyone using the YogaLocal iPhone app yet? Is anyone reading? I’m a curious and iPhoneless, let us know if it’s good!

 [Original image via Pardon Me for Asking]

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